How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14785
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I have a question regarding mutually consent order. Though

Customer Question

I have a question regarding mutually consent order.
Though our income and savings are not same, we are in agreement with what needs to be shared in the consent order.
The judge has refused our consent order and asked us for the thinking behind the order and to explain why it is fair.We have explained why it is fair.Would the judge approve the order or still reject it.
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
my savings and income where 3 times more in the consent order submitted. My spouse has now provided explanation that he forgot to put dividends as part of self employed, which will bring his income same as mine. My savings are still 3 times more that his , for which he explained that he has 2 master degrees and is very capable to earn and Does not need my savings and has explained that he thinks it’s a fair agreement.Will this information be enough to provide approval or do we need to put any other information.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

That should be fine for the judge to revisit this though it's up to the judge and a couple of other factors.

The key issue is one of fairness and to ensure both of you have disclosed everything - a red flag for the judge would be the omission of the dividends as you are each supposed to have made full and frank disclosure. Plus, judges generally want to see that you have each taken legal advice as to the terms of the agreement.

I am not sure if you have or haven't done this - if not then this company could do it for you : http://www.divorce-online.co.uk

There are other choices and indeed a law firm could offer the legal advice - thought the above seem to offer a low fixed fee which seems reasonable.

In terms of the order, the fee is £50 though you also need to enclose a financial statement to accompany the consent order (both of you). This is known as form D81 and a copy can be located here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/866780/d81-eng.pdf

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you for the update Jim
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

My pleasure, thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
My spouse has a solicitor, since it is mutual divorce I did not appoint a solicitor as we were in agreement from the start .He is the petitioner and his lawyer was supposed to look into these details , but for some reason has missed this information. Judge is aware that my spouse has a solicitor and I do not have any.
Since my spouse is the once who has lower savings and he is represented by a solicitor, would the judge take into account all the explanation we gave. If he still rejects, what would our next steps be
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Would the judge ask me to pay around £10,000 (if we average the savings and calculate the difference) to my spouse from my account ?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

The judge will want to know you have both taken legal advice as currently it is not a level playing field, which is the judge's concern. My recommendation is you take legal advice upon the proposed settlement. Then tell the judge you have done so and you are happy with the terms. I can't say what they would order - a consent order is legally binding so if the judge agrees, the consent order is then binding on you both. if the judge knocks it back you will have to revisit the proposed settlement and try again, to get the judge to agree.

Ultimately if there is no agreement you may have to go though the court proceedings (financial remedy proceedings) and the judge will make an order at that point though it is much better (and cheaper if your ex has a solicitor involved) to try and agree matters now.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I did not appoint a Solicitor for my divorce proceedings , but I have got the consent order reviewed by a solicitor. I did not put the solicitor information in the consent order though as he is not representing me in the case.
When you say my spouse needs to talk to his solicitor and re negotiate the settlement , what is the meaning of that.My spouse is paying me back 5000£ out of which he took it as loan from me . He is explaining the same to the judge in the reply.Though I have more savings than him at this point, over the course of marriage he has taken several thousands of pounds from me and blew it off in shares and other bad investments. Though he regrets wasting my hard earned money, he is not willing to put that information in reply to judge, as he is worried it will open can of worms of his past misdoings.I am not confused how to make sure I stop loosing more money with this consent order process.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
If we explain that we have taken legal advice and give all the explanations and think it is a fair deal, would the judge approve it
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
It seems like me and my spouse is in agreement and it is the judge we need to convince.
If he is not convinced , would the judge himself order for court proceedings (we do not want that)
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

yes, the judge is much more likely to approve it if you have both taken legal advice and the order is correctly worded - it does need to be drafted by a solicitor (not sure if yours has already but you said it was reviewed by a solicitor). No, the judge would not order for court proceedings, it just means the terms of agreement for the finances have not yet been approved. You can apply for the consent order to be approved either before decree absolute is applied for (recommended) or afterwards though bear in mind even after divorce the ex could come back at a later date and look for a share of your assets so it is important to try and sort this out now rather than later.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thanks . Worst case scenario, if the judge order for court proceedings, though as a couple we are in agreement, will I have to transfer that difference amount of £10000 to my spouse. Will the judge request for a proof of transfer of the funds from mu bank account to my spouses bank account
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

You don't have to transfer anything at this point, no. Not until and unless it is stated in a consent order. Until then, nothing is set in stone.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I mean assuming judge decides that money it has to be transferred to my spouse , it that case will
Judge ask to show proof of transfer of the funds ie my bank statements.I am planning to buy a flat and have planned for exchange , that is paying the deposit in next 2 weeks . If the judges asks me to show the proof of bank statements, will me transferring £40,000 to a solicitor for a flat deposit be an issue for the judge. I started the flat process after submitting the consent order for approval.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

If they ask then yes, you provide proof. The terms of a consent order generally say what will happen in the future though.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Ok, if I have to show the proof, would be exchanging or buying a flat be off any issue, if the exchange happened after the consent order has been sent for approval.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I mean would judge consider it as a issue, since buying a flat was not mentioned while submitting the consent order, if came in to picture after submitting my consent order. My spouse has clearly told me that he is not interested in my flat , any future properties or inheritance. He just wants a simple divorce . Would this explain be enough for the judge to not come for my new flat in any way ?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

Hi, the judge will just look at the terms of the consent order to check whether it is fair or not. They would not get involved in the dispute unless one of you involves the court in the dispute with financial remedy proceedings.
I hope I have answered the question of whether the judge is likely to grant the terms of the new order - let me know if not.
Thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you very much , it was very helpful indeed . Appreciate it
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

My pleasure, thanks and have a good evening.
Jim