Finalising divorce agreements to prevent future claims

More couples are now using the online divorce portal, which can be cheaper than instructing a solicitor.

However, the financial agreement reached between couples still needs the expertise and advice from an experienced family solicitor.

I have had several cases recently, where couples who separated amicably years ago, resolved their finances at the time.  

As it was amicable, neither instructed a solicitor, or got the final agreement in writing and approved by the court - referred to as a Consent Order.

Unfortunately, in both cases, this has come back to cause problems.  

One couple were now reaching retirement and the wife decided that, as the husband’s pension was better than hers, she would like some.

The husband was incredulous that she was able to apply to court for some of his pension, after so much time.  

Without a final financial order, and if neither remarried, both parties are vulnerable to future claims.  How successful those claims will be, is an entirely different matter. 

The husband of the other couple had started a very successful business and the wife decided that she would like a share.

Again, without the protection of a final order, she was able to make an application to court.

The cost of a Consent Order is minimal, especially compared to eventual court proceedings and legal costs that may occur later.

My strong advice to clients, even when things are amicable, is to get any agreement formalised in a Consent Order.

This will give both parties peace of mind.

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