Money and property when a relationship ends

2. If you agree

You don’t have to do any official paperwork if you agree about how to divide your money and property. But your agreement won’t be legally binding, which means a court can’t enforce it.

If you want to make your agreement legally binding, a solicitor can help with the paperwork.

Making your agreement legally binding

You need to get a solicitor to draft a ‘consent order’ and ask a court to approve it - this makes it legally binding.

A consent order is a legal document that confirms your agreement. It explains how you’re going to divide up assets like:

  • money
  • property
  • savings
  • investments

It can also include arrangements for maintenance payments, including child maintenance.

You can ask the court to approve your consent order if both of the following apply:

  • you’ve started the paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership
  • you haven’t yet applied for the final legal document to end the relationship

The final legal document is the:

Asking the court for approval

You and your ex-partner both have to sign the draft consent order.

Both of you also need to fill in:

Send these forms with your draft consent order to the court dealing with your paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership. Keep your own copies.

A consent order costs £50.

You may be able to get help with court fees if you’re on benefits or a low income.

After you ask the court for approval

There’s usually no court hearing. A judge will approve your consent order to make it legally binding if they think it’s fair.

If they don’t think it’s fair, they can:

  • change your consent order
  • make a new court order to tell you how to divide your money and property