If you agree
You do not have to do any official paperwork if you agree about how to divide your money and property. But your agreement will not be legally binding, which means a court cannot 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:
It can also include arrangements for maintenance payments, including child maintenance.
Deadlines for making a consent order
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 have not 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 - you also need 2 photocopies of the signed original
- a statement of information form
One of you also needs to fill in a notice of an application for a financial order.
Send the signed forms and copies with the £50 fee to the court dealing with your paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership. Keep your own copies.
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 do not 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