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