Trinny Woodall reportedly found out that, despite divorcing her now-deceased husband, Johnny Elichaoff, in 2009, she is being pursued for debts of nearly £300,000 that her ex-husband left when he died. Although the details of this case are specific (Trinny may well have a divorce consent order) and was initially thrown out by a High Court Registrar, it serves to remind us that it’s important to do everything you can to make sure that your ex-spouse is unable to file a claim against you after your divorce.
When you and your spouse reach a financial settlement, you can ask a judge to make this legally binding. This is known as a divorce consent order.
A divorce consent order will consist of the terms of your financial settlement.
This can include everything from maintenance payments to pension sharing and property sales or transfers. For example, your divorce consent order could include what will happen to the family home and how much you and your spouse will receive from the sale.
A divorce consent order can be a useful way to make sure that, what you have agreed to happen to your finances when you divorce, is legally binding.
It’s a way of asking the courts to approve what you have decided with your spouse and then ‘ordering’ you both to do what you have agreed to do.
Maybe most importantly, divorce consent orders with clean break clauses are used to show that you and your ex-spouse intend this to be the final decision on what will happen to your finances, so that your ex-spouse can’t come back to court in the future and ask for it to be changed.
If you don’t have a divorce consent order, your spouse could go back to court at a later date and ask for more money from you.
A clean break consent order clause can be included in your divorce consent order to dismiss yours or your spouse’s (or both) future rights to various types of claims in the future, including capital and maintenance.
Even if you or your spouse don’t have any joint assets, you could obtain a divorce consent order with a clean break clause to protect yourselves against future claims.
It’s important that your divorce consent order is drawn up by a solicitor with experience in this area of law.
Usually, you won’t be required to go to court as long as you provide enough information for the judge to make a decision on your order and both you and your spouse have legal representation.
Obtaining a divorce consent order can protect you from future financial claims from your spouse. It’s important to speak to a solicitor before making any decisions about whether a divorce consent order is right for your circumstances.
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