Since 24 August 2020 it has become mandatory for financial consent orders to be submitted onto the HMCTS online portal but, what does this mean to parties in divorce proceedings?
Previously, financial remedy orders that had been reached by consent with no financial proceedings before the court, would have to be filed by paper to the local divorce centre. Unfortunately, it could take some months for a sealed order to be received from the court, which in effect caused substantial delays to obtaining a Decree Absolute in divorce proceedings.
With the HMCTS portal, consent orders are filed onto the online system and referred to Judges across England and Wales, as a result, it can take a matter of weeks for a sealed order to be received. What this means for parties to a divorce is that the Decree Absolute being the final Decree, may be applied for sooner, in effect bringing the marriage to an end.
What is a financial remedy order reached by consent?
If two parties have reached an agreement either through negotiations between their legal representatives or through discussions between themselves, this should be drawn up in a legal document and filed at the court. The court will assess whether it is a fair and reasonable settlement for both parties. If the court deems it is a fair settlement then, the agreement will be made an order of the court. By the agreement being a court order, it ensures that the agreement is legally enforceable.
As well as an online portal for financial consent orders, there is a portal for divorce proceedings which has recently been rolled out to legal professionals. The online system for divorce proceedings also reduces the time delay that was previously experienced when filing a paper application for divorce.
If you wish to discuss divorce proceedings and/or financial settlement with one of our legal representatives, please contact one of our offices.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.