The Importance of a Consent Order: Can I Remarry Without One?
Divorce proceedings cover various areas, including the important area of division of assets and the financial settlement. When it comes to the financial aspects of divorce, a financial consent order can be extremely important to both parties. After finalising a divorce, some people might be eager to move on and for some, enter into a new marriage.
But what happens if you contemplate remarrying without having a consent order in place? Can you safely embark on a new marriage without this legal safeguard? In this blog, we will explore the importance of a consent order and shed light on whether it is advisable to remarry without having one.
The Significance of a Financial Consent Order
A financial consent order is a legally binding document that outlines the financial arrangements between divorcing spouses. It covers crucial aspects such as property division, financial support, and maintenance. Its purpose is to provide clarity and protect the rights of both parties involved in the divorce.
While it is possible for some individuals to finalize their divorce without having a financial consent order in place, it is important to highlight that doing so is not ideal. Without a clean break consent order you, or your ex-spouse, could make a claim against one another at any point in the future – even many years after you have divorced. This includes your assets, properties, income and even pensions.
Without a formalised financial agreement in place, you leave yourself open to various uncertainties that can complicate a new marriage.
Complications and Risks
Attempting to remarry before finalising the financial consent order from a previous divorce can lead to significant complications:
Without a legally binding financial consent order, the division of assets, debts, and ongoing financial obligations might not be clearly defined. This can leave you and your new spouse vulnerable to potential disputes and legal challenges.
Liability and Creditworthiness
Any outstanding financial obligations from the previous marriage, such as joint debts, mortgages, or loans, would still be linked to you until they are settled or re-financed. This may impact your creditworthiness and financial stability, affecting your ability to build a secure future with your new spouse.
Remarrying before finalising the financial consent order will impact on what can be claimed for under the consent order. For example, if you are re-married you cannot make a claim for spousal maintenance. It can also impact on your arrangements for pensions and your new spouse will need to disclose their financial details for the D81 form.
The Best Way Forward
To ensure a smooth transition into a new marriage and protect your financial interests, it is helpful to follow these steps.
Seek Legal Advice: Consult an experienced family law solicitor who can guide you through the process. They will help you understand the implications of remarrying before finalising the financial consent order and advise you on the best course of action.
Complete Financial Settlement: Work towards finalising the financial consent order from your previous divorce. This includes reaching an agreement with your former spouse regarding the division of assets, debts, and ongoing financial obligations. Family mediation can play an important role in facilitating the process of reaching a financial settlement in these circumstances. Once this order is in place, you can proceed with confidence into a new marriage, knowing that your financial matters are legally resolved.
Ensure Clarity and Certainty: By finalising the financial consent order, you protect your own and your new spouse’s financial interests. It provides clarity, sets boundaries, and establishes a solid foundation for your future together.
“A ‘clean break’ preventing future claims may seem unnecessary in some circumstances, especially when relationships may be amicable at the time of the divorce, however, we cannot predict the future and there is no telling whether one party may have a change of heart at a later date. – DFA Law”
If you are wanting to re-marry following a divorce it is recommended to get a legally binding consent order to resolve any outstanding financial matters from your previous marriage. Whilst legally you can get married without a consent order existing, it could lead to issues further down the line.
At such a time, it is perhaps a good idea to aim for a clean break between you and your ex-spouse and allow you to start your new life afresh without any unresolved financial issues or potential conflicts arising.