A Guide to the new Form D81
What is a Form D81?
Form D81 is a form used in family law proceedings in England and Wales. It is also known as a “statement of information for a consent order in relation to a financial remedy.”
The purpose of Form D81 is to provide a summary of the financial situation of both parties in a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. It includes details such as income, assets, debts, and expenses. The form is typically used when the parties have reached an agreement on how to divide their finances and are seeking a consent order from the court to formalise their agreement.
When do I need to complete Form D81?
The form is completed when you are submitting a financial consent order to the court. The consent order explains to the court how your finances are going to be divided up and any ongoing payments between you. Form D81 shows the court your current financial situation and looks at the impact of the proposed settlement you have agreed in the consent order. This allows the court to better understand if the agreement you have reached is fair.
You cannot submit the form or request a financial consent order until you have received your conditional divorce order (previously decree nisi).
What information do I provide on a Form D81
The Form includes:
- Details of how you reached the consent order. You have 11 methods in total to reach an agreement. The court will want to know which one was used.
- Your current assets – eg property, savings or shares
- Your current income – this is from all sources, including benefits etc.
- The impact of the consent order on your capital and on your income
- Whether there are any likely changes to your future income
- Explanations of the proposed financial settlement. Especially if there is an area that is unusual or requires the court to look at further.
- Future living arrangements – where you and your children will both be living.
- Details of any new relationships or intention to cohabit – the court will need to know this as it can impact on your reasonable living costs.
Who sees the Form D81?
The information provided in Form D81 is confidential and will only be seen by the parties involved in the case, their legal representatives, and the court.
Is a Form D81 mandatory?
It is mandatory if you are asking the court to seal (agree) a financial consent order. Otherwise, you do not need to complete one. Some people may agree they want to complete one as part of an open financial disclosure. However as it does not provide a full breakdown of the finances – just a summary – we would recommend both parties complete a financial disclosure.
What happens after I complete a Form D81?
After the Form D81 is completed you, or your solicitor, will file the documents to the court. There is a court fee of £53. The court will not just rubber stamp what you have agreed. They have a duty to scrutinise the agreement and make sure it is fair and meets both your needs. If they disagree with any aspect they will ask questions on the agreement. They will not make a different order instead at this stage.
Do I need a solicitor to complete a Form D81?
Not necessarily, you could complete the form yourselves. You would however, usually need a solicitor or someone with legal experience to draft the actual consent order. If you choose to utilize one of our Divorce Packages or our Consent Order Package, the D81’s for both parties will completed by the solicitor as part of the package.
How does Form D81 work with family mediation?
Form D81 will usually be completed after family mediation has taken place and an agreement has been reached. In family mediation or facilitation, we will usually ask clients to complete a full financial disclosure. This is because it helps protect both parties from future challenges on the agreement reached.
Do I need to do a Form E and a Form D81?
A Form E is used when you are disclosing your finances. It is one of the methods of financial disclosure. Sometimes both parties agree to complete this form to help reach an agreement or it will be required if you cannot reach an agreement and have to make an application to court for a financial order.
The Form D81 is used once you have an agreement, and are asking the court to agree with it, so it can be made legally binding on you both.
You may therefore use both forms as part of the divorce process, but usually at different times. The information on a Form D81 may be different to that on a Form E as the information provided on a Form D81 must be up to date and it could have changed since you completed your Form E’s.
What Information is provided?
The forms provide a summary of your current financial position.
Let’s take a look at some of the parts of the Form D81:
Section 8 Money and Property
This part of the Form deals with your current financial summary. It is important this is up to-date and accurate and you will sign the form to say so. If it is not you could be held in contempt of court. It is not the financial situation at the time of separation – even if that was many years ago.
If you have completed a Form E, or other financial disclosure, then you will add up the totals for each section here, namely:
- All other assets
Section 9 Net Income
This part of the Form deals with your current income. Once again, it is important that this is up to date and accurate as you will be signing the form to say so. If it is not, you could be held in contempt of court.
These tables are then repeated in Sections 10 and 11. But this time they show the effect on the assets and income of your proposed financial settlement.
This addition was made in March 2022, to allow the court to easily check the viability and fairness of the financial agreement made.
Can my ex lie on a Form D81?
In theory, they could, but if they do and having signed the statement of truth, they could be held in contempt of court. Any consent agreement could then be set aside and the whole process would need to be repeated. The court may also consider the matter of costs if this were to occur.
- The new Form D81 is used when you are asking the court to make your financial agreement legally binding.
- You cannot get a financial clean break without completing one.
- It is important to be honest and accurate and show the current financial situation and the future outcome of your agreed proposals on the form.
- If the court agrees with your proposed financial settlement they will seal your consent order. If they do not, they will usually ask questions on the agreement reached.
Mediate UK offer fixed-fee family mediation and facilitation packages. You can not only reach an agreement with us, you can also have a solicitor draft your agreement into a legally binding consent order.
We offer a FREE 15-minute consultation where you can ask further questions about our fixed-fee legal packages. Or call us on 0330 999 0959 for more information.