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Howes Percival


When agreement is reached, which is right for you?


Alishia Marrocco Family Law Solicitor Howes Percival


Family law expert at Howes Percival, Alishia Marrocco advises that she is often contacted by clients who have reached fi nancial agreement with their spouse following the breakdown of their marriage. T ese clients want to keep matters amicable and many question the need for recording the agreement if the parties are on friendly terms. Here, Alishia advises of the need for matters to be formerly recorded to protect both parties and avoid disagreement and potential litigation down the line: By virtue of the fact that a couple are married they have fi nancial


claims against one another for capital, income, pensions and a claim against the estate should one party pass away. T ese claims need to be addressed and/or dismissed and it is, therefore, imperative to have any fi nancial arrangements formerly recorded in either a consent order or separation agreement. Both documents can be drafted following the parties’ direct


agreement, whether negotiated in person or with the aid of a mediator or solicitor. However, agreements should be reached following full fi nancial disclosure to enable a legal professional to provide robust advice on the merits of any settlement.


36 ALL THINGS BUSINESS


Which document is right for you? Consent Order: A consent order is the document which is produced to the court after decree nisi is pronounced within any divorce proceedings and sets out the terms of the parties’ fi nancial agreement in a binding order. T is document is fi led at court with a snapshot of the couple’s current fi nancial circumstances for consideration by a judge. Once the order has been approved by a judge, the terms within the same become enforceable. T e consent order, therefore, provides separating couples with fi nancial protection and enforceable documentation should one party try to renege on the terms previously agreed. A consent order is required in cases where


there is pension sharing within the agreement reached between the parties. T e court-approved paperwork will need to be served on the pension trustees in order for the implementation process to begin.


Separation Agreement: A separation agreement is similar to a consent order and includes terms of the fi nancial arrangements reached between the parties. However, these documents are entered into when the parties are not yet ready to dissolve their marriage. T e most common reason for a separation agreement is where a couple wish to wait until they have been separated two years


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