Do you have to have a consent order at the end of a divorce?

Do you have to have a consent order at the end of a divorce?

The only time you absolutely have to have a consent order at the end of a divorce is if you are planning to divide a pension.

If you only have property to divide or child support to arrange, this can in fact be done by agreement, without applying to court for an order.


But even if you don’t absolutely have to have a consent order, most people should still apply for one if you have an agreement.



Applying for a consent order is often the only way to ensure that your agreement is legally enforceable.

Applying for a consent order is also the only way to have a “clean break”.

This means that your agreement is final and neither you nor your spouse can go back to court and ask for more.

And you can only divide a pension if you have a court order.


How do you divide a pension on divorce?

There are two ways to divide a pension on divorce.

  • Pension sharing; or
  • Pension attachment.

Both of these methods require an application for a court order at the end of a divorce.

If you agree how to divide the pension, the application can be made “by consent”.

The order made is then known as a consent order.



What is the difference between pension sharing and pension attachment?

Pension sharing transfers all or part of the pension from one spouse to the other.

Pension attachment works more like a deferred maintenance order.

The pension remains solely in the name of one spouse, but part of the benefit is paid to the other.

How to find out more about consent orders and pension sharing.

Watch our short video on how to apply for a consent order here.

Nicola Williams is a solicitor specialising in consent orders on divorce and separation agreements.

You can find out more about the work she does on her website.