I am divorcing my wife. We still have a reasonable relationship and have agreed the arrangements for the children and have started to discuss finances. We both have the desire to settle things with a mediator at the most, if not without. I have been advised to have a Consent Order drawn up and put this to the court for approval. I am in the process of completing the divorce forms to be sent to court. Do I have to state on the form that I wish to apply for ancillary relief or is this just if an agreement cannot be reached voluntarily? If I apply for ancillary relief on the form do I then have to go through this process and if I do not then does this preclude me apllying at a later date?
Our understanding of this (though we suggest you confirm by ringing the court) is that where terms can be agreed between the parties, then these will be incorporated into a draft Consent Order prepared by the parties’ Solicitors and then presented to the Court, together with a form providing the information required by the Court known as a “statement of financial information”. A Court fee is required at this time unless you are eligible to apply for this to be exempted. The draft order will be checked by the District Judge and if s/he is satisfied as to its terms, then it will be made into a Court Order.
If you cannot agree, then you apply to the court to begin ancillary relief court proceedings - which would ultimately lead to a Court Order being made. Then at any time during the ancillary relief proceedings it is possible to cut the process short by agreeing a Consent Order.
It is our understanding that you can apply for ancillary relief proceedings at a later date. Either party could apply to the Court for an order even after the divorce is concluded. One important exception to this rule is that the Respondent to the divorce cannot apply if s/he remarries.
Please read our disclaimer regarding any advice on these forums.