Hi, my ex and I have completed a Consent Order which has been sent to the court. It is biased in his favour and he has said that his solicitor doesn''t think that it will be approved by the Judge. My first question is - if the Judge rejects it, what happens? Do we have to submit a new one, or will we be asked about the exisiting one and a new agreement be reached? Also, he has said that I should apply for the Decree Absolute now. Will it be granted whether the consent order regarding the finances goes through or not? I don''t want to waste my money doing it now if it isn''t going to go through. Many thanks in advance for your advice!
Well, first of all, if the judge does not approve the proposed order, it will be because (s)he does not consider it fair. You may be asked to have a meeting with the judge ( in private, not in open Court ) when (s)he will indicate why the agreement is deemed unfair and what changes would need to be made before the judge would approve it.
If the judge does not approve the agreement then you are back - if not exactly to square one, at least you have to re-negotiate, having regard to the judge''s reasoning, if you know it. Even if you don''t, someone on wiki ( perhaps including me ! ) might be willing to offer a view if we know the details.
As to making the Decree Absolute - well, you need to be aware that, if you don''t, he can apply for it himself. There are two '' danger areas '' if I may put it that way.
The first ( and the most common ) is if your husband is sole owner of the property. In that case your right to live there depends on the fact that you are his wife. The technical expression for this is '' matrimonial home rights '' .
Matrimonial rights depend on the fact of marriage and are therefore ended by divorce ( ie Decree Absolute ). So if you have the benefit of matrimonial home rights ( even if registered ) :
Do not be in too much of a hurry to apply for Decree Absolute ; and
Be aware that there are ways available in which the non-owning spouse’s interests can be extended under section 33 of the Family Law Act 1996. This will require legal advice.
The other issue is pensions. Your husband''s pension scheme may provide for widow''s benefits. If you apply for the absolute you are no longer his widow . Admittedly this risk is not at all great, but it is there.
Oh and by the way. You should always take the opportunity to review your will, if you have one.
LittleMrMike - Both of our names are on the deeds to the property and he lives there and has done since we seperated. I have registered for home rights with the land registry though if this makes any difference? The order basically states that I will sign over the house to him in return for a sum of £10,000. I don''t know how much equity is in the house, but I would estimate that £10,000 if far less than 50%. He is a fairly high earner (around £36,000) whilst I am not (more than three times less!) He is living with his girlfriend who also earns fairly well (around £25,000 I think) and has a lodger whose rent covers the mortgage - though I doubt that he has declared these things. I live with our daughter in a rented property, have no assets and no plans to cohabit which his solicitor said would be a big downfall.
Maisymoos - I just want it sorted and over with and £10,000 is enough for me to be able to move on.
Mike - I doubt very much that he has declared that his girlfriend lives there as he knows that would make things look even more in his favour. We have been seperated for almost 3 years, he has been asked countless amount of times to complete form E and return it to me but has failed to do so. I know how much the house is worth, but not how much equity is in it. My name is only on the deeds, not the mortgage, and so I have been unable to find out. He put his financial details on the form accompanying the Consent Order after I did, so I''m still none the wiser. So if it is that one-sided, will the Judge ask to meet us together or seperately? Will they not agree it even if I understand that I will be at a loss? I have had legal advice in the past, my solicitor at the time thought that I should go for at very least 50% because I gave up a place at Cambridge University to raise our daughter and contributed massively to the home as he worked away so I did everything with regard to the house and our daughter.