As part of your financial settlement during divorce proceedings, you will probably be asked to complete a Statement of Information for a Consent Order (D81 Form). But what information are you expected to disclosure, and what happens if your ex lies on the form rendering the contents incorrect? This article explains everything you need to know.
What is a Consent Order?
A consent order is a legally binding document that sets out the financial settlement parties to a divorce or civil partnership dissolution have agreed to. The exact contents will vary from case to case, but typically include arrangements for the division of capital assets, pensions, income, maintenance, and liabilities. When the consent order is filed with the court, the D81 Form, summarising the parties current financial position, accompanies it.
What information is contained on a D81 Form?
The form must be completed as accurately and truthfully as possible because it is how the court makes its decision about your financial settlement. Its purpose is to provide a summary of both party’s financial position and is used when a settlement has been reached regarding division of matrimonial assets. It is submitted to the court alongside the consent order which formalises this agreement.
The form includes details of:
- How the agreement was reached
- Your current assets (such as property, savings, etc)
- Your current income
- The impact of the agreement on your income and capital
- Whether there are likely to be any changes to your income in the future
- An explanation of the agreement, particularly if there is an unusual clause
- Future living arrangements for you and the children
- Any new relationships/intention to cohabit
Any information you provide is confidential and will only be seen by the parties involved in the case, legal representatives, and the court.
Do I have to complete a D81 Form?
If you want the court to rubber stamp your financial consent order, then yes, you will be required to complete the D81 form. Some parties incorrectly believe that completing a D81 form is part of open financial disclosure. However, because the form is a summary, it does not provide a full breakdown of finances, and is therefore not considered full and frank disclosure for the purposes of reaching a fair settlement. For these purposes, a Form E should be used.
Do I need a solicitor to complete a D81 Form?
It is not necessary to instruct a solicitor to complete the D81 form, but seeking legal advice can be crucial to obtain the best financial outcome. A solicitor offers expert guidance and can safeguard your interests, ultimately ensuring the forms are completed correctly.
What happens with the completed D81 Form?
Your legal representative, if you have one, will send the completed D81 form to the court and to the other party. There will be a court fee for this. The court has a duty to properly scrutinise the agreement to ensure it is fair and meets everyone’s needs. If the court disagrees with any part of the agreement, they will ask questions to clarify the situation.
If the court approves the consent order, it will seal it and send copies to both parties and their legal representatives.
What if my ex lies on the D81 Form?
Part of the form contains a statement of truth that both parties have to sign. If they lie on their form, they could potentially be held in contempt of court and any consent order may then be set aside and the whole process revisited. The court may also award costs against the offending party.
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