What is a divorce financial agreement?

Originally published on 11th April 2024 at 12:07 PM
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If you decide to separate from your partner, you will need to agree how to divide your money and property. This is commonly called a financial agreement’.

Some couples are able to reach an agreement themselves whilst others may benefit from professional help through amicable’s negotiation service, mediation or alternative routes.

In this blog we explore what a divorce financial agreement is and how to get one.

What is a divorce financial agreement?

A divorce financial agreement is where you and your ex make an arrangement on how you will separate your assets (including houses, pensions and personal possessions), money and debts on divorce. The agreement can also include how to separate financial arrangements in relation to your children and/or pets if needed.

The financial agreement can be prepared into a document called a ‘consent order’ at any time, even if you have been legally divorced for some time. The agreement will be looked at by a judge who will ‘seal’ the order once approved. If you have just started your divorce, the earliest it can be sent to a judge is once the first part of your divorce (the conditional order) has been pronounced. Typically, consent orders are drawn up by legal professionals. Once you have a sealed consent order, your financial agreement is binding and enforceable by the courts.

In England and Wales, if you get divorced and do not have a consent order sealed by a judge, the law does not stop either you or your ex from making claims against each other’s future financial earnings. For example, an increase in income, lottery winnings, pension accumulations or inheritance.

How do we decide our financial agreement?

There are several options to consider when looking to agree a financial arrangement. One approach is a ‘kitchen table’ agreement - this is where you and your ex would sit down together to discuss how you wish to divide your assets (money, property, etc) and any debt. You will still need professional help from a legal service, such as amicable or solicitors, to get your agreement documented in a consent order. The kitchen table approach is a good option if you feel like you can talk amicably with your ex, and wouldn’t benefit from additional support to help you agree. This is often the cheapest option when sorting out your money and property during a divorce.

The first step is to individually sort out your individual day-to-day finances. You would need to agree who gets what and how you will continue to pay your bills, such as rent or a mortgage. If you have joint accounts, credit cards or loans, you should let your banks know that you are separating. You should start collecting any money in separate accounts after you’ve decided you want a divorce.

If a kitchen table agreement is not possible, other options include amicable’s Negotiation Service, mediation, or seeking independent legal advice or alternative routes such as arbitration.

amicable offers a unique way of separating. We're different from solicitors because we stay neutral and work with you both, and we’re more effective and comprehensive than mediation because we also manage the legal process.

Our Negotiation Service is designed to help couples navigate the legal journey of divorce and negotiate a fair financial agreement. The service includes support from an expert Divorce Specialist to help you and your ex-partner agree your financial arrangements and to support you through the legal journey.

Divorce financial settlement agreement template:

There is no specific template for a financial agreement; however, here are some things you should discuss:

  • Property & land (make sure to get multiple valuations)
  • Money (savings, joint accounts etc)
  • Pensions
  • Cars
  • Investments
  • Crypto
  • Items (jewellery, art, watches etc)

Check your agreement through our free agreement checker tool.

How do I get a divorce financial agreement made legally binding?

For divorcing couples and those dissolving a civil partnership, you can get a consent order.

If you’re a cohabiting couple, you can explore something called a ‘separation agreement’.


How much does a divorce financial agreement cost?

Costs can vary widely depending on which professional prepares your agreement. Solicitors charge an hourly fee and on average, it costs £8,000 per person to come to and formalise a divorce financial settlement through two separate solicitors. If an agreement cannot be reached, these costs can quickly rise. Other options such as amicable are more affordable, starting from £900 per couple for a consent order. amicable’s Negotiation Service costs a fixed fee of £3,450 (we will also do your divorce for free with this service). The only other cost is the court fee to submit a consent order, which is currently £58.

Where can I get a divorce financial agreement?

To make sure the consent order is legally binding, it should be drafted by a legal professional. Becoming increasingly popular is couples using online consent order services, like amicable. Using services like amicable lowers costs and can speed up the process of divorce.

What if we can’t agree to a divorce financial agreement?

There are options for you if you cannot agree to a financial settlement with your partner. You can instruct solicitors, seek mediation, or use amicable’s Negotiation Service.

Read More

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Speak to an amicable Divorce Specialist to understand your options and next steps for untying the knot, amicably.

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