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Consent order and MIAM questions

(8 Posts)
DharmaLlama Sat 20-Feb-16 19:16:04

My exH and I have been separated for 5 years and are finally getting around to getting divorced. I'm just sitting down to do all the forms now. The background is: one child who is 8, equal shared custody, have never owned property together, we earn roughly the same amount, no-one pays maintenance to the other.

My questions are:

1. Can we draft a Consent Order for a clean break, or does it have to be done by a solicitor?

2. The Form A, Part 2 says "You must have attended a MIAM before making this application unless the requirement to attend a MIAM does not apply because the financial order you are applying for is for a consent order" (which seems to apply) but all applicants have to complete Part 2. I selected 'Yes' for 2a "Are you claiming exemption from the requirement to attend a MIAM?" and was then directed to go to question 3 to state under what grounds I am claiming exemption. Neither 3a (Domestic Violence), 3b (Urgency) or 3c (Previous attendance or exemption) apply, so I looked in 3d (Other) and none of these applied either. How am I supposed to complete Part 2? Is it the Form A and D081 that we would need to complete?

3. On the Form D8, I have not ticked that I want a Financial Order. Is this going to cause any issues (especially as I am saying I do not have a solicitor)? Is a judge going to assume that I forgot or don't know what I am doing because I am a woman?

Thanks for any help or advice.

Familylawsolicitor Sun 21-Feb-16 20:51:36

You need a solicitor to draft your consent order - ask around for a fixed fee. It really is something you can't do yourself and shouldn't.

If you have a consent order you won't need the mediation exemption.

You wouldn't have needed to file a form A at all if you'd ticked the boxes on the D8 petition.

Get a solicitor and they will deal with it all for you.

Familylawsolicitor Sun 21-Feb-16 20:52:51

But no the judge (who may be a woman) is not going to assume that you don't know what you are doing because you are a woman hmm

DharmaLlama Mon 22-Feb-16 10:57:42

Thanks for your reply and advice.

No forms have been submitted yet, so I can easily amend the D8 to tick a box, but none of the options for Financial Order apply. I read the notes www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/fjr/d8-notes.pdf about completing the section and it says "If you need the court to resolve any dispute over finances you can apply for a financial order. This can deal with property, maintenance, a lump sum payment and/or pensions." which is not applicable. Which box would I tick?

I would never presume to be able to write a consent order myself, and of course I would get a solicitor to do it - unless it was for an order for a clean break of the type we are looking for, for which I hoped there might be a standard format that we could submit.

My last question was perhaps worded badly. The problem with the Financial Order boxes is that there is no way to positively indicate that you do NOT want any form of ancillary relief, and unticked could easily be forgotten. I imagine the number of single mothers of dependent children who do not tick any of those boxes is the minority? So it's not a big leap to wonder whether a judge might want check that I really meant to do that when I am unrepresented.

DharmaLlama Thu 25-Feb-16 12:39:49

Bumping in the hope anyone can help me.

I can't 'get a solicitor'.

DharmaLlama Thu 25-Feb-16 22:37:06

I posted the above too quickly. I can't 'get a solicitor' to do everything. I do not have £500+ I have been quoted to do this (and my ex is paying the court costs), and there is also no reason I shouldn't be able to complete the divorce petition myself. The notes don't address my situation.

When there is a nisi, we will have to use one of those very low cost consent order services so that we have one drafted by a solicitor, but I do not have more money than that.

Which box do I need to tick on the D8 so that we can later submit a consent order (prepared for by a solicitor) to the effect that there are no financial claims on the other, and not have to submit a Form A? I have ticked the 'no agreement has been made or is proposed to be made' as part of the 5 years' separation.

I'd be very grateful if someone could help me.

Familylawsolicitor Fri 26-Feb-16 09:58:09

Hello, apologies I thought you had submitted the D8 petition already.
Tick all the financial boxes at 3(a) except the top one "maintenance pending suit" and all the boxes at 3(b) for your child. This gives the court the power to dismiss the claims when you file the consent order. It's completely standard to tick all the boxes. It doesn't mean you actually want a pension sharing, property adjustment order etc. but allows the court to approve an order to dismiss those claims without a form A. If not ticked on the D8 it often can be resolved but in certain circumstances can cause great difficulty.

Otherwise yes it's completely possible to do the divorce itself without a solicitor. To clarify my earlier post I meant let the solicitor do the consent order as you were querying about the Form A which is not necessary at this stage. I understand that it's not affordable for many to have a "full service". You don't need to look at Form A at all if you tick the financial claim boxes on the petition and have a solicitor deal with the consent order.

With regards to a fixed fee consent order by way of comparison I charge £750+vat in the south east and give a personal service including completing all the forms, drafting the agreement, ensuring it is approved by the court, and providing some advice on suitability. Not touting for work just for comparison of costs smile

The earliest stage at which you can submit a financial order by consent is when you have a date for decree nisi as the court cannot make the order before the decree nisi date. It will probably take you about 8-12 weeks to get to that stage depending on how quickly your ex acknowledges the petition and how quick (or slow) your local court is at present as there can be significant delays at the stages where the court has to deal with the documents.

Good luck.

DharmaLlama Mon 29-Feb-16 15:44:45

Thank you so much familylawsolicitor That's very helpful.

Thinking of ticking all the boxes, when I do not want any of those things, is making me grind my teeth in annoyance, but I will need to find a grip and be pragmatic and just bloody do it smile

I've no doubt your fee is perfectly reasonable, and quite usual, and STBXH is welcome to pay that, if he wishes, but I simply don't have that kind of cash.

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