Consent orders are legally binding documents that formalise the specifics of the financial obligations agreed between a divorcing couple.
Marriage opens up financial obligations towards your spouse, which are not automatically brought to an end through divorce proceedings. The decree absolute of divorce only brings to an end the contract of marriage and divorce opens up the possibility of making financial claims against your spouse, to enable capital, income and pensions to be distributed following the breakdown of the marriage.
Unless there is a separate order that also dismisses or otherwise deals with the financial claims that are available upon divorce, those claims remain open indefinitely.
This is the case even if you and your spouse reach an agreement directly and divide your assets between you.
A consent order can include:
Financial claims such as capital income and pensions to be distributed
End date for claims, to stop them continuing indefinitely
Enforcement for delayed or withheld maintenance payments from an ex-spouse
Obligations for certain assets such as pensions to be paid
The consent order is the only means by which you can be certain that any agreement will be upheld by both spouses.