Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Family Lore Clinic: How long to implement a consent order?

Another query about consent orders, although the answer is the same for all final financial remedy orders. (I am assuming that the person who asked this question was wanting to know how long it takes to implement the terms of a consent order, rather than how long it takes to get a consent order.)

Consent orders can contain any number of different provisions relating to the financial/property settlement on divorce. Any provision that requires something to be done must specify a time by when that thing should be done. For example, a provision requiring one party to pay a lump sum of money to the other must state by when that lump sum should be paid.

There are no set time limits to implement provisions of a consent order, although certain limits are commonly used for certain types of provision. The amount of time 'allowed' to implement a provision will depend upon the nature of the provision, and the circumstances of the case.

Accordingly, a provision to pay a lump sum may, for example, require that sum to be paid within 28 days of the date of the order. However, if the paying party needs longer to raise the sum, a longer period may be stipulated.

Other types of provisions may require different periods. For example, a provision involving the former matrimonial home to be transferred into the name of one party may require that that be done within, say, 56 days of the date of the order.

Note that consent orders do not take effect until decree absolute, so time periods may not commence until then, if the order has been made prior to decree absolute.

As usual, if you require specific advice relating to your own case, then you should consult a specialist family lawyer.

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