Make it legally binding, that’s what most people want to do after they’ve come to a mutually acceptable set of proposals in mediation. But just what is it that you need in order to make this happen? Well, the answer is simple: you need to instruct your solicitor to apply for, and obtain a Financial Remedy Order (more commonly referred to as a consent order) on your behalf.
It is often thought that when couples get divorced that all of their financial obligations to each other cease. Actually, when couples say “I do”, it turns out that they’re saying “I do” to a great deal more than to love, honour and obey each other. According to this article from legal expert Karen Wallace, just saying “I don’t” at the end of a marriage doesn’t have any impact at all on all those other financial obligations. In fact, those additional legal and financial obligations continue to run unabated until a Judge states that they are over. The Decree Absolute you receive when your divorce is final is simply not enough, you need something else. That something else is your consent order.
Basically, an order of the court records a decision made by a Judge. In family law, for those cases where people go to a full trial and a Judge is asked to make all of the decisions for them it is called a Financial Remedy Order (FRO). By contrast when couples agree their final solution by mediation or some other means, and a Judge is simply ratifying an agreement they’ve already made between themselves, it is called a consent order. Importantly, it is the consent order the finally sets aside all of the other legal and financial obligations you have to each other.
So, is it difficult to make it legally binding? Not really, at least not if you’ve negotiated a solid agreement between yourselves that ticks all of the needed boxes. This is one place where a Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediator is worth their weight in gold. FMCA mediators understand the importance of the consent order, as well as what needs to go into one. Knowing this, when one of our FMCA mediators produces an outcome document for our clients, we do our utmost to ensure that there is no real reason for further discussion, and all of the information your solicitor needs in order to obtain your consent order on your behalf is right there in front of them.
If you would like more information on how an FMCA mediator can help you make it legally binding and save you a few thousand pounds at the same time, please call New Landscape Mediation on 01279 211 657 for a no obligation, fully confidential discussion of your needs.