Consent Orders: securing a financial “clean break” following a relationship breakdown.

January 31, 2017

Separated parties still continue to put themselves at risk of future claims against their assets and livelihood despite there being a simple solution…consent orders.

Glen Briers, the founder of popular brand Lambretta, recently had to part with £2.7 million ten years after his divorce from his ex-wife. The reason for this was because they made an agreement between themselves at the time and no consent order was put in place to restrict further claims.

When Mr and Mrs Briers originally divorced they made a verbal agreement stating that Mrs Briers would receive £150,000 to enable her to pay off the mortgage, the £700,000 family home and £10,000 annual salary plus child maintenance. Mr Briers kept his business, consisting of brands such as Lambretta.

Mr Briers states that he thought the agreement was final and both parties thought it to be a fair decision at the time. Neither party, at the time, anticipated that either of them would come back for more after the verbal agreement and he was of the opinion that this was the final settlement.

Some ten years later, the business value and profits increased substantially from £1 million a year to £30 million a year. There was nothing stopping Mrs Briers from asking for more so that is exactly what she did following a change in her personal circumstances. She returned to court to make an application for an additional ‘slice’ of Mr Briers’ wealth and was awarded £2.7 million of his £10 million profit.

This matter is now in the Court of Appeal as Mr Briers’ has appealed the original decision made on the basis that he does not believe it to be fair and just that he is having to provide for his ex-wife 10 years after their divorce and settlement arrangements.

A Consent Order is a legally binding document which confirms your settlement agreement. This document is sent and approved by the Court following a relationship breakdown. The document is not final until a Judge has approved it and sealed it with the Court’s stamp.

Consent Orders cover everything from money, property, investments, pensions, inheritance and business interests. They can be a lifeline by ensuring once you agree to separate or divorce from a partner, your assets are also separated to ensure a ‘clean beak’ and the avoidance of the same situation as Mr Briers.

Mr Briers’ famous quote is ‘I didn’t think she would do anything like this years later’. You do not have to be a millionaire for ex-spouses to come back. It can happen to anyone.

Are you at risk of this happening to you? Call Edward Hands & Lewis Solicitors today to discuss producing a Consent Order to document your settlement and reduce any risk of future claims against your assets and livelihood.

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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