When it comes to resolving financial matters in a divorce, there are typically two options available to couples: financial agreements and consent orders. Both of these options have their pros and cons, and it`s important to understand the differences between them before making a decision.
A financial agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of a financial settlement between two parties. This type of agreement can be entered into at any time, including before, during, or after a divorce. The terms of the agreement are negotiated between the parties and can cover a range of financial matters, such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child support.
One of the main advantages of a financial agreement is that it provides more flexibility than a consent order. Because the terms are negotiated between the parties, they can be tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the couple. This can be particularly beneficial for couples with complex financial situations that may not fit neatly into the standard formulas used in consent orders.
Another advantage of a financial agreement is that it can be entered into at any time, without the need for the parties to go to court. This can be a quicker and more cost-effective way of resolving financial matters than going through the court system.
However, there are also some drawbacks to financial agreements. One of the main disadvantages is that they are not enforceable by the courts unless they are made into a consent order. This means that if one party fails to comply with the terms of the agreement, the other party will need to take legal action to enforce it.
A consent order, on the other hand, is a court order that sets out the terms of a financial settlement between two parties. This type of order can only be made by a court after a divorce has been granted, and the terms are typically based on the standard formulas used by the court.
One of the main advantages of a consent order is that it provides a higher level of certainty and security than a financial agreement. Because the order is made by a court, it is legally binding and can be enforced through the court system if one party fails to comply with the terms.
Another advantage of a consent order is that it can provide a higher level of protection for both parties. This is particularly important if one party has a significant amount of assets or income, as a consent order can help to ensure that those assets are protected in the event of a future dispute.
However, there are also some disadvantages to consent orders. One of the main drawbacks is that they are less flexible than financial agreements. Because the terms are based on standard formulas, they may not be tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the couple.
In summary, both financial agreements and consent orders have their pros and cons, and the best option will depend on the individual circumstances of the couple. It is important to seek professional advice from a lawyer or financial advisor before making a decision, to ensure that the chosen option provides the best possible outcome for both parties.