Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Statement of information for a consent order

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The Statement of Information for a Consent Order (now called 'Statement of information for a consent order in relation to a financial remedy') was also changed in April 2011. As in the book, I do not propose to go through this form in detail (most of it is self-explanatory), but I thought I should mention the changes from the old form (other than purely 'cosmetic' changes).

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Generally, the new form requires a little more detail than the old one. For example, you are now required to give the date of the separation, the date of the decree nisi (essential, as the court cannot make the order until the decree nisi has been pronounced, unless it is an order for maintenance pending suit) and dates of birth for the parties and any children, rather than just ages. You are also required in section 6 to state how the agreement set out in the consent order was reached.

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Similarly, in section 7 you are now required to give a more detailed breakdown of your capital including, for the first time, any Pension Protection Fund ('PPF') compensation. PPF compensation is paid to members of certain company pension schemes where the company becomes insolvent and the pension scheme can't pay the pension - for more details, see here. The courts can make attachment or sharing orders in respect of the PPF compensation.

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Still with pensions, the sections relating to giving notice to pension arrangement and pension sharing on divorce have been changed but, as the form states, if you are seeking any form of pension order you should really take legal advice, as the law in this area is complex.

Finally, on page 5 the form now requires both parties to sign a 'Statement of Truth'. This is pretty straightforward, but it does include the important confirmation that each party has read the other's Statement of information form. Previously, this was not a requirement, with the result that each party did not necessarily know whether the other had given correct information regarding their means to the court.