A new version of a key form used in divorce has been published.
Form D81 is completed and signed by both parties to a divorce once one has applied for a financial settlement that would result in a legally binding ‘consent order’ (so called because each party consents to the agreement). D81 is formally entitled Statement of information for a consent order in relation to a financial remedy – it details each party’s financial circumstances and is used by the family courts to determine whether the agreed division of assets and property is fair and reasonable. The joint signatures also demonstrates that both parties to the divorce are fully aware of the other’s financial circumstances.
The newly revised version of Form D81 allows for the gathering of a greater quantity of data. The Law Commission, which reviews legislation, said it welcomed publication of the revised form. The new version follows collaboration between the Commission and a number of legal bodies, academics, and senior judges, as well as the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Services.
The Commission explained:
“In our Report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreement we noted the potential benefit of the development of a numerical formula to guide couples on likely financial outcomes on divorce. We explained that one of the building blocks for developing a formula was the need for empirical data to be gathered “from the ground up” of financial relief provided in divorces. Gathering such data is essential to provide divorcing couples with a realistic expectation of their financial provision, given that reported High Court decisions focus on big-money cases, which bear little resemblance to the vast majority of divorces.”
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