A Consent Order can be challenged and Set Aside if your spouse didn’t disclose all the relevant facts to you before you agreed to the Consent Order. This is called Non-Disclosure. You might call it ‘being lied to’!
1.Non-disclosure of relevant facts
This can usually be split into two parts:
- material financial non-disclosure,
- non-disclosure of marital/cohabitation intentions.
In financial non-disclosure, it is generally where your former spouse failed to tell you about something financial, and which you relied on in agreeing the Consent Order. This could be a new job offer which would have meant a large pay rise (Bokor-Ingram  EWCA Civ 412), or not informing the wife of a true value of assets (Kremen v Agrest 2012 EWHC 45 (Fam)). In some cases it might be even bigger, like completely concealing an asset or investment.
I have a case right now where I act for the wife who found out about a very substantial dividend payment to her husband, made within a very short time of the order, and hidden by him. It’s a definite winning case and I know I will succeed to get my client a much larger payout than what she initially agreed to.Cyrus Mansouri
Sometime your former spouse will have told the court that they have no new relationship and no intention of forming one, only for you to discover weeks after the Consent Order was sealed that they are getting married again! The most famous such case is Jenkins v Livesey (1985) AC 424 HOL. Here the wife did not disclose her intention to marry, and that fact would have made a significant difference had it been known at the time the order was agreed. The court set aside the Consent Order and replaced it with a much more generous settlement for the husband.
There are altogether four separate reasons for challenging a Consent Order. These are:
- Non-disclosure of relevant facts (see above)
- Fraud & Misrepresentation
- Supervising events & significant change in circumstance; or
- Undue influence
I have dealt with each of these separately and by clicking the highlighted links, you can start to get into the details of each category and see whether it fits your own circumstances. If you think it does, then perhaps it’s worth contacting us for more specific advice.Cyrus Mansouri