A Form D81, or “statement of information for a Consent Order in relation to a financial remedy”, is a form that the family court needs you to complete if you are applying to them for a Consent Order to confirm financial settlement arrangements that you have agreed with your ex, so that the agreement becomes legally binding on both of you.
This article will explain the information that you and your ex will need to include on a D81 application.
What is the D81 for?
The Form D81 helps the court understand your overall financial situation so they can decide whether or not the agreement you are asking them to make official is fair and reasonable. It is basically a summary of your assets (things you own) and liabilities (amounts you owe on loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.) as the situation stands now and how it will look for each of you individually, if the court agrees to make the order.
If you have used mediation through Direct Mediation Services to agree your financial settlement with your ex, we will have asked you both to complete our own form disclosing your assets and liabilities as part of the mediation process. The mediator will create two documents, an agreed Open Financial Statement (OFS) – this list all your financial assets etc – and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – this is the agreement reached between the two of you – these documents and other information will go into the D81 form.
However, if you cannot reach agreement with your ex and have to ask the courts to decide how your finances will be split, the court needs much more detailed information than is on the D81 and you will have to complete a more complicated form, Form E. See here for our blog giving more information about this form.
Completing the D81
The first thing to mention is that the D81 is quite a long, complicated-looking form – 23 pages, in fact – so it will take you some time and preparation to complete it properly. For this reason, there is a note of advice on the first page of the form that you might want to get legal advice or assistance when completing the form. Although this will come at a cost, it would take away a lot of the stress of completing the lengthy form.
It is usually better for the D81 to be completed as a joint application. This makes it easier for the court to see the whole picture clearly, and you will have both agreed about the contents of the form and how you want to split things. If it is not practical for any reason for you to complete a joint D81, you can complete separate forms. In this case, the court will want a brief explanation why you are doing separate forms.
Questions 1 – 7
These questions ask for details about you, your ex, your marriage or civil partnership, your divorce or dissolution of your partnership and your children. You must have received your conditional order of divorce (which used to be called the decree nisi before the introduction of no-fault divorces in April 2023), but you do not have to wait until you receive the final order (decree absolute under the old rules). You then need to tick a box to tell the court how you made the agreement – e.g., by discussion between yourselves, through mediation, through solicitor discussions, etc.
Current capital and income – questions 8 – 9
You now have to give details about your capital and income as it is now, before the financial split takes place.
Question 8 is about your assets and liabilities – the things you own and what you owe to banks, credit cards, other loans etc. The first half of this question is about the value of house(s) left over after mortgages you owe on them have been deducted, and a total of other assets – e.g., bank accounts, savings, investments, ISAs. Other assets also include cars, motorbikes and any individual thing you own worth over £500. So, this could well include computers, laptops, other tech, and even pieces of furniture, watches, jewellery, etc.
If we at Direct Mediation Services helped you reach your agreement through mediation, we will have helped you make sure you include everything in the total. If you have been able to agree everything between yourselves, without going through mediation or other forms of negotiations with the help of third parties and are completing the form from scratch, it is a good idea to make a separate list of everything even though you only need to put total values on the form D81.
The second half covers money you owe – bank overdrafts, credit card balances, loans etc, then you have to include the official valuation of any private pension schemes you have. You will have to ask your pension scheme administrators to give you this valuation in writing.
Question 9 asks for a breakdown of all your monthly income. This includes any maintenance that you pay between yourselves, and any maintenance you receive or pay from other relationships – e.g., previous marriages, children with other partners. There are guidance notes on the form to show you how to include these amounts.
Future capital and income – questions 10 – 11
Questions 10 & 11 are exactly the same as 8 & 9, but show the situation you expect AFTER the agreement you are asking the court to confirm with the Consent Order takes effect. This makes it clear to the court how things will look for each of you going forward if they agree to make the order and helps them decide whether it is fair and reasonable to each of you – also taking into account the needs of your children, if applicable – under the circumstances.
Questions 12 – 14
These questions are where you can give the court extra information to explain why what you are asking them to agree to is reasonable and why you have made the agreements. The sorts of things that are important to mention here are, for example:
- Medical conditions
- Changes in circumstances
- Pre or post nuptial, or other agreements
- Why you have agreed how to split the assets, especially if it is not 50/50
- How each of you expect that you will have enough money to support yourselves moving forward if this is to be a clean break. This means that neither of you can make a claim against the other in the future.
Questions 15 – 22
In questions 15 and 16, you need to specify where each of you, including your children, will be living in the future and whether you will live in these homes as owners or whether you will be renting. You then need to confirm what your current relationship situation is – e.g., if you have remarried or intend to, or are living with somebody else, or whether you expect to be single in the immediate future.
Questions 17-22 are boxes to tick about mortgages and pensions.
Signatures and statement of truth
Finally, you each have to sign the form to confirm that you have read what your ex has put on their side of the form and sign a statement of truth. This confirms that you have fully disclosed everything, and warns that saying things you know are not true on this form might be contempt of court. So, it is extremely important that both of you have been honest in completing the form and not held anything back.
The completed and signed Form D81 has to be sent to the court with the Consent Order you are asking the court to sign. The Consent Order has to be worded clearly so it is not ambiguous in any way, so it is usually recommended that a solicitor should draw up the order. If you have made your agreements through mediation, your mediator will have explained to you how your mediation agreements can be used by your solicitor to correctly draft the order.
If you have used mediation to reach agreement about how to split your finances when you separate, you will have each fully disclosed your finances to the other party and, even though the mediation process can be difficult, you will have come to an agreement about what is fair in your individual circumstances.
After that, you have a choice about whether you want to apply to the court for a Consent Order to make your agreement legally binding on both of you. This is usually the best way of achieving a “clean break” from your ex so you can both move on with your lives knowing that you will not face future claims from your former partner.
If you decide to take this course of action, you will have to complete a Form D81 for the court, which summarises your financial situation as it is now and how it will be once the new arrangements are in place. Form D81 is a long and complicated-looking form which will take some time and preparation to complete. It needs to be as detailed as this so the court can be satisfied that a Consent Order they are being asked to make is reasonable and fair, taking all the parties’ circumstances into account. The information you used during your mediation process will include everything that is needed to include in the Form D81.
Talk to one of our friendly and experienced team on 0113 469 9593 to find out how mediation can help you agree your financial settlement with your ex.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to complete a Form D81 during a divorce?
No. You only have to complete a D81 if you are asking for a Consent Order to make the arrangements you have made legally binding on both of you.
Do I need a solicitor’s help to complete a D81?
You do not have to ask a solicitor to complete your D81 for you. However, it is a long and complicated-looking form. If you have used mediation to come to your financial arrangements, you will already have gathered together all the information you need for the form. But we would usually recommend legal advice.
What happens if my ex does not disclose everything on the D81?
In signing the form and sending it to the court, you are also making a statement of truth. Anyone deliberately making a false statement, or not disclosing all information on the form, could be guilty of contempt of court and punished by the courts. It could also mean that when the omission is discovered, the court might set aside the Consent Order and make another one. The guilty party would be likely to have to pay all costs involved for both parties, as well as any punishment imposed by the courts.
We need to ask the court to decide on our finances. Do we still complete a D81?
The D81 does not contain enough detailed information for the court to make a decision on how to split your finances. A much more detailed form, Form E, is needed in these circumstances.
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