Andrew Meehan, Senior Solicitor, Mills & Reeve
Virtually every consent order dealing with the financial arrangements on a divorce will include various undertakings providing for certain things to occur that the court is unable to order. Common examples of such undertakings are those requiring one spouse to take out a life policy or indemnify the other in relation to outgoings. However, the case of L v L  1 FLR 26, which was heard by Munby J in 2006 but not reported until 2008, reminds practitioners of the need to proceed with care when negotiating a financial settlement and in drafting a consent order which may contain undertakings extending beyond the court's powers to make such an order. This is particularly so in light of the reminder given in L v L of the fact that an undertaking, once given, can still be varied by the court in subsequent proceedings. Additionally, there remain problems with the enforcement of undertakings.
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