Consent Orders in Family Law

The breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship needn’t be a stressful, expensive, and drawn-out scenario. Where the separating parties can come to an agreement, a Consent Order will make these terms legally binding – once approved by the family court. A Consent Order can cover the division of assets, debts, and obligations as agreed to by both parties. This can include finances such as savings, investments, and pensions as well as property, spousal maintenance, parenting arrangements, and child support payments.

Once an agreement has been reached, a Consent Order can be submitted to the family court for approval without the need for either of the parties to attend. If accepted by the court, the Consent Order will be formalised and enforced.

Parenting Consent Orders

A primary concern for all separating families is arrangements for the care and welfare of their children. For separating couples who can come to an agreement on parenting matters, a Parenting Consent Order is a great option to make these agreements legally binding.

Once all parties have agreed on the division of parental responsibility (custody) and any support payments or division of assets, a Parenting Consent Order can be drafted with the help of an experienced family lawyer.

Once the family court is satisfied that the Consent Order is in the best interests of the child/children, it will be approved and become legally binding and enforceable. Any party that does not comply with the order will be considered in breach and may be sanctioned by the court.

Property Consent Orders

The family home and investment properties are often among the largest assets for separating couples. There may also be concerns about the division of debts and loan repayments associated with said properties. Where separating couples can come to an agreement on property settlement, a property consent order is an excellent option to get this issue dealt with efficiently and effectively. 

A property consent order (often achieved through Family Mediation) allows both parties to come to a fair and equitable resolution, without the financial and emotional cost of having the issue decided by the courts. Once an agreement has been reached a consent order will allow the division of property to be formally recognised by the Family Court and once approved, becomes legally binding. This includes any provisions for the divisions of debts associated with the property and any maintenance or support plans that have been agreed to as part of the arrangement.

Financial Consent Orders

It is important to deal with the division of finances between separating married or de facto couples as quickly and efficiently as possible, to allow both parties to move on with their lives. A Financial Consent Order allows couples to achieve this, without the burdens associated with having the matter decided by the family court system.

Financial Consent Orders represent an agreement (often achieved through Family Mediation) made by both parties to the division of some, or all of their combined financial assets. This can include the division of savings, investments, pensions, superannuation, and also property and any future payments or maintenance plans.

As with all Consent Orders, once a Financial Consent Order is approved by the family court it becomes legally binding. Before approval, the court must be satisfied that the arrangement is fair and equitable for all parties.

In some circumstances, a Binding Financial Agreement may be preferable. Speak to our team for advice on your specific situation.

Experienced Guidance and Advice on Consent Order Applications

As highly experienced family lawyers, East Coast Law can provide legal guidance and advice in the negotiation of Consent Orders with your former partner. Once an agreement has been reached that all parties believe is fair and equitable, we will draft the consent order and submit it, along with all relevant documentation before the Family Court on your behalf.

While not technically necessary, it is highly recommended you engage a specialist family lawyer in both the negotiation and drafting process of your consent order application to ensure you are legally covered and your rights are protected.
Remember, once approved consent orders are legally binding. Challenging them may be expensive, time-consuming, and highly stressful, so it’s best to get it right from the start!
We offer affordable and approachable law services and will be happy to assist with your consent order applications. With offices in Newcastle, Toukley, Maitland, Edgeworth & Port Macquarie our team are here to help you navigate separation and divorce, offering care, compassion, and certainty during a difficult time.
Speak to our family lawyers and discuss your options for moving forward
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