Consent orders are agreements made between separated or divorced couples made by the Family Courts which finalise property and parenting matters on a final basis.
Consent orders ensure that the matters in the orders are final and binding and there are limited circumstances in which a Court may set aside consent orders.
Consent order applications are generally a less costly option than financial agreements. Consent orders, once made by the court are enforceable by the Court upon application by an aggrieved party. The use of consent order applications means that you both don’t have to have your own lawyer although of course each of you should obtain independent advice. Orders made by consent attract stamp duty exemptions where transfers of property are the subject of the orders.
Property consent orders – The making of consent orders about property division is not an automatic process just by filing documents with the court. The Court (by way of a Registrar of the Family Court) must assess whether the terms of the orders being sought are just and equitable in accordance with the provisions set out the Family Law Act.
The documents filed with the court identify the assets to be dealt with and contain valuations which the parties generally agree to. When arriving at a determination of whether arrangements in an order are just and equitable the Court has to take into account a number of factors set out in the Family Law Act in relation to the contributions, both contributions being financial, non-financial and as homemaker and parent, made by the parties at the commencement during and even after separation. Once that assessment of contributions has been made the Court has to consider the future needs of the parties including the current financial differences between them, the arrangements for the children, and any other fact that the court might determine to be relevant. You can read more about those provisions in the Family Law Act at our Property Settlement page.
The Family Law Act’s provisions in relation to property settlement do not determine the entitlements of parties on a purely mathematical approach and for that reason if the matter is determined by a Judge the outcomes are not usually precisely predictable. It is usual for experienced family lawyers to give a range of outcomes rather than a precise outcome because of that reason. That’s just one of the reasons why an agreement between the parties is far more preferable than a decision by Judge.
Whilst it is possible to prepare your own documents from information you may be able to find on the Internet the outcome may be to your financial detriment. It’s not just a matter of form filling it is understanding the effect of the orders which are sought in the application to the court, that is the effect on taxation issues, superannuation issues and your future financial responsibilities. We are often called upon to unravel difficulties where people have created their own orders only to find they don’t mean what they thought they meant and even worse, they are not enforceable by the court because they are not appropriately worded.
We offer fixed fees for property consent orders preparation and lodgement with the court and as part of that fixed fee will :
take your instructions;
give you a letter of advice as to whether the court is likely to make the orders you have agreed upon;
whether the orders are in your best interests;
an assessment of the possible outcomes if a court were called upon to make a decision under the provisions of the Family Law Act.
We can help you create your consent order or we can do everything for you.