What is a Consent Orders?

A consent order is simply an order that the Family Court enters with your consent. When you and your spouse reach an agreement about financial or parenting issues, you can apply to the court to turn your agreement into a court order. A consent order gives your agreement the same binding effect as an order that a judge would make after a trial.

Why Would I Need Consent Orders?

If you know your former spouse will honor any deal you make, the agreement may be all you need. But people do not always keep their promises. By incorporating the terms of your agreement into a consent order, you have the enforcement power of the court available to help you if you ever need it. That way, if your former spouse stops making spousal maintenance payments that he or she promised to provide, you can ask the court to force your former spouse to resume those payments. The court can coerce compliance by punishing disobedience of its orders.

What Issues Can a Consent Orders Cover?

Financial orders and parenting orders that a court could enter after a trial can be issued by consent. Those orders typically address:

  • Where a child will live
  • How much time the child will spend with the other parent
  • The kinds of contact the other parent can have with the child
  • How decisions will be made about the child’s healthcare and education
  • Payment of spousal maintenance
  • Any future division of property that needs to be completed, including division of superannuation plans

Consent orders can also be used to change an existing court order. They cannot be used to establish or change child support.

Consent Orders are a Written Agreement Approved by the Court

It is very simple to ask for consent orders from the court. An application for consent orders may be initiated by filling up the application form and indicating the arrangements made by the parties. The form must then be filed with the family registry and filing fees paid unless the parties are exempted from paying the fees. Read the full article Consent Orders are a written agreement approved by the Court.

When You Reach an Agreement Your Lawyer Will Draft Consent Orders

Lawyers would prefer their clients to use consent orders because these are legally enforceable. When parties reach an agreement, their lawyers will draft consent orders which will be filed in court at the Registry together with certain documents as attachments.

Application for Consent Orders

The first step is actually for the couple to meet and talk. Once the couple agrees about the division of property, spouse maintenance, splitting of superannuation, parenting, they can go to court to formalize that agreement. By doing so, the couple avoids a long and tedious court battle.

Consent Orders v Binding Financial Agreements

A Consent Order is used to finalise your matter in respect of property settlement. There are two approaches to achieve this – consent orders or a binding financial agreement.This paper covers the differences between them and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Read full article