The first step is actually for the couple to meet and talk. Once the couple agrees about 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.
Through the Family Court’s Consent Order Application Kit, a consent order can be obtained by simply filling out the forms therein and submit them to the court. There are some important points to remember about consent orders:
The primary consideration for property and maintenance agreements is that the terms must be just and equitable. As for the parenting agreements, the paramount concern is the best interests of the child. If the court is satisfied that the agreement has met the criteria it will issue the order which will be mailed to each party or to their lawyers.
This eBook explains the advantages of consent orders and describes the process of applying for one
The order which is basically the agreement submitted by the couple is now legally binding and enforceable. This means that each of the parties is obligated to comply with the terms in the order. An application can be made to the court if the terms of the order are breached.
Consent orders are extremely advantageous because it makes the agreement between the parties final and binding. Furthermore, a consent order serves as a protection from future attempts at property settlement. Usually the only grounds the court will consider to overturn an order is when there is fraud, injustice or harm to the child. Other than those grounds, the order is binding.
While a party can independently accomplish an application for a consent order it is always best to hire the services of a lawyer. A lawyer can aid in the drafting of an agreement and seeing to it that the interests of a party are taken into account. After all, once approved that agreement becomes binding.