When it comes to navigating the complexities of family law in Australia, one term you might encounter is “consent order.” But what exactly are consent orders, and why are they important? Let’s break it down in plain English.
What is a Consent Order?
A ‘consent order’ or ‘consent orders’ are legal agreements filed with the court that relate to various aspects of Family Law, such as child custody, property division, and financial support. What sets them apart is that they are agreed upon by all parties involved without the need for a court trial. In other words, they are a way for families to resolve disputes and make decisions about their future without the stress of a courtroom battle.
The Power of Agreement
Imagine you and your former partner have decided on arrangements for your children or how to divide your assets after a separation or divorce. Instead of battling it out in court, you both agree on the terms. This is where consent orders come into play. They allow you, with the assistance of an experienced family lawyer, to formalise your agreement legally without the need for fully contested court proceedings.
Why Choose Consent Orders?
- Less Stress: Going to court can be emotionally draining and time-consuming. Consent orders provide a less adversarial and more amicable way to resolve family law matters.
- Certainty: Once the court approves your consent orders, they become legally binding. This means all parties must adhere to the agreed-upon terms.
- Flexibility: Consent orders can cover a wide range of issues, from child custody and visitation rights to spousal support and property settlements. This flexibility allows you to address all your concerns in a single document.
The Process of Consent Orders
Getting consent orders in place involves several steps:
1. Drafting the orders
First, you and your former partner, along with your respective legal representatives, will draft the consent orders. These documents will clearly outline the terms of your agreement.
2. Filing with the court
Once the orders are prepared, they are lodged with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) for approval.
3. Court review
A judicial officer, usually a Judicial Registrar, will review the consent orders to ensure they are fair and reasonable. If the court finds the orders appropriate, they will be approved and become legally binding.
Both parties must adhere to the consent orders. Failure to do so could result in legal consequences. These orders can be changed if both parties agree to modifications in the future. This flexibility is especially important as family circumstances can evolve over time.
What Should I Do Next?
Consent orders in family law provide a path for separating or divorcing couples in Australia to reach amicable agreements without the stress and expense of a court battle. They offer a way to formalise your decisions legally, ensuring stability and peace of mind for all parties involved.
Remember, while consent orders offer many advantages, it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Our experienced family lawyers have extensive experience preparing consent orders for clients. If you are considering entering into consent orders, or if your ex-partner has suggested that you enter into them, call our office on (02) 4943 3988. We are always here to help, and have years of experience assisting people in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region.