WHAT ARE CONSENT ORDERS?
The breakdown of a marriage can be a very stressful time. Like most couples wanting to separate, or having just separated, making arrangements for the care of any children and reaching financial settlement are likely to be your top priorities. If you are able to reach agreement about these issues, then you can save yourself a considerable amount of time and potentially thousands of dollars in legal fees. You can also lessen the stress and uncertainty associated with family breakdown. The Family law system in Australia is designed to encourage parties to reach agreement for these reasons, and the Family Courts will not intervene unless parties can demonstrate that they have attempted to negotiate an agreement.
If you have reached agreement on how your assets and liabilities are to be divided and how your children will be looked after, then you should document your arrangements. The best way to do this is to apply to the Court for Consent Orders. The application can be made without you having to attend court. If your application is successful, a court order will be made in the same terms as your agreement. This order will have the same legal effect as if it had been made by the court after a hearing. A Consent order is binding on the parties and can be enforced in the event that one party breaches the terms of the order.
Benefits of using Consent Orders
The end of a marriage can be a bewildering time because the breakdown of a family unit can mean a great deal of uncertainty about parenting arrangements and the parties’ financial future. Many people mistakenly believe that they will have little control over these arrangements and may face crippling legal costs in the process. If you are able to reach an agreement about your arrangements by negotiation, you can retain control over your situation, achieve some certainty about your future and save yourself thousands of dollars in legal fees.
The benefits of applying for a Consent Order to formalise this agreement are as follows:
- You are able to transfer the title of real estate between the parties to the orders without paying stamp duty.
- You can split superannuation - transfer a portion of super from one fund to another fund.
- You do not have to go to court and avoid the uncertainty and stress of litigation.
- You retain control over your situation.
- You avoid unnecessary animosity and resentment which is particularly important if you continue to share parenting responsibilities.
- You do not waste the family resources and assets on legal fees.
- You can both have peace of mind and move on from a difficult time.
- You can also have peace of mind that as a court order, your agreement can be enforced and both of you must therefore stick to your agreement.
The only other alternative way to formally document the division of assets is through a certified Binding Financial Agreement.
For more information on Consent Orders in Australia call AussieLegal on 1300 728 200