You’ve done the hard work of sitting down with your ex-spouse to come to an agreement on how you want to divide up your assets (to complete the settlement of your property) and/or future childcare arrangements for your children. So, what happens next? To formally divide your assets and implement your agreement, the usual next step is to draw up a Consent Order. A Consent Order is a written agreement between a former spouse approved by the Australian Family Court. Once Consent Orders are made by the courts, they have legal force. Consent Orders may be made in connection with childcare matters, financial matters, or both.
Benefits of a Family Court Approval Order
There are real advantages to having your agreement written as a Consent Order and registering it in Family Court including:
- certainty about what will happen to your assets and liabilities;
- exemption from stamp duty when transferring real estate;
- financial relationship finality
- regulations that are legally binding and binding.
With respect to the division of property, the approval order will ensure that:
- your consent is definitive, enforceable, and final;
- neither party can change their mind and then renege on the agreement;
- your property, assets and future income are protected & safe;
With respect to childcare matters, the consent order will ensure that:
- your agreement is binding and enforceable;
- there are serious consequences if either party does not comply with the agreement;
- there is a certainty, for both parties and the children, about the arrangements for the future.
Under family law, written or oral agreements regarding financial matters and property settlements are not legally enforceable (and no one has to follow them) unless and until they are officially registered by the Family Court as “Consent Orders”. Even if you write down your understanding and watch the document, it will mean nothing when and if things change at a later date unless you go through a formal process. Bad luck if someone breaks the agreement and you want to enforce the terms you agreed to in a friendly spirit when you parted.
This doesn’t mean you have to go through the hassle and expense of hiring a lawyer to write your agreement. If this is a complex arrangement, you may want to shift responsibility to a lawyer).
If an order is made without the need to go through a trial and to be decided by the Court but is made based on an agreement between the parties, it is called a Consent Order. Once an Order is made, it has the same effect as if it was made by a Judge after a Court hearing.
If your separation is amicable and, for the most part, you and your ex-spouse agree on resolving property and children issues, Kate Austin Family Lawyers can help you resolve your issues through a Consent Order.