Consent Orders & Settlements
What is a consent order and is it the only option when ending a relationship?
When a relationship ends, you will need to reach an agreement with your ex partner on financial and/or parenting matters so that each party knows where they stand. Our family lawyers provide you with advice on the types of agreements available and on how to document and formalise these agreements. Every relationship and family is different and at Mason Lawyers we consider our client’s individual circumstances to provide advice tailored to your unique situation. The types of agreements available include:-
- Consent Orders
- Binding Financial Agreements
- Parenting Plans
Consent Orders are made when two people submit an agreement about their financial and/or parenting matters to the court. Once it has been approved and sealed by the court, it is binding.
There are pros and cons to using consent orders. Our family lawyers will examine your situation and provide you with advice about which options will suit you.
Consent Orders are generally the most preferred option. They have a number of benefits including:
- The consent order document is reviewed by the court, and if approved, is made into Orders of the Court.
- Orders of the Court have enforcement mechanisms conferred on them pursuant to the Family Law Act.
- You can finalise both property and children’s matters in one document, which often leads to significant costs savings.
- The other party is not forced to obtain independent legal advice if they choose not to do so.
The negatives of consent orders include:
- While we can prepare your application for consent orders quickly, we cannot control how long the court may take to make the orders. It is not uncommon for the court to take two months to make the orders sought.
- While independent legal advice is not obligatory, we do encourage the other party to see their own solicitor about the document. When both parties have been independently advised, the agreement is less vulnerable to attack in the future.
It is a requirement that Consent Orders are just and equitable.
At Mason Lawyers, our family law solicitors can provide advice and help you to negotiate consent orders with your former spouse or partner that are fair and that will be approved by the court. We are here to help you record your agreement and take some of the stress out of the process.
Binding Financial Agreements
Binding Financial Agreements (BFA) can be entered into at any point in your relationship. Before you enter into a marriage, or de facto relationship, during the relationship or marriage, or after you separation.
Some important features of a BFA include:
- Strict compliance with the legislation is required in order to achieve a BFA that is actually binding.
- Both parties must obtain independent legal advice before signing the agreement.
- Once the Agreement is signed, it is enforceable. There is no requirement for the Agreement to be filed with, or reviewed by the courts.
There are a number of cases where the validity of a binding financial agreement has been challenged, so whilst they may seem like a more attractive option than formal Consent Orders, it is important to obtain advice about what is most suitable in your circumstances.
Binding Financial Agreements can be entered into at any point in your relationship
A parenting plan is a more informal way of recording your parenting agreement. It is not enforceable in the way that consent orders are, however the parenting plan may become an important piece of evidence in the event that either party departs from any agreement.
Parenting plans are generally recommended for parties who get along reasonably well, and just require some structure for their future parenting plans.
Tailored advice each step of the way
Why choose our family lawyers?
Family law cases are dynamic and diverse, and require personalised advice and attention. Our family lawyers will provide you with tailored advice each step of the way.
Our family lawyers have dealt with a wide variety of complex family law issues, including matters involving:-
- Separation where one or both parties owned a business
- Family violence, including coercive and controlling abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse
- Large property pools with complex assets
- Hair follicle, urinalysis, and blood testing, for drugs of abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, and performance enhancing drugs such as steroids
- Parenting after separation and behaviour change courses
- DNA testing for parentage
- Recovery orders
- Separation where the parties have significantly different earning capacities.
- Relocation, within Australia and abroad
- Grandparents and non-parent carers
- Children and parents with special needs and/or mental health issues
Contact us to talk to one of our friendly family lawyers today.
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