A consent order is a legally binding agreement between two parties that are separating and wish to divide the marital assets in a particular way, and this agreement is then put forward to the Australian family court for approval. The consent order can contain details about the division of property, vehicles and other assets, plus it could contain information about the children, usually stating custody and visitation rights.
Less Costly Than a Court Decision
If the family court is left to decide the division of assets and child custody arrangements, this will cost more than if the court simply takes a look at your prepared consent order and agrees to this. If you search online, you will find family lawyers who offer fixed price consent orders, which is by far the best solution if both parties are in agreement.
Typical Inclusions of a Consent Order
The following could make up a consent order:
- Who the children will spend time with, including location and frequency.
- Who has parental responsibility for the children.
- If permission is granted for children to travel overseas.
- Who gets to keep the marital home.
- Details of other assets and who will be the owners.
- Whether or not one party is to receive a share of the other party’s superannuation.
- Details of any cash settlements.
In the event both parties are in full agreement to the terms of the consent order, your family lawyer would present the agreement to the family court on your behalf and once the court has agreed, the document becomes legally binding. The great thing about fixed price consent orders is that you know the cost in advance and will not receive a nasty shock when you get the legal bill.
If an agreement cannot be finalised, you basically have three options, which are as follows:
- Continue Negotiation – If both parties genuinely wish to come to an agreement over property and child custody, they can usually come to an agreement with a little give and take.
- Start Afresh – In some cases, the old agreement is scrapped and with the help of both party’s lawyers, a new agreement can be formed, and after some more negotiation, hopefully, an agreement can be reached.
- Go to Court – This is the last resort and should it reach this point, your family lawyer would represent you, trying for the most favourable outcome.
If you and your partner are soon to separate, why not talk to a family lawyer about a fixed price consent order, which will give both parties a fair settlement.