Consent Orders resources are available in several formats.
What is a Consent Order?
Consent Orders are Orders of the Family Court based on an agreement reached between separating relationship partners or co-parents (and sometimes other people with parental responsibility)
You do not have to go to court to get consent orders, although you have to apply for the orders from the court.
Key features of a Consent Order
They need … Consent.
If you and your co-parent or former partner can not agree then you need to try a process that will help you to reach agreement.
Interact Support provides:
- Family Dispute Resolution – you need some help to negotiate
- High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution – video mediation and video shuttle mediation where there are family violence orders or the fear of family violence
- Mediator Facilitated Negotiation – a confidential negotiation process for when there is no point / need for direct or same time communication.
All of these processes are designed to help people to negotiate an agreement about parenting and / or property suitable to be made into legally enforceable Consent Orders.
DIY, DWU and DFU Options
1. Family Court Do It Yourself (DIY) Process
The Family Court has a DIY process for Consent Order applications which you can find out more about here – http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/forms-and-fees/court-forms/diy-kits/kit-diy-application-consent-orders
The staff at the family court can not give you legal advice or help with the process and many people find it too hard to do themselves.
2. Interact Support Done With You (DWU) Process
Interact Support has a done with you process where we help you with the process of getting what you have agreed into wording that the court will accept and getting the application completed.
This usually includes helping you to negotiate the things you didn’t think about in mediation and changing the language from that you will have from a mediated agreement which is written for you to understand and the language of a court order which is written in a way that the court understands.
The application and draft orders are then reviewed and updated by a Family Lawyer prior to them being ready to sign and submit. This lawyer can not give to people independent legal advice so you are advised to get legal advice on the Final Proposed Orders.
Fee for Service Structure:
- Parenting Only – $1,500
- Property Only – $1,500 if no transfers, superannuation equalization
- Parenting and Property – $1,500
- plus $300 for any superannuation splits, property title transfers etc
3. Lawyer Done For You (DFU) Process
You can also ask a lawyer to help you negotiate and document the Consent Orders.
Some will offer you a fixed fee e.g $4,000 to write up the orders and others will charge you an hourly rate based on how long it takes them.
One lawyer can draw up the Consent Orders but you should both seek legal advice from different lawyers. Remember that lawyers can only ethically act for one person if they are providing advice so the advice of the lawyer drawing up the Consent Orders may be in the best interests of their client and not contain all the information the other person needs to know.
What is involved in applying for Consent Orders?
An application and proposed orders have to be completed.
The information required in the application depends on the type of orders you are requesting.
Are there any time restrictions?
Application can be filed any time after separation but should to be filed within 12 months of a divorce or 2 years of the breakdown of a de facto relationship (s44 of FLA) if parties wish to seek orders from the court.
If you are seeking orders for property settlement or maintenance and more than 12 months has lapsed since your divorce became final, you should read and consider s44(3) of the Family Law Act. This may apply and if so, you must consent to the Court making the proposed property and maintenance orders. If filing beyond the time frame, you need to seek leave to file the application. Leave can be requested as one of the orders sought.
If your de-facto relationship broke down more than two years before the date of filing this application, you will have to file by post or at a Family Law Registry (see Unable to eFile below). If you are seeking for property settlement/maintenance orders, you should also file an Application in a Case + Affidavit seeking the Court’s permission to bring an application for property settlement/maintenance seeking leave for the application to be heard out of time.
How do I choose which court to file my application in?
Consent orders applications can only be filed in the Family Court of Australia.
What will happen after my Consent Order Application is filed with the Court?
If you posted or filed an application for consent orders at a registry, each party will receive a sealed copy of the photocopied application back after filing, for their records. The original application will be kept by the Court on file.
If you eFiled an application for consent orders, you will be able to go into the Documents filed section and print a sealed copy for your record. Go into the section and click on the icon to print out a sealed copy.
The application will be considered and the parties will be notified if the consent orders are made by receipt of the sealed orders.
If the orders are not made, the parties will receive notification as why the orders were not made. If you wish to follow up on your consent orders application you should email the family law registry where the application was filed.. If you receive notification that the consent orders have not been made by the Court you should obtain legal advice.
Legislation that might help you if you like to read legislation
- Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 – SCHEDULE 8 – (Removal of references to residence and contact)
- Parenting orders legislation
- Financial orders legislation (other than child maintenance) for de facto couples
- Financial orders legislation (other than child maintenance) for married couples
If it all sounds a bit much get in touch for an obligation free chat about getting Consent Orders.
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