Are you separated and need to finalise your property settlement? When you and your ex-partner have agreed on splitting your property, you might consider using DIY consent orders. These are legally binding agreements that will enable you to proceed separately, allowing both parties to progress with their lives independently.
- Consent orders, including DIY consent orders, provide a legally binding way to organise parenting and property matters.
- The Court’s four-step process governs property consent orders.
- Parenting consent orders prioritise the best interests of the child.
- DIY consent orders are more accessible following the Federal Circuit and Family Court merger.
- The application process may involve various documents.
- Our consent order package with fixed fees delivers excellent value for our clients.
Documenting your agreement
You can end your financial relationship through a consent order approved by a court or a binding financial agreement. Either option has the same effect as a court order made by a judicial officer after a court hearing, but the upside is you will not need to go to court. Once the consent order is signed, you agree with the orders and will follow the terms stated in the document.
Consent orders about the property can include the transfer or sale of property and superannuation, as well as outline details of your separation and divorce. Consent orders can benefit former couples by removing the need to pay stamp duty on transactions.
For those using a private written agreement, you and your ex-partner must obtain legal advice before signing for the contract to be legally enforceable.
Consent orders, like DIY consent orders, are legally binding agreements setting the terms for parenting arrangements or property settlements. They must meet certain requirements before the Court grants them, often outlined in a consent order template family court.
Property consent orders
Property orders cover the entire marital asset pool, including any liabilities. The Family Law Act 1975 sets out a four-step process the Court must use to assess these orders.
The Court must value the asset pool. This requires both parties to disclose their financial position fully. Failure to do so may result in an adjustment to the settlement against the non-disclosing party. In certain instances, the non-disclosing party may face a fine or even imprisonment for contempt of court.
The Court will determine each party’s contribution to the marriage. Financial and non-financial contributions are considered. Childrearing, housekeeping, renovations to the home etc., are all relevant.
The Court will make adjustments based on the parties’ future needs. Many factors can affect this, including:
- Access to financial resources;
- Health and age;
- Employment prospects;
- Child care obligations;
- Earning capacity.
The Court will decide if the proposed settlement is “fair and equitable” for both parties. If this requirement isn’t met, further adjustments may be made, or the application may be rejected.
Parenting consent orders
When considering parenting consent orders, the Court is concerned only with the child’s best interests. According to the Family Law Act, the two primary considerations are:
- The benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents;
- The child must be protected from experiencing or being exposed to family violence or abuse.
Other considerations may include:
- The child’s views if they’re mature enough;
- The extent to which each parent has fulfilled their parental responsibilities;
- The practical difficulty of the child having a relationship with both parents;
- Any family violence involving the child or other family members.
DIY consent orders
Since the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court were merged, court processes were streamlined. One of the critical motivations for doing this was to make it easier to access the justice system. Previously, litigants often had difficulty understanding which court to apply to for orders. Now, there is one point of entry for all applications. There are also specially designed DIY consent order kits, including DIY consent order forms for people wanting to file applications for parenting orders or property matters alone.
The primary documents you must complete to file for consent orders are:
- The consent order application form;
- The proposed orders.
The proposed orders set out the terms the parties are formalising. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia provides a proposed orders template as part of its consent order application form.
Depending on the order, you may need to include other documents in your submission, such as:
- A Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk of Family Violence as part of a parenting order application;
- If splitting superannuation, a letter from the super fund agreeing to comply with a superannuation split;
Both parties must sign the application and proposed orders and pay a filing fee. If it is a de facto relationship, you may need to include a certificate of registration acknowledging the relationship.
Before it approves consent orders, the Court may ask you to address any concerns by issuing a notice.
Our fixed fee consent orders package
Shanahan Family Law understands break-ups are difficult, and we always provide legal advice. Our law firm has designed a fixed fee property consent order package to help parties with an agreement save on costs and move on with their financial journey stress-free. You can finalise your property settlement with this package without unnecessary legal fees. With the support of our expert family law team, you can achieve family court approval for your agreement.
Our fixed fee Property Consent Order package includes the following:
- The Property Application kit for you and your ex-partner to document all the relevant information required
- A consultation with our expert team to discuss your family law matter so you have the peace of mind that any agreement you’ve finalised is an agreement that you are happy with
- A Review and preparation of your draft application to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Courts
- Partner witness and signing services
- The Court filing of your final application
- A Copy of certified Court Orders gets emailed directly to you.
If you need more information, please get in touch with us at (07) 5408 4470 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org