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Property consent orders

Ultimately, dividing property is all about equity and fairness.

Separated or Divorced?

We’re here to support you
  • Have you separated and need to finalise your property relationship
  • Have you and your ex-partner already reached an agreement on splitting your property?
  • Do you need to document the agreement so you can move forward with your life separately?

Property settlement agreement

We always recommend settling amicably with your former partner through a financial agreement if possible. Coming together to make mutually beneficial arrangements around asset division can save you time and much emotional pain.

Financial agreements must be organised within a year of your divorce or two years after a de facto relationship breakdown unless the court recognises special circumstances warrant a time extension.

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What are consent orders?

Property Consent Orders

A property consent order is a financial settlement between ex-partners approved by the family court and then made into a court order. Consent orders set up for property disputes have the same legal standing as any other court order.

The family court must recognise that the property agreement is fair before making a consent order. The guidelines set out in the Family Law Act determine what constitutes fairness.

The family court generally attempts to ensure there isn’t a need to come back and dispute when making consent orders on property. Therefore, it is worth getting a good family lawyer to work with upfront.

Contesting consent orders

Consent orders are difficult to remove once granted. After all, the court doesn’t want court orders contested frivolously. However, you may have a consent order set aside for the following reasons.

There was a fraud (dishonesty)

Both parties to a consent order must make full and frank disclosure of all assets and liabilities to the court and each other, regardless of when the party obtained them. Failure to meet your duty of disclosure by hiding assets or not declaring debts is a fraud on the court and will result in the court revoking the consent orders.

Hardship regarding children's care, welfare and development

A party may request that the court change or withdraw financial orders due to hardship from changes to their child’s circumstances. For example, a child may develop a health condition requiring expensive medical treatment that would cause the party significant financial hardship under the current orders.

The orders are impractical to carry out (not just inconvenient)

Family law places a high burden on parties trying to contest a consent order. As such, arguing an order is inconvenient or challenging to carry out is not an excuse. However, you may have a case if you can prove an order is unworkable due to changed circumstances.

For example, if one party declares bankruptcy, a trustee vested with their property may apply to set aside an order. A creditor may also apply for a withdrawal due to an order impeding their ability to recover a debt.

4-Step consent order process

The court uses a 4-step process to decide on a consent order's appropriate form.

Step 1: Identify asset pool

The court must identify all the assets and liabilities in the marital asset pool. Any failure to fully disclose all relevant information at this stage by either party has serious legal consequences and will nullify the order.

Step 2: Determine contributions

At this stage, the court will determine the relative contributions of each party to the marriage. This calculation includes assets brought into the marriage and even assets received after separation.

Financial contributions are not the only important considerations. Non-financial contributions also count to protect the interests of a party with fewer financial means. Non-financial contributions may include child-rearing, homemaking, and renovations to the marital home.

Step 3: Future needs

The court order must account for the parties’ future needs. Here, the court will consider as many factors as it deems relevant, including:

  • Future earning capacity;

  • Child-rearing obligations;

  • Age and health;

  • The financial conditions of any new relationship.

Step 4: A just and equitable outcome

The final step is for the court to review the order and ensure its practical effect is just and equitable for both parties. Without this condition, the court will revise the order.

This dedication to a fair division of property makes consent orders stricter than a binding financial agreement which offers spouses more latitude over what terms they set out.

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Consent orders vs binding financial agreements

Consent orders and binding financial agreements are both legally binding financial arrangements but have different requirements. The primary difference is that consent orders involve applying to the court, which means that the order must meet the court’s strict standard of fairness.

Parties establish binding financial agreements without the court’s oversight. However, to make such an agreement a legal contract, both parties must receive independent legal advice and certify that they understand the agreement’s implications on their interests. Without the requirement for a just and equitable result, binding financial agreements can be more flexible but potentially create an unfair outcome.

Consent orders or binding financial agreements
Shanahan-Family-Property-Consent-Order-Book

Work with us today

Property Consent orders protect spouses seeking a divorce by enforcing your right to a fair property division. Obtain legal advice from a specialist family lawyer before signing property consent orders or entering any property agreement. Anyone looking to secure court orders must follow the application procedure correctly.

Shanahan Family Law will ensure you receive the financial support you need to move forward with your life after filing for divorce. Contact us today for an initial consultation to understand your options.

Testimonials from some of our happy clients

All 5 star reviews

Robert Johnston
Robert Johnston
2023-12-18
I was very happy with my experience at Shanahan Family Law. Danyelle guided me through the property settlement and a satisfactory outcome was reached. This was achieved without going to mediation or court.
Diana Homer
Diana Homer
2023-09-28
Very professional, supportive and respectful in all communications and responsibilities. I found their team very patient when challenges occured and kept me informed at all times. Highly recommend them, for personal legal requirements.
Jodie Hickson
Jodie Hickson
2023-08-31
Many thanks to the hard working team at Shanahan law. All such professionals.
Trace Mcnamara
Trace Mcnamara
2023-08-30
I was pleasantly surprised from the very beginning with my experience with shanahans family law ,from the reception staff at shanahans ,who were lovely and tentative and at how comfortable and at ease Danielle O’Connor from shanahans family law made me feel from Our very first phone consult to attending court with me each time , Danielle constantly reassured me that she had things taken care of and not to worry about anything ,she kept me calm and relaxed about things at a time when my anxiety level was very high , but certainly not after meeting up with Danielle each time , Danielle was always punctual bright and cheerful and Danielles compassion for her clients shines through ,her passion for her work is very obvious , Danielle ALWAYS went out of her way to reassure me everything was ok like a long lost friend not just once but every single time without fail ,Danielle is just so lovely to be around her compassion, personality ,demeanour and easy going nature makes it a pleasant experience just being around her ,watching Danielle work with such competency ,multi tasking whilst also listening to me at the same time was also very reassuring , her interactions with the magistrate ,other solicitors and the way she Carries herself is also inspiring to watch ,I could honestly not recommend Danielle O’Connor at shanahans enough,she even took the time to come in for my case alone whilst she was on a well deserved leave break, wich I felt terrible about but am more than grateful for as it made all the difference to my case, even though our case is now over with an amazing win ( THANKYOU DANIELLE ) I feel like I am missing a friend. If you ever need a solicitor and are very stressed about a case Danielle O’Connor is definitely who I would recommend, Danielle was also very understanding of monetary issues and did her best at all times to keep costs at a minimum for me wich I also appreciated a great deal , also I would also like to mention Travis Terracall who was also very compassionate and caring and seemed to understand my situation, I wanted to let Travis know that I appreciated his empathy towards my situation at the time . It certainly helped me. If I could have give 100 stars I would . I hope both you and you partner have a very beautiful relaxed and lovely well deserved holiday break Danielle, I’m so sorry It was interrupted due to my case and again Thank you so much not just for your amazing work but your beautiful kindness and compassion . And just being you ! with much gratitude Tracy McNamara 🌸🫶😊
David Fenech
David Fenech
2023-08-28
Highly recommend Shanahan Family Law and Lindsay Nicholson for all your family law needs.
Nathan Batley
Nathan Batley
2022-08-11
I found this firm excellent to deal with. I had received some exorbitant quotes for executing what was really quite a straightforward matter in my case. Shanahans were prompt, professional and fairly priced. I've was very happy with their service.
Chris Mehonoshen
Chris Mehonoshen
2022-04-05
Having experienced the sunny disposition of Danielle at Shanahan Family Law I can say that anyone would be in good hands. Danielle is very understanding and shows great insight in analysing the situation and cutting to the heart of the matter. Both Danielle and Shanahan Law are very professional and respond promptly in a care manner. Very happy with my choice there.
Nicole Mcmullen
Nicole Mcmullen
2021-12-14
I can highly recommend Luke and his associates for their professionalism and thoughtfulness. I really didn't know what to expect when I needed the advice and assistance of a solicitor, but Luke has been extremely patient and kind in leading me through this process.

Joint applications for divorce

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