Financial & Parenting Matters
Expert Advice On Consent Orders In Family Law
Once you and your ex-partner have reached an agreement on property settlement matters, parenting matters, or both, one of the ways to formalize your agreement is via Consent Orders.
Consent Orders is the document that contains the terms of your agreement in the form of a Court Order. This will give you finality and the ability to enforce your Orders if necessary.
You need to do the following to get Consent Orders:
- reach agreement with your ex-partner;
- prepare an Application for Consent Orders;
- prepare Consent Orders;
- if you are splitting superannuation from one partner to the other, you will need to provide the Court with evidence of the superannuation interest and that the Trustee of the fund has been given procedural fairness;
- for some parenting orders, you may need evidence about why the proposed Orders are in the children’s best interests;
- both parties will need to sign the documents;
- the documents will need to be lodged with the Court and the relevant Court filing fees paid.
Once the documents are filed with the Court they are usually processed by the Court within 3 to 8 weeks.
You will need to comply with all obligations in your Orders, within the timeframes stipulated. The date that the Orders are approved by the Court is the date that all timeframes in the Orders is calculated from.
This will usually include orders such as:
- transfer of house/refinance of mortgage;
- transfer of shares in business;
- extraction steps from trusts/businesses;
- sale of house;
- transfer of car ownership;
- superannuation split;
- division of joint bank accounts.
There are a number of reasons why it is important that you get Consent Orders in relation to property settlement including:
- to sever your financial ties to your ex-partner and avoid a future claim by him/her;
- for stamp duty exemption (e.g. transfer house/car/shares);
- to attract Capital Gains Tax roll-over relief;
- to enable you to split superannuation;
- to ensure that you are protected against unexpected tax/financial outcomes; and
- to avoid being liable for your ex-partners debts.
There are a number of reasons why it is important that you get Consent Orders in relation to parenting including:
- so that you have binding and enforceable agreement;
- so that the parenting arrangements for your children are clear, particularly if there are communication or risk issues; and
- to avoid future conflict with your ex-partner.
You do not need to go to Court and neither does your lawyer. A Registrar of the Family Court will review your Application. Provided that the Registrar is satisfied that the property settlement orders are ‘just and equitable’ or that the parenting orders are ‘in the children’s best interests’, the Orders will be approved by the Court in chambers (administratively – i.e. no Court attendance required).