CONSENT ORDERS

Consent Orders

What is a Consent Order?

Consent Orders Brisbane
About Consent Orders Brisbane

Consent Orders represent a legally binding agreement mutually agreed upon by you and your former partner, outlining the arrangements for your child/ren and/or property post-separation.

Consent Orders require signatures from both parties before being officially lodged with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Due to lengthy Court delays and the stress and cost associated with taking your family matter to Court, we are finding more and more clients coming to us requesting consent orders and other agreements that they have come to through negotiating (or some other method) with their former partners.

These clients are asking for us to help them obtain orders that are binding on both parties and that will allow for a final separation of children’s and financial issues and provide certainty for their future.

If you have come to an agreement and want a fast and efficient way of getting your agreement made into Orders that will result in a binding and enforceable document, applying for consent orders may be the best option for you.

Parties can enter into Consent Orders to finalise the arrangements in relation to property, children, and spousal maintenance by signing an Application for Consent Orders document along with Minutes of Consent (being the actual orders you want the Court to make) and lodging the documents with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Your Application will then be considered by the Court and, should the Court consider the Order to be just and equitable and/or in the best interest of the children, the Final Orders will be made by a Judicial Officer of the Cout.

How do i get a Consent Order?

Consent Orders
How do i get a Consent Order?

Consent Orders can be obtained in a timely and effective manner using a three-step process and without the need to go to Court.

1. Negotiations: Discussions with the other party in order to reach an agreement. This can be done between the parties themselves, or through their respective solicitors.

2. Documentation: You will then need to prepare the necessary documents that must be filed with the Court.

The first document is the Application for Consent Orders which sets out the current details of each party and the children, and a statement of assets, liabilities and superannuation for each party.

The Application for Consent Orders must be accompanied by the Consent Orders (also known as a Minute of Consent) themselves.

The Minute of Consent is a document reflecting the agreement reached and how the parties intend to put the agreement into action. 

If parties are seeking parenting orders, an Annexure to Proposed Consent Parenting Order must also be attached, outlining whether there is any risk of family violence to the children.

3. Filing: The final step involves lodging the Application for Consent Orders with supporting documents with the Court for consideration.

Shortly after filing your Application, your matter will be listed for a private Chambers Hearing whereby the Court will consider the proposed Orders.

If the Orders are granted by the Court, the Minute of Order will be sealed with the Court seal.

How to apply for a Consent Order?

Parties can apply for Consent Orders without the necessity of going to Court.

At James Noble Law we can do it all for you based on your instructions or you can assist in drafting the Application yourself as best you can thereby save you a considerable cost.

If you fill out the Application yourself we may only need some limited instruction to draft the Minutes of Consent for you, and for simple matters, this may not take us long to complete.

We find that we can get the job done for as little as $1,500 + GST.

This means that it will always be in your best interests to come to an agreement between yourselves.  It will save you a lot of money in legal fees.  Money that you can spend on your new life and your children. That’s the best free legal advice you will ever get.

How much does a Consent Order cost in Australia?

At James Noble Law, we are fully capable of handling all your needs according to your instructions.

We can accomplish the task for a minimum cost of $2,200 + GST.

Furthermore, there are various approaches to minimise your expenses, such as engaging in private negotiations with your partner and presenting us with the mutually agreed-upon terms.

This suggests that, if feasible, reaching an agreement with your former partner could be advantageous, not only in terms of saving on legal fees but also in reallocating these funds towards moving forward with your life.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Consent Order

advantages of a Consent Order
Advantages of a Consent Order

What are the advantages of a Consent Order?

    • Consent Orders are legally binding meaning that both parties must comply with the agreement.
    • Consent Orders are inexpensive compared to commencing court proceedings if parties are unable to agree.
    • The Court will only make Consent Orders if the agreement is just and equitable.
    • Parties have the flexibility to decide what is best for themselves and their children (if any).
    • Creates stability and certainty in relation to the care, welfare, and development of the children.
    • Minimizes the possibility of your former partner seeking to alter informal care arrangements of the children if circumstances change, and those arrangements are no longer suitable.
    • Enables parties to sever financial ties by formally agreeing on the way in which assets are to be divided.

What are the disadvantages of a Consent Order? 

    • Drafting the application and accompanying documents can take time to prepare. The Court also requires time to review the Consent Order before making the agreement legally binding.
    • Applying for Consent Orders carries a filing fee to be paid to the Court.
    • Even if both parties change their mind about the agreements, Consent Orders are final and cannot be changed unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.

What happens if a consent order is breached?

What happens if a consent order is breached?
What happens if a consent order is breached?

Contravening a Consent Order carries serious consequences by the Court unless you have a reasonable excuse.

The following Penalties may include if you breach Consent Orders:

  • Paying for any expenses incurred because of the contravention.
  • Paying some or all of the other party’s legal costs.
  • Community work.
  • A fine.
  • A jail term of up to 12 months for more serious contraventions.

Why Should you obtain legal advice on Consent Order?

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia provides a ‘do it yourself kit’ for Consent Order. However, this DIY Kit does not include the drafting of the Minutes of Consent which need to be drafted properly so they can operate correctly.

The kit cannot compare to the expertise, experience, and knowledge that the team at James Noble Law posses to ensure that all your children’s and financial issues are protected within the Consent Orders.

We know what needs to be included to provide for an amicable and timely separation from your partner. If you require assistance preparing Consent Order, please contact the team at James Noble Law to arrange a free and no-obligation consultation.

A number of other resources are available to you. For further information on entering into Consent Orders, please see the following links:

Knowledge Base

What are Final Parenting Orders?

Final parenting orders are legally binding decisions made by the Family Court of Australia concerning the long-term arrangements for the care, welfare, and development of a child or children. These orders can address various aspects such as:

  • Where the children will live
  • How much time they will spend with each parent and other significant people
  • How parental responsibility will be allocated
  • Arrangements for special occasions like birthdays and holidays
  • Communication between the children and the non-resident parent

These orders are termed “final” because they are intended to last until the children turn 18 or unless varied by the court at a later date.

What are Financial Consent Orders?

Financial consent orders are court-approved agreements between parties concerning the division of property, finances, and spousal maintenance after separation or divorce. These orders are intended to ensure a fair and legally enforceable settlement without the need for further court litigation. They cover aspects such as:

  • Division of property and assets
  • Payment of debts
  • Spousal maintenance arrangements

What is the Purpose of a Consent Order?

The primary purpose of a consent order is to formalize an agreement reached between parties (usually former partners) regarding parenting or financial matters. By having the court approve the consent order, the agreement becomes legally binding and enforceable, providing certainty and stability to the parties involved. It also helps avoid future disputes and litigation by clearly outlining each party’s rights and responsibilities.

How Much Does a Consent Order Cost in Australia?

As of my last update, the fee to file a consent order application in the Family Court of Australia is approximately AUD 180. This fee is subject to change, so it is advisable to check the current fee schedule on the official Family Court website or contact the court directly for the most up-to-date information.

What is an Example of a Consent Order in Family Court?

An example of a consent order in family court might include:

  • Parenting Consent Order:

    • The children will live with Parent A during the school week.
    • The children will spend every second weekend with Parent B.
    • The children will spend half of each school holiday period with each parent, alternating for significant holidays like Christmas and Easter.
    • Both parents will share parental responsibility for major long-term decisions affecting the children, such as education, health, and religion.
  • Financial Consent Order:

    • The family home will be sold, and the proceeds will be divided 60/40 between the parties.
    • Parent A will retain the car and other personal property.
    • Parent B will assume responsibility for paying off the joint credit card debt.
    • Parent A will pay spousal maintenance of AUD 500 per month for the next two years.

What Happens After a Consent Order Hearing?

After a consent order hearing, the following typically occurs:

  1. Approval and Issuance: If the court approves the consent order, it will issue the order formally. The order then becomes legally binding.
  2. Compliance: Both parties are required to comply with the terms set out in the consent order. Non-compliance can lead to enforcement actions by the court.
  3. No Further Court Action: Assuming compliance, there should be no need for further court appearances or litigation regarding the matters covered by the consent order.
  4. Variation or Enforcement: If circumstances change significantly, either party may apply to the court to have the order varied or seek enforcement if the other party fails to comply.

The consent order hearing aims to ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable and that both parties understand and agree to the terms.

In need of legal assistance?

Look no further than James Noble Law! We stand as your trusted Family Law experts, with more than 50 years of experience of serving Legal Advice in Brisbane, Family Law Services in Cairns, and Milton Family Law Services. Benefit from a complimentary 20-minute consultation with our highly skilled legal team – no obligations attached! Secure your appointment now to connect with our seasoned Family Lawyers.

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