If you have reached an agreement and you are reading this, Congratulations! That is the hardest part of the process and you have done it! You might be eager to settle your property division and implement your parenting arrangements quickly, but it really important that you enter into Consent Orders and seek legal assistance to do this part of the process.  

BEWARE! This can be the mistake if not done correctly. Things can turn into a messy scenario that leaves you angry and powerless as the final outcome could be far less than you deserved and you leave yourself open to a claim further down the track.

Consent Orders are an easy part of the process if you have a family lawyer take care of the process for you. Also, the cost is minimal, so it is very worthwhile to have all your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted.

Here are 10 things that you should know about Consent Orders:

  1. What Are Consent Orders?

When you have decided to go your separate ways, you may reach an agreement for property a settlement and children issues with your spouse outside the court. In that case, you can apply for Consent Orders instead of having to start court proceedings.

Consent Orders save you time, money and can keep the parties amicable as you don’t have to initiate court proceedings to gain Consent Orders.

  1. Consent Orders Are Legally Binding

There are only two ways to have a binding agreement for a property division. One is with Consent Orders and the other is with a Binding Financial Agreement. Consent Orders are preferred, as they are less complex, they reflect a just and equitable outcome for there is not a requirement for parties to seek independent legal advice.  

In regards to parenting agreements, the only way to have a legally binding agreement is through Court Ordered Orders of the Court or Consent Orders.  

  1. Consent Orders Reflect a Just & Equitable Outcome

You and your former spouse can come up with any agreement that you like, however, if in the eyes of the law it is not ‘just and equitable’ for both parties the Court will not make the orders. When the Orders are filed with the Court, they are carefully checked and considered by a Registrar of the Court to ensure the arrangements for children are in their best interest or that the financial division agreed upon is fair for both parties. If it is not, the Court will requisition the Orders and ask that adjustments be made.

  1. Consent Orders Exempt You From Stamp duty Payable on a Property Transfer Under the Orders

If part of your property settlement is that one party is to transfer a property to the other party under the Orders, a stamp duty exemption can be applied. If there are no Orders in place then the person receiving the property is liable to pay half of the full stamp duty amount. This is a huge saving!

  1. Without Consent Orders, You Are Leaving Yourself Exposed

When you go separate ways with your former spouse, things change over time. You both re-partner, move, do your own thing financially to name a few. If you do not obtain Consent Orders you leave yourself exposed because as things change and then your former spouse may want to change parenting arrangements or make a claim from you for the further financial division. It is best to finalise the relationship in a proper way with Consent Orders so that you do not have to worry about any of life’s changes, changing your agreements.

  1. Consent Orders Can Be Filed Without a Solicitor Being Involved

The correct forms for both Applications for Consent Orders and Minutes of Consent are available online for anyone to draft their own documents. While this may seem like a great way to save money, we would never recommend drafting your own Orders. The meat of the Orders, which is called the Minutes of Consent, is quite difficult to draft without the expertise of a family law solicitor. If you get it wrong you may not be protected.

  1. Know the Time Restrictions in Filing for Consent Orders

You can file an application for Consent Orders at any time within 12-months after you are granted a divorce. If you are not married and in a de-facto relationship, the time frame is to file the Consent Orders with-in two years from the separation date.