Fixed Fee Consent Orders
Are you and you ex wanting to reach an agreement as to the division of your financial assets, as well as care arrangements for your children?
Great. We’re here to help you take the next step and reach an agreement regarding your property, finances, and parenting arrangements through documenting a Consent Order.
Consent Orders are an effective and extremely cost-effective way of resolving and finalising your financial ties to your ex-partner in a short amount of time, allowing you to independently move forward with your life with certainty.
What is a consent order?
When two people separate, they will often want to make an agreement as to the division of their financial assets, as well as care arrangements for their children.
A consent order is a legally binding agreement that covers what happens to your children, finances, and property after separation. They typically exist between a child’s parents and have the same legal effect as a Court order without actually having to go to Court.
It means you save valuable time, expenses and stress endured when otherwise having to experience an entire court process.
A consent order is typically:
- drafted by a solicitor or lawyer;
- deals with property or children;
- signed by you and your ex-spouse;
- whether the proposed division of property is fair in the circumstance;
- reviewed and approved by a judge in a family court; and
- legally enforceable.
What are the types of Consent Orders:
Generally, the family law Consent Orders that can be made fall within two categories:
1. Parenting: This includes orders about how decisions are to be made for the child, who the child lives with, when the child spends time with each parent, and how a parent can communicate with the child while the child is in the other parent’s care.
2. Property: This includes orders about how the matrimonial property is to be divided, including spousal maintenance, superannuation splits or organising lump sum payments or the sale of the family home.
You are able to seek parenting or property orders on their own, or, we can help you pursue both parenting and property orders in the same application.
Why do you need a Consent Order?
If you separate without a consent order, you should be aware that as time goes by that agreement breakdowns, new partners or friends and family influences are inevitable.
Although making an informal, private agreement regarding the division of your assets and the time each parent will spend with their children sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to solve matters, it does not protect any of the parties in a legal sense.
Having your agreements formalised provides certainty to all parties moving forward. It ensures that what you agreed on is what you get.
It also prevents either party from taking any further legal proceedings against the other in the future and means that, should one person fail to do as they agreed, that you can act against their breach of the agreement.
Benefits of Consent Orders:
- Save thousands on stamp duty when transferring ownership of land. If you are transferring land ownership via a family court consent order, you are not required to pay stamp duty. It is often more cost-effective to hire a solicitor to formalise a consent order then it is to pay stamp duty.
- Avoid future relationship breakdowns due to uncertainty about an informal agreement.
- Protect assets you acquire post-separation.
- Peace of mind knowing you have an enforceable legal binding document to fall back on.
- Once Orders are made, they are final. Unless the parties agree, it is incredibly difficult to vary an Order once made.
What can our Consent Orders include?
Your consent order can cover parenting, property, and financial arrangements. It cannot include child support or their expenses.
Parental Orders can include matters such as:
- Amount of time the child will spend with each parent.
- Amount of time the child will spend with relatives such as grandparents.
- Whether children can travel overseas and if permission is required from the other parent.
- The place and times for changeover of care.
- Expectations that both parents will be of good behaviour and not speak badly about the other parent in front of the children.
- Arrangements for special occasions such as religious holidays or birthdays.
- Children’s education and schooling plans.
- Any other matter parents wish to include.
Financial Orders can include matters such as:
- Who gets to keep the house.
- What other assets each of you will retain, such as cars, furniture, jewellery etc.
- Division or transfer of ownership of investment and trade entities.
- Whether you will receive from, or pay to, the other person any part of your superannuation.
- How debts will be resolved, whether they be paid out and finalised or taken on by one person only.
- Any cash payouts from one person to the other. This can occur when one person ‘buys out’ the other person’s share of a house or other property.
Although Parental Orders are ongoing, Financial Orders will attempt to conclude the financial ties between the parties. This means that assets and liabilities need to be moved around between them to ensure that each party walks away with their allocated share.
What if one of us changes our mind after Orders have been made?
The short answer is that you can’t. The purpose is that the Orders are final and neither party can simply just change their mind.
Regarding Financial Orders, you are typically unable to have them changed. The Orders are dependent on the property pool at the time and limited time frames to action the Orders mean they are finalised quickly after the Order is made.
There is more flexibility for Parenting Orders, with changes made more frequently. If one party can prove there has been a significant change in circumstances since the Order was finalised, the Court may consider new Orders.
What if we’re close to reach an agreement, but not quite there yet?
We can assist with closing any gaps that prevent an agreement being reached. This does mean however that we would be acting in the capacity of your solicitor and communicating to the other party of their lawyer more formally in the attempt to negotiate outstanding issues.
We pride ourselves on cost transparency and can also fix fee these matters so you know exactly what it will cost.