The Whys, When, And How Of Family Court Consent Orders
Family Law

The Whys, When, And How Of Family Court Consent Orders

The vast majority of family law cases relating to divorces and the subsequent need for property settlements and decisions about any children of the marriage are settled amicably. This means that the couple in question, often with the support of their respective family lawyers, have been able to agree on how property and assets will be apportioned, plus child support and visitation if they are parents.

Once this point has been reached, to formalize the divorce an application needs to be made to the Family Court for a Family Court Consent Order. Without exception, a couple dealing with their divorce in this manner and amicably moving towards a consent order, rather than going to war against their spouse to try and achieve a ‘winner takes all’ scenario, will see several advantages.

Why Reaching An Amicable Divorce Agreement Leading To A Family Consent Order Is Advantageous

It Costs Significantly less Money

Whilst there is more to consider during a divorce than just money, it has to be noted that the amount each spouse spends on lawyers’ fees and court fees will be much less if they are working amicably towards their divorce. Divorce lawyer fees can run into many tens of thousands of dollars if both parties are at loggerheads and trying to pull out all the stops to try to beat their ex-spouse.

Peace Of Mind That They Are Each Legally Protected

If the couple can agree on all issues relating to their divorce, once the matter reaches the Family Court for a consent order to be granted, at that point, they have a documented and legally enforceable record of their divorce agreement. Once the consent order is in place, it would be extremely difficult for a divorced spouse to later try and revisit the matter because they have had a change of mind.

For Closure And Certainty

the divorce process, even if conducted on an amicable basis, can be stressful and conjure up huge uncertainty for both individuals concerning their financial futures and how their lives might alter if they have to share their children over the coming years. With an agreement, and the surety of a Family Court Consent Order that follows, both of them now know exactly what the position is relating to those previously uncertain matters.

When An Application For A Family Court Consent Order Should Be Made

There is no minimum time after a couple separate that the consent order application can be made, so, if they agree quickly on everything, it can be made within weeks. However, there is a maximum time limit for consent order applications. That time limit is 12 months if the couple is married, and 24 months if the couple is in a de facto relationship.

If the application is made beyond these time limits, the couple must refer to Section 44 of the 1975 Family Law Act. This relates to late applications and the fact that permission must be sought from the Family Court to make an application ‘out of time’. It should be noted that a late consent order application is a costly process and there is no guarantee it will be accepted.

How An Application For A Family Court Consent Order Should Be Made

No appearance in court is necessary so the application can be filed by sending all the relevant documents to the Family Court. Seek help from a family lawyer if you need help with your application.