- They are legally enforceable: Parenting consent orders have the force of law. Once approved by the court, they become legally binding and enforceable.. This means both parents must comply with the terms and conditions outlined in the orders and if one parent does not comply, the other can have the consent orders enforced by the Court if necessary.
- Certainty and Clarity: Consent orders provide a clear framework regarding parenting arrangements. They outline specific details such as whom has parental responsibility for children, how that is exercised, living arrangements, time and communication arrangements, and other relevant matters. Having such clarity helps parents understand their rights and obligations, reducing conflicts and misunderstandings in the future.
- Stability and Predictability: Parenting consent orders bring stability to the children’s lives by establishing consistent routines and arrangements. This stability is particularly important for children who benefit from predictable schedules and a sense of security amidst the changes associated with separation.
- Flexibility and Customization: Parents have the opportunity to negotiate and agree on specific arrangements that suit their unique circumstances and the needs of their children. This flexibility can be beneficial as long as the agreed-upon arrangements meet the best interests of the children.
- Future Dispute Prevention: By having parenting consent orders, many potential areas of future disagreement or dispute are addressed in advance. This reduces the likelihood of ongoing conflicts between parents and provides a framework for resolving disagreements in a structured manner. Where there has been a history of dispute, having a consent order helps parents avoid similar disputes in the future.
- Recognition by Authorities: Parenting consent orders are recognized and respected by government agencies, schools, health practitioners and allied-health providers and other relevant authorities. This recognition ensures that all parties involved in the care and well-being of the children are aware of and can adhere to the agreed-upon arrangements. Having consent orders also means that such service providers do not hinder the operation of the consent orders.
- Peace of Mind: Having parenting consent orders can provide parents with peace of mind, knowing that they have a legally binding agreement in place that protects their responsibilities, the rights and best interests of their children. They offer a sense of security and reduce uncertainties related to parenting arrangements.
What is the benefit of having Consent Orders for parenting arrangements?
Here are key benefits:
Completing the Parenting Consent Order
Step 1: Understand what Consent Orders are.
Consent Orders are a legally binding agreement between parties involved in a dispute or family law matter in Australia. These orders outline the agreed-upon arrangements and decisions regarding property settlement, parenting matters, or financial support. Before proceeding, its important you understand the purpose and implications of Consent Orders.
Step 2: Application for Consent Orders Form
You will need to have the Application for Consent Orders form which can be obtained from the AFLAS free resources page or by visiting the official website of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and downloading the Application for Consent Orders Form. This form is available in Word and PDF format and is used to apply for Consent Orders.
Step 3: Complete the Application Form
Fill out the Application for Consent Orders Form accurately and comprehensively. The form consists of several sections:
- Section A Parties Involved: Provide the full names, addresses, and contact details of all parties involved, including yourself and the other party.
- Section B Details of proposed orders: Clearly specify the proposed orders and arrangements you and the other party have agreed upon. Include details on property settlement, parenting matters, or financial support, depending on the nature of your case.
- Section C Additional orders sought (if applicable): If there are any additional orders you are seeking, provide the necessary details in this section.
- Section D Legal representation (if applicable): If you or the other party have legal representation, provide the relevant details.
- Section E Child support (if applicable): If child support arrangements are part of the Consent Orders, provide the necessary information in this section.
- Section F Parenting orders (if applicable): If parenting arrangements are part of the Consent Orders, provide the relevant details in this section.
- Section G Property orders (if applicable): If property settlement arrangements are part of the Consent Orders, provide the necessary information in this section.
- Section H Financial orders (if applicable): If financial arrangements are part of the Consent Orders, provide the relevant details in this section.
- Section I Child maintenance (if applicable): If child maintenance arrangements are part of the Consent Orders, provide the necessary information in this section.
Step 4: Attach Supporting Documents
If there are any supporting documents that support your proposed Consent Orders, such as financial statements, parenting plans, or other relevant evidence that the Application prompts you to attach, attach them to your application. Ensure that each document is labelled clearly and refer to them in the form where necessary.
Step 5: Consent to Orders
Both parties must sign and date what are known as “Consent Orders”. AFLAS provides Property Settlement and Parenting Consent Orders to make this easy for you. Refer to the AFLAS website to find out how to download these documents.
By signing and dating the Consent Orders, you are confirming your agreement to the proposed orders and your understanding of their legal implications. Ensure that each party signs their full name and includes their title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., or Dr.), if applicable.
Step 6: File the Consent Orders and the Application
Make copies of the completed Application for Consent Orders form, including all supporting documents, and keep them for your records. File the original application, along with any required filing fee, with either the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, depending on your circumstances. Follow the Court’s guidelines for submitting the Consent Orders and associated fees.
For e-filing, see our “Guide to registering your Commonwealth Law Courts portal account”.
Step 7: Await Approval
Once you file the Consent Orders (and accompanying Application), the court will review the application. If the court finds the orders to be fair, just, or in the best interests of any children involved, they will approve the Consent Orders. You will receive sealed copies of the orders, which indicate their legal validity.
It’s important to note that while Consent Orders are legally binding, it is recommended to seek legal advice or consult with a lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. A Family Lawyer can provide guidance specific to your case and help you navigate the process of completing Consent Orders in Australia.
AFLAS can match you to a lawyer for your specific needs or you can book a consultation with our Triage Team to assist you complete the Application for Consent Orders. The Application can be used in conjunction with our parenting and/or property settlement Consent Orders found on our resources page.
It may be the most important document you ever sign.
Not all Parenting Consent Orders are created equal. At AFLAS, you can download one of our Parenting Consent Orders that matches your situation and protects you. Preparing the document yourself using one of our Parenting Consent Orders templates and then using one of our trusted experts to review, will save you time, thousands of dollars in legal fees, and reduce your stress.
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