- Legal Validity: Property settlement consent orders, once approved and made by the Court, have the force of law. They provide a legally binding and enforceable agreement (by way of Court orders) between the parties involved. This means that both individuals must comply with the terms and conditions outlined in the orders.
- Certainty and Finality: Consent orders bring certainty and finality to the property settlement process. Once the orders are in place, the agreed-upon division of assets, liabilities and superannuation is legally binding. This reduces the risk of future disputes or claims regarding property matters.
- Protection of Rights and Interests: Property settlement consent orders protect the rights and interests of both parties. They ensure that everyone receives a fair and equitable distribution of assets and liabilities based on their contributions, financial needs, and future circumstances. This is because the Court will not make the orders unless they are “just and equitable” to both parties.
- Avoidance of Court Proceedings: By reaching a mutually agreed property settlement through consent orders which are lodged with the Court, individuals can avoid the time, cost, and emotional stress of going to Court. No appearance in Court is necessary when applying for Consent orders, allow parties to resolve their property matters amicably and efficiently, provided both parties agree.
- Enforceability and Compliance: Consent orders provide a legally binding mechanism for enforcing the agreed-upon property settlement. If one party fails to comply with the terms of the orders, the other party can seek enforcement through the Court. This ensures that the division of assets is carried out as agreed upon.
- Certainty: Property settlement consent orders establish clear guidelines for the division of assets, liabilities, and financial arrangements. This certainty allows individuals to plan their financial future and make informed decisions regarding their post-separation lives.
- Protection from Future Claims: Once property settlement consent orders are in place and approved by the Court, they generally prevent either party from making further claims on each other’s assets in the future. This provides a level of finality and protection from potential future disputes or claims.
- Recognition by Authorities and Financial Institutions: Consent orders are recognized and respected by relevant authorities, such as banks, financial institutions, and government agencies. This recognition ensures that all parties involved in financial matters are aware of the agreed-upon division of property and can facilitate the necessary transfers or changes in ownership whilst also be granting family law exemptions from stamp duty.
What is the benefit or value of having Consent Orders for property settlement?
Here are some key benefits:
Completing the Property Settlement Consent Orders
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 Property Settlement Consent Orders are created equal. At AFLAS, you can download one of our Property Settlement Consent Orders that matches your situation and protects you. Preparing the document yourself using one of our Property Settlement 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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