The Essential Guide to Consent Orders: What You Need to Know

Dive into the roles, benefits, and essential aspects of Consent Orders in family law disputes with the expert guidance of Coastal Family Law's experienced lawyers.
consent orders

Consent Orders are a crucial component of family law disputes in Australia, allowing separating couples to reach legally binding agreements on matters such as property division, spousal maintenance, and parenting arrangements. Despite their significance, Consent Orders can be complex and difficult to navigate without the right guidance. 

In our essential guide, we will explore the roles they play in family law, the advantages and consequences associated with them, and the necessary steps to obtain and implement them. With the support and valuable insights from Coastal Family Law professionals, you will be well-equipped to make informed decisions related to consent orders in your family law dispute.

What are Consent Orders?

Consent Orders are a legally binding document issued by the Court, which formalises agreements reached by separating couples regarding financial matters, property division, spousal maintenance, and parenting arrangements. These Orders are usually obtained by the agreement of both parties, without the need for a lengthy court hearing.

1. The Role of Consent Orders in Family Law

These type of orders are frequently used in family law cases in to establish legally binding agreements between separating couples. They offer a more cost-effective and efficient alternative to going to court, allowing disputing parties to negotiate and agree on various aspects of their separation and post-separation lives.

2. The Benefits of Consent Orders

There are several advantages to using Consent Orders in family law disputes:

  • Cost-Effective: These Orders are generally less expensive than court hearings because they minimise the involvement of lawyers and court fees.
  • Time-Saving: Resolving family law issues through consent orders is usually quicker than going through a court hearing, which can potentially drag on for months or years.
  • Less Stressful: It allows to minimise the emotional stress associated with lengthy court battles, providing separating couples with a more peaceful and cooperative resolution process.
  • Flexibility: It allows parties to negotiate and reach agreements tailored to their unique circumstances and needs. They can be customised to suit the requirements of each family.
  • Legally Binding: Once filed and approved by a court, Consent Orders become legally enforceable, ensuring compliance by both parties.

3. Obtaining Consent Orders

To obtain Consent Orders, the following steps must be taken:

  • Draft the Consent Orders: The involved parties or their lawyers must draft the Consent Orders, specifying the agreed-upon terms and conditions. It is generally recommended that a lawyer draft the proposed Orders to ensure they are legally binding and enforceable. 
  • File a Form 11 Application for Consent Orders: Both parties must complete and sign the Application for Consent Orders form, which can be found on the Family Court of Western Australia’s website. The application, along with the draft orders, should be filed with the Court
  • Court Review: A Registrar will review the Application and proposed Orders to ensure they are in accordance with legal requirements and that they are just and equitable. If they are satisfied, the Court will approve and seal the orders, making them legally binding.

If the Court does not approve the proposed orders, they may either request amendments to the orders or decline to make the orders and advise the parties to seek further negotiations.

4. Implementing and Enforcing

After obtaining the Orders from the Family Court, parties must adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the orders. Non-compliance with the consent orders can lead to severe legal consequences. If one party breaches the orders, the other party may:

  • Apply for Contravention: The aggrieved party can apply to the court for a contravention order, which may result in fines, compensation, or even imprisonment of the offending party.
  • Seek Legal Assistance: The aggrieved party may seek the advice and assistance of a family lawyer to understand their rights and the appropriate steps to ensure enforcement of the consent orders.

5. Modifying Consent Orders

In certain situations, these may require modification due to changes in circumstances or the needs of the parties involved. Parties can apply to the court to vary or discharge their consent orders by submitting an Application to Vary or Discharge Consent Orders form along with a supporting affidavit.

It is essential to note that the court will only consider making changes to the consent orders if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the orders were made.

Navigating Consent Orders with Coastal Family Law’s Expertise

Consent orders are an essential component of family law disputes, offering separating couples a more amicable, efficient, and cost-effective method for resolving issues related to their separation. Understanding the roles, benefits, and processes associated with consent orders can significantly simplify the resolution of family law disputes. With the dedicated support and expertise of Coastal Family Law, you can navigate these complex legal matters with confidence and peace of mind.

At Coastal Family Law, we are eager to help you unlock the potential of  how these orders can benefit your case. Our knowledgeable and empathetic family lawyers in Mandurah are committed to assisting you in obtaining, implementing, and modifying consent orders as required, ensuring that your rights and interests remain protected. Whether you are in Mandurah, the South West or anywhere in Perth, we are ready to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your family law dispute. Connect with us today to explore our tailored family law services and embark on the journey towards a brighter future for you and your loved ones!


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