14 Feb But if we agree why can’t we have Consent Orders?
Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple. Whilst Consent Orders are the cheaper and simpler option for resolving a property matter and a more binding outcome for a parenting matter, the court must approve the property division or parenting arrangements.
The court, usually a Registrar, will process the application for consent orders having regard to the circumstances of the matter as set out in the application and, in light of:-
for a property matter:-
- The length of the marriage or de facto relationship;
- The parties ages;
- The contributions and respective future needs of the parties, as set out in the application;
- The party’s income; and
- The proposed division with regard to the overall percentage split and the composition of the settlement for each party
and for a parenting matter:-
- The age of the children;
- The number of children and the spread of their ages; and
- The proposed parenting arrangements including the length of time away from each parent.
the court must then determine whether the proposed Orders are, in a property case, just and equitable (fair) and in a parenting case in the children’s best interests.
In the event the court do not consider the division of assets fair or the parenting arrangements in the children’s best interests then they can either dismiss/reject the application or requisition it – requesting further evidence from the parties by way of affidavit.
This is a concept some clients struggle with – the reality that the court may reject the outcome they have agreed upon.
It is therefore extremely important that a family law specialist reviews the settlement before consent orders are entered.