Consent Orders, as the name suggests, are orders approved by the Family Court that the parties have consented to. They can cover property settlements, parenting arrangements and spousal maintenance, however, you can not apply for Consent Orders in relation to Child Support.
Unlike a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA), Consent Orders will only be approved by the court if:
- the agreement is fair and reasonable (in relation to property settlements and spousal maintenance);
- it is in the best interests of the child (in relation to parenting arrangements)
Provided these conditions are met, the document will be sealed and sent to both parties, creating a legally enforceable agreement. The orders will also be filed in the court, as opposed to a BFA, which is only retained by the parties.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Whilst Consent Orders are court orders, they are often dealt with administratively and the parties will not need to actually appear in court. They are also much more difficult to vary than a BFA and, like any court order, consequences are likely to follow if not complied with.
Even though you and your former partner have amicably agreed on certain issues, circumstances can change and relying on someone’s word is always a risk. Formalising your agreement will help to avoid those misunderstandings and disputes, which will effectively protect you now and in the future.