Questions on Consent Orders


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Is it possible to get divorced before I apply for consent orders?

Yes, you can make a divorce application before you obtain Consent Orders, however most people prefer to finalise their property settlement or their children’s arrangements with Consent Orders before filing for divorce, as you have to be separated for twelve months before filing for divorce and most people prefer to have Consent Orders in place within twelve months.

Can you change your Consent Orders?

There is no problem changing your Consent Orders with the other person’s consent. However, there are only limited circumstances in which you can change your Consent Order if you do not have the other person’s Consent, and you will need to file a new Court Application and supporting documents.  A successful outcome is not guaranteed, and the process can take a long time.

How do I apply for a Consent Order?

A Consent Order Application must be filed with the Family Court and must include details about your current assets and liabilities, as well as a Minute of Consent outlining exactly the orders you are asking the court to make.  Fees may also apply.


How long does it take for consent orders to be processed in the Family Court?

Generally, the courts take around 28 days to process proposed Consent Orders, assuming that all the documents have been filed correctly and have been filed with the appropriate registry.


Can a Consent Order be breached?

Consent orders can be enforced just like any other kind of court order.  The Family Court can enforce court orders and impose penalties for violations.


What is a Minute of Consent in Consent Orders?

‘Minutes of Consent’ are documents you submit to the Family Court to request orders on your behalf.  In order for the court to enforce the agreement, it must be drafted in a way that is legally binding and clearly explains what each party must do and by when.


How are consent orders and court orders different? 

A Consent Order is no different from a court order in that they are both legally binding and enforceable.  No matter whether the order was made by Consent or pursuant to a contested hearing, the court will enforce or penalize a non-compliance in the same manner.


Why do consent orders exist?

Your former partner will not seek another property settlement from you at any point in the future if you obtain a consent order to finalize your property settlement. You can get a stamp duty exemption if you have a Consent Order if you’re transferring property from joint names to one party’s name.


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