Trusted Consent Order Lawyers in Brisbane

Find peace today and ensure security tomorrow. With consent orders, your agreements stand the test of time.

Dealing with family law in Brisbane and throughout Australia can be complicated, especially regarding property settlement or child custody. A Consent Order is one way to simplify the process and reach a mutually agreeable solution. But what exactly is a Consent Order, and how can it help you?

choosing the best lawyers for consent orders
AFL - organising of conset order application by a consent order lawyer

What is a Consent Order?

A Consent Order is a legally binding agreement that a court approves. It can cover various issues, from the division of assets and financial resources to parenting arrangements for children. The advantage of a Consent Order is that it allows both parties to agree without the need for a contested court hearing. This saves time, money, and emotional energy. Married couples and people in a de facto relationship can apply for a consent order.

Consent orders don’t require parties to engage a lawyer. But it’s recommended to seek independent legal advice before an application.

The Benefits of Consent Orders

Here are the advantages of a consent order over potentially protracted litigation:

Cost Savings

Consent orders can save parties substantial legal costs by avoiding court appearances and lengthy negotiations associated with litigation.

Time Efficiency

Agreeing to a consent order reduces the time spent resolving their disputes compared to litigation.

Reduced Conflict

Consent orders encourage cooperation and communication between parties. This promotes a more amicable resolution and minimises competition.

Legally Binding

A consent order is legally binding once the Court approves. This means that both parties are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the agreement. This provides a level of security and enforceability that informal agreements lack.

legal risk in a consent order

Mitigating Risks

There are risks associated with getting consent orders. However, with the right approach, they can be mitigated effectively.

Inflexibility

The Court prefers that parties don’t continuously revisit court orders. Therefore, it isn’t easy to have consent orders overturned once they’re in place. Using mechanisms like mediation can help ensure you and your former partner are on the same page when applying for orders.

Unsuccessful Applications

Consent orders aren’t as costly as binding financial agreements. However, unsuccessful applications can make your costs add up. It will also increase your time investment. Seeking legal advice to help draft consent orders is crucial. This will reduce the risk of an unsuccessful application. You can also contact the family relationship advice line for free legal advice.

Emotional Pressure or Coercion

In some cases, one party may exert undue emotional pressure or coercion on the other to agree to consent orders. To mitigate this risk, parties should ensure that the agreement is entered freely and voluntarily. If there are concerns about undue pressure, parties can seek legal advice or involve a mediator to facilitate negotiations.

The Process of Obtaining a Consent Order

An overview of the steps involved in drafting, negotiating, and lodging a consent order with the Court:

Negotiation and agreement

The parties must first negotiate and agree upon the terms of their consent order. This is often done through their respective legal representatives or alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.

Drafting the consent order

Once the terms have been agreed upon, consent orders must be drafted in a clear and legally enforceable manner. Qualified legal practitioners typically do this.

Lodging the consent order

Consent orders must be submitted to the Court for approval, along with a signed Application for Consent Orders. Parties should also include any supporting documents or evidence relevant to their application. You will also need to pay the court filing fee.

Court approval

Once lodged, the Court will review the consent order to ensure the terms are just and equitable in property matters or the child’s best interests in parenting arrangements. If satisfied, the Court will approve and legally bind the consent order.

How the Court Assesses Consent Orders?

There are two types of consent orders. Parenting consent orders organise the care of children and mediate co-parenting arrangements. Financial consent orders determine the fair division of the marital asset pool and financial support like spousal maintenance.

Financial consent orders don’t cover child maintenance or child support. These are handled through a separate assessment process.

Parenting orders

In Australia, the Family Court assesses parenting consent orders within the Family Law Act 1975 framework. It has a primary focus on the child’s best interests. When parents submit a proposed consent order regarding parenting arrangements, the Court evaluates it based on several key principles:

Best Interests of the Child

This is the paramount consideration. The Court assesses whether the proposed arrangements serve the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs and whether they benefit the child’s overall welfare and development.

Equal Shared Parental Responsibility

Unless there are issues like family violence or child abuse, the law presumes that it is in the best interests of the child for the parents to have equal shared parental responsibility. This means both parents should have a role in deciding major long-term issues affecting the child.

Meaningful Relationship with Both Parents

The Court considers whether the consent order allows for a meaningful relationship with both parents. This involves assessing how the living arrangements and time spent with each parent support this goal.

Protection from Harm

The child’s safety is a critical factor. If there are concerns about violence, abuse, or neglect, the Court prioritises the child’s protection over the benefit of having a relationship with both parents.

Views of the Child

Depending on the child’s age and maturity, the Court may consider the child’s views and preferences. However, these are not determinative but are among the many factors the Court considers.

Practical Considerations

The Court looks at the practicality of the proposed arrangements, including the distance between the parents’ homes, the parents’ capacity to implement the arrangements, and the impact on the child’s daily life.

Parents' Attitude to Parenting

The Court may consider each parent’s attitude towards parenting responsibilities, including their willingness to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.

Other Relevant Factors

The Court may also consider any other factor it deems relevant to the case’s circumstances.

How Our Consent Order Lawyers Can Help You?

Ensuring Full Disclosure

We ensure a complete and honest disclosure of financial information from both parties. This transparency is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or ambiguities in the agreement.

Tailoring to Individual Needs

Our firm approaches every agreement case by case. We take the time to understand our client’s specific circumstances and needs. Using generic templates that might not cover all relevant issues could lead to misinterpretation.

Clarifying Terms and Conditions

We will clearly define the terms and conditions of the agreement. The terms may include the division of assets, spousal maintenance, and other financial obligations. This avoids ambiguity as part of our duty to provide independent advice.

Negotiation and Mediation Skills

We always emphasise negotiation and mediation over litigation. In cases of disagreements or potential for ambiguity, we will work to reach a clear and mutually agreeable solution.

Our Process

Planning The Case

  • Initial Consultation: Meet with the client to understand their specific needs and concerns.
  • Legal Research: Conduct thorough research to understand the legal implications of the case.
  • Strategy Development: Develop a comprehensive strategy tailored to the client’s situation.

Detailly Evaluate Situation

  • Financial Assessment: Review all financial documents and assets involved.
  • Parenting Assessment: If children are involved, evaluate the best interests of the child.
  • Risk Analysis: Identify any potential risks or challenges that may arise during the case.

File Case To The Court

  • Documentation: Prepare all necessary legal documents, such as petitions, affidavits, and financial disclosures.
  • Filing: Submit the case to the appropriate court jurisdiction.
  • Court Appearances: Represent the client in court hearings and negotiations.

Why Choose Us?

If you need help with consent orders, choosing a law firm that specialises in this area and puts your needs first is essential. Andrews Family Lawyers is an excellent option for a few reasons:

1. Expert Advice:

We deeply understand family law and can guide you step by step through the consent order process. We’ll make sure everything is done correctly and efficiently.

2. Personalised Attention:

Every case is unique, so we take the time to understand your circumstances. Your consent order will be tailored to your specific needs and goals.

3. Proven Success:

We have an excellent track record of handling consent order cases successfully. You can trust us to handle your case with professionalism and care.

4. Client-Focused Approach:

We want to ensure you feel comfortable and informed throughout the legal process. We’ll do everything possible to make it as stress free as possible.

5. Accessible and Supportive:

Our team is approachable and supportive. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way and provide the support you need to get through the process.

Confused About Consent Order? Get Clarity Here!

Meet Peter Andrews

Legal Practitioner Director

Peter is a qualified legal practitioner with over twenty years of experience, predominantly in family law. Peter began his career with Clayton Utz before moving into suburban practice in 2007 with a focus on family law settlements.

Peter began his practice, Peter Andrews Lawyer Pty Ltd, in 2013. After many years of success, the business was rebranded Andrews Family Lawyers in 2022.
Peter is a married father of three young, intelligent and often annoying children who are still lovely.

Trusted By Our Clients

With a proven track record in resolving complex family law issues, we've earned the confidence and trust of families across north Brisbane.

Peter Andrews was so helpful resolving an odd property dispute with an ex partner. He listened without judgement and acted quickly to resolve the matter, I honestly could not have copied without him, an absolute godsend!! Thank you Peter!

Lauren Myslinski CLIENT

Peter is an outstanding lawyer, with the knowledge, experience and stamina to succeed in family law matters. Would highly recommend his services to anyone who needs to achieve a successful outcome in their proceedings.

Fabio Mazza CLIENT

Expert Guidance is Just a Call Away

If you are thinking about creating a Binding Financial Agreement, seeking advice from professionals in family law is crucial. At Andrews Family Lawyers, we possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to assist you throughout the process. Please get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

You can pursue a consent order immediately after separating. However, you must apply within a year of being granted a divorce order. The application must occur within two years of separation for couples in a de facto relationship.

You don’t need a lawyer to apply for consent orders in Brisbane and throughout Australia. The Family Court website has a Do-It-Yourself kit for those wanting to apply themselves. The application process has also been streamlined to make self-applications easier. But we always recommend seeking legal advice regardless. A family lawyer can help you understand the long-term implications of the order and ensure you know all your options.

The Court will generally consider a consent order application within approximately six weeks. You may withdraw a consent order application as long as it is before the Court has considered the matter. You can do so by you or your lawyer writing to the Court requesting the withdrawal.

If the Court has already granted the orders, you must adhere to its terms.

Consent orders can cover parenting arrangements and financial matters. BFAs cannot include clauses covering issues outside of property division or spousal maintenance.

There are also separate legal requirements. A BFA doesn’t include the Court but requires the parties to seek independent legal advice when drafting the agreement. Consent orders must satisfy the criteria set out in the Family Law Act and enforced by the Family Court.

For a detailed guide, check our blog here.