Family Law Darwin – Consent Orders

Consent Orders

Have you reached an agreement about parenting or property with your former partner? Do you want to resolve your matter formally without going to court?

Ward Keller is passionate about resolving your family law matter as effectively and painlessly as possible, without resorting to costly litigation. If you and your former partner have reached an agreement in relation to parenting or property, we can assist you by making sure this agreement is binding and enforceable using a formal legal document called Consent Orders.

What are Consent Orders?

Consent orders are made up of two documents – an Application for Consent Orders and Minute of Consent – that are filed with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. When you are seeking parenting orders, you must also file a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk.

Whilst consent orders are Orders of the Court, you don’t need to go to court to get them; the documents are filed and processed administratively without the need for court appearances. The Court will generally grant the Orders and email a sealed copy to the parties provided:

  • The Orders concerning parenting are in the children’s best interests.
  • The Orders concerning property are just and equitable.
  • The forms have been completed correctly.
  • The Orders are capable of being enforced.
  • Where you are seeking a superannuation split (transfer), the relevant superannuation fund has been provided with 28 days’ notice.

Benefits of Consent Orders

There are many benefits that flow from formalising your parenting or property arrangements by way of consent orders:

  1. Once consent orders have been made, they are final. There are high thresholds that must be met to have the orders varied in the future.
  2. Consent orders are orders of the Court, which makes them binding and enforceable. This means that if either party fails or refuses to comply with an order, it can be enforced by the Court. In some cases, if a party refuses to sign a document (like a motor vehicle transfer), the Registrar of the Court can even sign on their behalf.
  3. In most cases, any transfer of property to a party or child of the relationship is exempt from stamp duty. This can represent a saving of thousands of dollars.
  4. Superannuation entitlements may be split (transferred) from one party to the other.
  5. Where the transfer of an asset to a party or child of the relationship will trigger capital gains tax, consent orders allow you to obtain rollover relief. This means that you may not have a CGT liability.

When parties rely on informal arrangements, there is a high risk of conflict. Having your agreements formalised reduces any opportunity for disagreement. It also reduces the risk of one party not following the agreement properly.

Should you seek legal advice?

Consent orders must satisfy various legal requirements and be drafted in a way that ensures they are legally binding. If the Court does not think that the documents are not accurate, they may be requisition them and not grant the Orders you are seeking. The Court can also refuse to make parenting orders where they are not in the best interests of the children or refuse to make property orders where they are not just and equitable.

This means that legal advice is necessary when drafting your consent orders. Ward Keller can assist you to understand the legal requirements and by making sure your agreement is binding and enforceable. Our family law team will guide you through the process of obtaining consent orders, including by:

  • Providing advice in relation to the agreement reached.
  • Assisting with any further negotiations.
  • Drafting and filing your Application for Consent Orders and Minute of Consent Orders.
  • Providing advice in relation to your legal obligations.

Family law is a specialist field, and Ward Keller’s family law team has extensive experience in handling all aspects of parenting and property cases, no matter how simple or complex. At Ward Keller, we tailor our advice to suit your individual circumstances and are focused on resolving your matter with compassion and understanding.

We know that certainty about your legal costs is important, so we also provide a fixed fee service for all family law matters with an up-front costs outline to give you peace of mind.

Ward Keller knows how significant a face-to-face appointment can be, so we also operate out of offices in Katherine and Alice Springs.

If you would like to make an appointment for an initial consultation, please contact our team on 08 8946 2936 or 08 8952 4200, or make a start online using our sophisticated online system.

For further information about family law matters please see our family law page –

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