Things to remember about Consent Orders

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Who prepares the terms of a Consent Order?

Whether they deal with property matters or future child care arrangements, Consent Orders should be drafted in a way that is unambiguous and that makes them legally enforceable and binding. Consent Orders submitted to the Family Court that do not meet the court’s requirements will be rejected by the court and will need to be not follow the Consent Orders then the other party must be able to take the matter to court and ask for the court to enforce the Consent Orders. It will not be possible for the court to enforce the Consent Orders if they cannot be enforced.  Although some people draft their own Consent Orders, it is not generally recommended. Consent Orders are drafted by a good lawyer in a way that covers all scenarios and leaves no room for ambiguity. Additionally, well-drafted Orders ensure that all details are covered and nothing is accidentally left out, which can lead to a situation where one party cannot enforce the Consent Order because it was not properly drafted or because something was inadvertently left out.

In broad terms, there is usually a good reason to get a plumber to do your plumbing or an accountant to do your tax return.  Getting a lawyer to draft your Consent Orders has the same benefits as getting a professional to help with other aspects of your life.  A poorly drafted Consent Order can result in you having to make a court application to rectify something that wasn’t done properly and this can prove to be far more expensive and time-consuming than if the documents had been correctly drafted from the beginning.

Is it necessary for each party to seek independent legal advice regarding consent orders?

Legal advice is always a good idea before signing off on Consent Orders, but it is not mandatory. It is common for people to reach an agreement with their former partner that they are satisfied with, and they do not wish to obtain advice regarding the potential outcomes if the matter went to court.  There are some instances where having a solicitor can result in the matter becoming protracted since lawyers providing advice are always careful to ensure all bases are covered.  For many people, their agreement, or the fact of their having reached an agreement is a fairly simple matter and they simply wish to get on with things and not have the delay that can sometimes arise when both parties retain legal representation.  Some people have struggled over a lengthy period of time just to get to the point where they have an agreement with the other person, and they don’t wish to see a solicitor get in the way of that, which unfortunately can happen.

It is common for people to seek independent legal advice before sitting down with their former partner to discuss their property settlement or proposed parenting consent orders.  They then don’t seek advice in relation to the proposed Consent Orders, once drafted, but are satisfied that they have obtained the information that they need in order to make informed decisions about the outcome.

In this regard, Consent Orders differ from a binding financial agreement because while both documents finalize property settlements between separating parties, both parties must obtain independent legal advice prior to signing off on a binding financial agreement whereas neither party must obtain independent legal advice prior to signing off on a Consent Order.

If you have any questions in relation to Consent Orders in Sydney please feel free to contact Kate Austin Family Lawyers Sydney or Kate Austin Family Lawyers Melbourne 

Read also: What Kinds Of Things Can Be Used As Justification For Challenging A Will In The UK?

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