Consent orders Western Australia is an important concept under family law. Consent orders in Western Australia are agreements that Courts approve for family law matters.
Divorce or separation can be stressful and challenging for many. On top of that, each party has legal obligations that they need to complete after filing for a divorce or separation.
The family law legislation in Australia promotes parties to have discussions and reach agreements among themselves. It promotes parties to communicate with each other. This is largely because the legislation places paramount importance on children.
Two parties can make a written agreement. Once the court approves this agreement, it becomes legally binding. This court-approved legally binding agreement is called consent orders in Western Australia.
In this blog article, we explore various points in relation to consent orders Western Australia. Importantly, the concept of consent orders is the same across all parts of Australia. However, in this article we will be outlining the process to apply for consent orders in Western Australia.
What Are Consent Orders Western Australia?
As briefly mentioned above, consent orders are essentially court-approved written agreements. But, the important question is, who makes these agreements?
When two parties have divorced or separated, there are various legal matters they need to finalise. For example, child custody arrangements, parental responsibilities and duties after separation etc. Moreover, property settlement is also an important matter for parties to finalise after their relationship breaks down.
Essentially, there are parenting matters and property matters that parties need to finalise once they have divorced or separated. It is entirely possible for two parties to finalise these matters and reach agreements by themselves.
This means that court intervention is not necessary in family law cases. When two parties reach such agreements, they must apply for consent orders in Western Australia. Only after courts make consent orders, the terms of the agreement become binding on the individuals.
If the terms are not binding, either of the parties may breach the agreement, thereby causing the other great inconvenience. This is why family lawyers always encourage parties to apply for consent orders in Western Australia.
Consent Orders Versus Parenting or Property Orders
Family courts make parenting orders in cases where two parties are unable to reach any agreement. Courts make these orders after considering the best interests of the child.
Similarly, property orders set out conditions that separated or divorced spouses have to follow when they are dividing property among themselves. Courts make property orders by assessing the financial and non-financial contributions of each party.
Financial contributions include income, wages, interests, financial resources, real property etc. On the other hand, non-financial contributions include the amount of time a party has spent in looking after the children of the marriage, looking after the house etc.
While parties are encouraged to reach mutual agreements and come up with parenting and property-related decisions by themselves, these matters are often contentious.
Parties can approach family courts only if they are unable to reach a conclusion. Moreover, they also need to show proof of family dispute resolution when approaching family courts.
So where exactly do consent orders come up? When two parties make their own agreements about property or parenting matters, they can apply for consent orders.
Consent orders essentially legalise or formalise their arrangement. It is important to legalise the agreement so as to avoid disputes or conflicts in the future. Once courts make consent orders, it becomes binding on both parties.
Non-compliance or breach of consent orders can be punishable, and the party who is at fault will be penalised.
Application for Consent Orders in Western Australia
Firstly, the parties need to complete the Application for Consent Orders i.e. Form 11. The parties need to write their agreement in a separate document called Minutes of Consent Orders. This is a draft document that details the arrangement.
As stated on the Family Court of Western Australia’s website, the parties need to attach the copy of the draft order along with their consent order application.
Moreover, parties need to attach supporting documents as well. The types of supporting documents will depend on the kind of consent orders you are seeking. For example, supporting documents for consent orders related to parenting matters will be different than that for property matters.
Supporting documents for parenting matters include copy of marriage certificate, copy of children’s certificates in case the parties were not married, and certified copies of any existing orders.
On the other hand, parties will need a slightly different set of supporting documents for property matters. This includes copies of any prenuptial agreements, certified copies of real estate title and copies of existing orders.
All parties need to sign the Application for Consent orders, and any additional affidavits. They must then file the application. There is a fee for applying for consent orders.
According to the Family Court of Western Australia, as of 1 July 2022, the Application for Consent Order or Form 11 costs $180.
How Can Family Lawyers Help You?
Family lawyers are experts in dealing with all legalities associated with divorce and separation in Australia. Our award-winning team at JB Solicitors has a wealth of experience in handling all family law matters.
We offer services to draft consent orders and help you with the entire application process for consent orders in Western Australia or otherwise. We can offer our services remotely through online sessions and meetings.
Moreover, we offer fixed-fee services for many straightforward, and also complicated family law matters. Parties who make agreements and then translate that into consent orders are often satisfied with their matter. This is because they have control over the discussion.
However, seeking court orders will be difficult because matters will no more be under your control. This is why family law solicitors always recommended parties to reach mutual agreements. Moreover, court procedures are also expensive and time-consuming.
Contact our experienced and friendly lawyers for more information.