All divorced and separated parties must draft a form 11 application for consent orders to form agreements. Some of these agreements may include parenting arrangements for children, property division, and financial assets. A form 11 application for consent orders is usually what disputed couples need in order to legally end their separation or divorce.
Does the Family Court Provide This Form?
Yes, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia usually provides downloadable DIY forms on their website. Married couples or people in a de facto relationship can apply for this application if they want to mutually divide or share property, income, financial resources, parental care, or debts. Hence, it’s important for parties to seek legal advice when drafting a form 11 application for consent orders.
Form 11 Application for Consent Orders: Property Division
Let’s think of property division as something that can help with having a clean “break-up”. Property division is important for couples who made significant contributions or who have a financial dependency in the relationship. Parties who have properties under their names will have two ways to divide them.
1. Lump sum payments
For instance, Lance wants to buy his ex-spouse’s share through lump sum payments. If all goes well, Lance must discharge all refinances or mortgages into his name if he wants to sell the property.
2. Dividing according to their own terms
Now, what if Lance’s ex-spouse doesn’t want to sell her share to him? His former spouse might also want to have other plans for her share that will cater to her needs and interests. Hence, both Lance and his former spouse can sell the property and divide the money between themselves.
Let’s look at another instance if Lance and his ex-spouse also own a business. This will require both of them to conduct share transfers or resignation as the direct owner of the business. Let’s say Lance plans to leave the business. He will have to request indemnity clauses to protect him from any past, present, or future liabilities.
However, if both parties continue to agree on running the business, they can keep their respective shareholdings and continue to operate as business partners. Whether it’s dividing properties or businesses, it’s important to draft a form 11 application for consent orders with a lawyer.
Child custody agreements or parenting plans are important to tackle when parents divorce or separate. These arrangements can get stressful and difficult especially if both parties can’t get along on arrangements and plans for the children. However, the family court will urge both parties to come to an agreement before opting for court procedures.
Parenting plans are simply a record of agreed arrangements regarding child care after separation or divorce. For instance, Lance explained to the family court that he wants to include living arrangements, education, and health care decisions for his child. His ex-spouse then agrees with his proposals and will continue to also lay out her own terms and conditions.
Advantages of Parenting Plans
Lance and his ex-spouse clearly demonstrated their willingness to decide their children’s best interests even if they divorced. It also involves both of them to involve themselves in their child’s life as proper parents and make responsible decisions on childcare. Both parties also had the advantage of:
- Lowering legal fees since they did not have to go to the family court;
- Increasing stability for themselves and their children;
- Reducing conflict with the other party regarding child support payments;
- Showing commitment to upholding their children’s best interests;
- Having flexibility since they got to customise their own parenting plan;
- A better long-term relationship with each other and other people; and
- Having a reference in case there are future conflicts or disagreements.
Once, parties have their final decisions on parenting arrangements, they can turn a parenting plan into parenting orders. Parenting orders are legally enforced documents that will require strict compliance from both parties.
Form 11 Application for Consent Orders: Financial Assets
Separating or divorcing parties will also need to properly divide and settle their finances. They can either use a form 11 application for consent orders or a binding financial agreement. While it’s possible to use consent orders and family court orders, binding financial agreements are also legally enforceable.
This is because informal agreements may lead to further disputes about the division of assets. In some cases, there will be a partner who is more financially well-off than the other. The higher-earning parent will have the parental responsibility to provide spousal maintenance to their ex-spouse and child maintenance for raising the child.
For instance, Lance’s former partner is well-off since she is a director at another company. His ex-spouse then agrees to provide financial support to Lance since he has not been financially independent since their divorce. While it’s possible that both partners can agree on this arrangement, financial matters can pose a lot of problems.
For courts to approve consent orders regarding the division of financial assets, parties must prove that the division is just and equitable. On the other hand, courts will allow spousal maintenance if the lesser-earning partner can prove that they are financially dependent.
Superannuation is classified as a different type of property in Consent Orders. In simpler terms, superannuation is like a pension.
This allows separating or divorcing couples to value their superannuation and split superannuation payments. However, splitting superannuation is not required. Splitting a superannuation fund does not allow people to convert it to cash. It can only be transferred between superannuation funds unless the person reaches retirement age.
What if Parties Continue to Disagree?
However, not all parties will agree with each other like Lance and his former partner. Some parties may opt to file for family court proceedings if there are serious cases like a history of family violence. Moreover, some parties may also refuse to provide spousal maintenance to their ex-spouse. This prevents both parties from filing a form 11 application for consent orders.
These parties may still opt for mediation if they want to avoid expensive family court proceedings. This enables them to have a cost-effective option of resolving disputes regardless of their situation’s difficulty. Parties may also develop their own kind of resolution that caters to their own terms and conditions in mediation.
Understanding Consent Orders and Family Law With JB Solicitors
Parties should seek independent legal advice from a family lawyer when drafting a consent order. Family lawyers can explain a parent’s duties and responsibilities during property settlement, parenting arrangements, or financial matters. Not only will lawyers help their clients understand their rights and responsibilities when drafting a consent order, but also enforce these orders in case of disputes or disagreements.
JB Solicitors can help disputed parties realise that there is more to drafting a consent order by themselves. Consulting with our family lawyers will give clients a detailed overview of the next steps to take in order to draft legally binding consent orders. We also have mediation services for parties who continue to disagree on parenting, property, and financial matters.
Contact and draft a form 11 application for consent orders with us today.