Divorcing or separating couples will eventually need a form 11 consent orders kit. A consent order is basically a legal document that confirms an agreement between two parties. In family law, parenting plans for children, property settlement, and financial assets are included in these agreements. Couples can make this agreement without the court’s involvement.
But, where can couples get a form 11 consent orders kit? Parties may download this form at the website of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Parties may submit a joint application for consent orders in the family courts when they have reached an agreement on all relevant issues.
Separated parents often choose to obtain consent orders because it offers the stability and security of a court order. An application for consent orders gives parents the freedom to choose the terms and conditions of the order. It is also a considerably more affordable alternative to get consent orders compared to applying for a court order.
Western Australia and The Family Court Act 1997
For people living in Western Australia (WA), they may file a form 11 consent order kit in the family court of WA. Parties who are in a de facto relationship may also seek property settlement orders under the Family Court Act (WA) 1997.
Form 11 Consent Orders Kit: Parenting Arrangements
After separation or divorce, parents will need to make a parenting plan for childcare purposes if they have children. These arrangements may also affect the amount of child support that each parent will pay. A parenting plan must be in writing, and both parents must date and sign it. If both parents have an agreement on parenting arrangements, the court may turn these arrangements into parenting orders.
Other significant people in the child’s life like grandparents should also date and sign this. It is possible to amend a parenting plan if circumstances change, however, it will require new signatures and dates. If parties are unsure of what to put into a parenting plan, they may consult with a family lawyer. Here’s what’s typically included in parenting plans:
- Communication methods like how will each parent inform the other about their child’s medical and school information. Additionally, parenting plans will include things like travel plans and how the other parent communicates with his child. Are the parents more comfortable with texts or calls?
- Where the children will live and if they will live with one parent or equally in both parent’s homes. Parents may also dictate how they will spend their weekends, holidays, summer vacations, and birthdays.
- Schedule during changeovers and the specific time and day.
- Any changes to parenting time arrangements.
- Instances of hiring a babysitter in the event that one or both parents are unavailable during their parenting time.
- If grandparents or other relatives will have time with the child as well.
- Decisions on changing the child’s school or school program and how will parents bring the child to school.
- Healthcare arrangements and how the parents will act and resolve serious medical instances like surgeries. They may also include who will look over their children in the event that a child gets in an accident
- Relocation and how this will affect initial parenting arrangements. It is important to note that relocation takes a toll on the child’s relationship and time with the other parent. Hence, it’s important to approach this matter with careful decision-making.
- How to resolve conflicts and if both parents will agree in using a mediator or take it straight to the family court.
Parental Responsibility, the Child’s Best Interests, and the Family Law Act
An important factor that may affect parenting plans is the concept of parental responsibility and the child’s best interests. A parent with parental responsibility makes major life decisions about their child. Courts presume that both parents have equal shared parental responsibility.
However, there are instances where a parent can gain sole parental responsibility. It is not easy to gain sole parental responsibility since the courts may only allow this if it is in the child’s best interests. According to Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975, primary considerations of the child’s best interests are the:
- Benefit of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, grandparents, and other relatives. This includes substantial and significant time with these people
- Right to having protection from family violence, child abuse, and neglect.
Importance Of a Form 11 Consent Orders Kit
A form 11 consent orders kit, along with binding financial agreements, establishes a definitive financial relationship between both parties. It clearly outlines the limits to which each party should financially support each other. Moreover, it enables both parties to continue living their lives without worrying about the other party making claims, often years later. This includes moving on to other jobs, homes, relationships.
Moreover, future payoffs, such as compensation payouts (amount paid to someone because of financial loss due to an injury or accident), inheritances, or redundancy payments (a sum of money given to employees who are fired from their jobs), are not simply attainable if they occur after an application for consent orders are made. If the parties were only relying on a contractual understanding that was not properly sanctioned by the Court, this might not always be the case.
Clearing Up Misunderstandings
Consent orders help avoid misunderstandings between parties. Disputes frequently start because neither party was truly “on the same page” after a divorce or separation. Furthermore, their informal agreement is insufficient to resolve the conflict. This is the case even if the agreement is in writing.
Indeed, informal agreements carry out certain actions with regard to property settlement or future parenting arrangements. This enables some parents to just breach the agreement since it is not legally enforceable. However, a form 11 consent orders kit is legally binding and will ensure that both parties follow the agreement on parenting arrangements or property settlement.
It Helps With Moving On
After divorcing or coming to an informal financial arrangement, parties will experience emotional, and financial circumstances that may change within a specified time. This may include termination from a long-term job or contracting or developing a disease that prevents them from earning.
Agreements in a form 11 consent orders kit will prevent parties from attempting to seek the other party for a larger share in their property pool. However, higher earning parties have the duty and obligation to still financially support their ex-spouse through spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is a form of financial support that helps lower-earning spouses gain financial stability.
Obtain Independent Legal Advice With JB Solicitors
A form 11 consent orders kit requires careful preparation from parents and other significant people in a child’s life. However, not all of these parties may agree on certain arrangements and will end up falling into dispute. Thus, JB Solicitors is here to ensure that parties file their consent orders properly, and draft them appropriately in order to save legal fees.
If parties still continue to disagree, our team of lawyers can help with arranging a mediation or arbitration session. Mediation can help parties in reaching agreements about parenting matters, while arbitration can help parties reach an agreement about financial matters. We ensure that the results in these sessions are just, fair, and legally enforceable.
Contact and obtain legal advice today for more information about a form 11 consent orders kit.