When discussing legal matters in family law and property law, we often get clients who are confused about the meaning of Minute of consent orders. The aim of this article is to answer the question of ‘what is a Minute of consent orders’ by discussing all relevant aspects of the topic.
To begin with, let’s define a Minute of consent orders. The term “Minute” of consent orders is used to refer to a document which contains the proposed orders that you are asking the court to make on your behalf.
A consent order is a court order that is put forward by the Family Court in terms that are agreed by all involved parties. These can be made either by attending the court, or without attending the court.
When Is A Minute Of Consent Orders Used?
When two parties come to an arrangement by themselves, it is always recommended that they approach the court and request that the court make orders according to the arrangements. These are consent orders that formalise the arrangements, and make them legally binding.
Until the final orders are made by the court, you can request for consent orders. This can be done by filing a Minute of consent orders in cases where you have already made an application before the court. In case you don’t have a current application, you have to first make an application for consent orders.
The draft consent order has certain requirements that need to be fulfilled. These include:
- The proposed orders must be clearly and explicit stated in the draft order
- It must be stated that both parties have made the draft by consent
- The draft needs to be signed by both the parties
- It must be accompanied with additional copies of the order – A) for each person to have a copy for each of them to be served; and for the court to have an additional copy. B) each copy needs to be certified by the applicant’s lawyer as a true copy (and certified by each party as a true copy).
The application for consent orders need to be made by following the steps as stated in Rule10.15 of the the Family Law Rules (2004).
Consent orders are essential when you wish to finalise any property, financial or parenting agreement. They make these agreements legally binding. People can apply for different orders at the same time. These can be followed indefinitely, unless an expiry date has been clearly set down in the order.
What Matters Are A Minute Of Consent Orders Considered For?
Under family law, a Minute of consent orders can be considered mainly for issues such as:
- property settlement; or
- parenting orders; or
- for payment of spousal maintenance.
A Minute of consent orders can be signed and submitted to the Family Court by both parties. The court will then consider it if the document is in order, and all provisions have been articulated properly in a way that is legally binding, and capable of enforcement.
Once the court is satisfied with it, it will then proceed to make consent orders in accordance with the Minute of order that has been filed by involved parties.
- Why are consent orders important?
When people reach verbal or informal written agreements about any legal matter, they are not considered to be legally binding. This can cause a lot of problems and confusions in the future, which also have the potential to become full-blown conflicts.
This is especially the case with financial agreements, where one party may change the conditions or terms in the future, and there will be no proof of the terms that the parties had initially agreed upon.
- What are examples of consent orders?
They can be used for parenting arrangements which detail plans around the amount of time that each parents gets to spend with the child, and other important aspects like:
- Who will have parental responsibility for the child
- Time and location of changeover of care of child
- If children can travel overseas with the other parent
They can be used for property arrangements or financial orders which could include:
- Who is to retain which assets – like house, car, furniture, expensive jewellery, etc.
- How are all outstanding debts to be resolved
- In case of transfer of property from one party to the other – how the transfer of property is to take place, including any amount that needs to paid.
- Can they be drawn up by the parties themselves??
There are do it yourself (DIY) kits available on the Family Court of Australia website. Once you download this, you can draw it up by yourself.
However, family lawyers are more experienced and well-versed with dealing with these matters with efficiency and in an error-free manner. It is always safer, and faster to get these orders prepared by family lawyers.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice From JB Solicitors
This article has provided an overview of what a Minute of consent orders are, and detailed some additional information on consent orders.
When you are in the process of preparing arrangements, and applying for consent orders, it is better to have an experienced solicitor by your side to ease your burden. Family lawyers can ensure a smooth legal process, and if court attendance is required, they can assist you with those procedures as well.
In certain cases, it is not always going to be easy to reach common agreements. In such situations, it is advisable to seek expert mediation and dispute resolution services. Through this, you will be able to reach a satisfactory agreement without hassle.
At JB Solicitors, our team of expert family lawyers consists of award-winning mediators with a wealth of experience. If you have reached an agreement, we have competent solicitors who can help speed-up the process of turning these informal arrangements into consent orders.
Contact our friendly and compassionate team of lawyers today.