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Family Law

I’ve Received Consent Orders From My Ex. What’s Next?

Have you received Consent Orders from your ex?

Do you want to understand the legal jargon and make sure it doesn’t negatively impact you?

Then keep on reading to find out more!

What are Consent Orders?

Consent Orders are the legal documents that are negotiated and signed by a separated couple when they have been able to agree on how to divide their assets and/or parenting arrangements for their children.

These legal documents are almost always the most cost and time effective option for separated couples. Why? Because they avoid the need for the parties to incur significant emotional and financial costs of fighting it out at Court for many months and possibly years to ultimately leave their future in the hands of a Judge.

Consent Orders relating to assets may cover the following:

– What happens with the family home (i.e. will it be sold or transferred to you or your ex);

– The division of other assets such as cars, shares, bank accounts and furniture;

– A cash payment to one or both of you;

– The transfer of super between you and your ex; and

– What is to occur with any companies/partnerships/trusts.

Parenting Orders may cover the following:

– Who has the day to day care of the children;

– Who the children spend time with and when;

– Arrangements for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and school holidays;

– Details of changeover location; and

– Details of communication with the children when not in your care.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia encourage people to reach an agreement about these matters following separation. Some people are able to agree between themselves and then only need the assistance of lawyers to prepare the Consent Orders. Others may need assistance of a lawyer to limit issues in dispute and to negotiate an agreement, whether it is by written communication or attending mediation.

Benefits of Consent Orders

Cost effective

In most cases, Consent Orders are the most cost-effective option to legally document your family law separation.

Duty exemptions

Another benefit of using Consent Orders is that there are exemptions to paying duty on transfers of property. For example, stamp duty on the former matrimonial home.

For example, if the home is in joint names and one of you buys the other out, then the person retaining the property may have to pay stamp duty on 50% of the value of the property (if they do not have Consent Orders). If the house is worth $800,000, stamp duty in Qld may be $21,850 on the entire value and $5,250 on 50% of the value ($400,000). With Consent Orders, this stamp duty will not be payable.

Please note – The above estimates have been prepared via the QLD Government Transfer Duty Estimator and are a guide only. It is not a substitute for professional financial advice.

Autonomy

If you and your ex can reach an agreement, then it’s your decision and not left to a Judge to decide for you. That means that you and your ex will have the autonomy to be able to tailor the agreement to work for your situation, provided of course it is still within the confines of what the law will allow.

Finality

Consent Orders will finalise your family law separation. This means that your ex cannot come back in the future for another share in your assets or change parenting arrangements without your agreement or an order from the Court (which is extremely difficult and costly in most cases).

Should I get my own legal advice?

If you receive Consent Orders from your ex or their family lawyer, then we would strongly encourage you to obtain your own independent legal advice from your own family lawyer. Why? Because the Consent Orders would have been prepared by your ex’s family lawyer, and family lawyers are strictly prohibited from acting for both of you. There is a risk therefore that the Consent Orders could have been prepared to your detriment or missed key crucial information because your ex’s lawyer has not heard your version of events and they do not represent you.

Our Family Lawyers at Martens Legal have the legal experience and expertise to provide you with advice to ensure all important matters are dealt with in the Consent Orders and that you are fully protected.

Fixed fee review 

We offer a fixed fee service to review your Consent Orders.

Our service ordinarily includes:

– a detailed review of the Consent Orders; and

– meeting with you in person to provide you with advice regarding the documents themselves as well as any issues or amendments.

If you have corporate entities such as companies or trust etc., then we can also undertake a detailed review of the relevant corporate entity documents to confirm the accuracy of these issues in your Consent Orders.

Would You Like Further Information?

To get started, simply email us a copy of your Consent Orders to [email protected] We will then be in touch with a fixed fee quote for your approval.

For further information, please contact us today or book an appointment online.

By Tegan Martens
Director & Principal Lawyer
Martens Legal

Disclaimer:

The information contained on this site is for general guidance only.  No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information.  Appropriate professional advice should be sought based on your particular circumstances.