Consent Orders: why do I need them?
It is a good idea to obtain Consent Orders for several reasons. Most of our clients have agreements regarding the division of their assets or the future care arrangements for their children, but they want to formalize them. You also have timeframes for when things happen, so nothing is left up to chance, and there is no room for ambiguity.
A family court consent order allows you to gain a stamp duty exemption on real estate transfers if you are transferring property from joint names to the name of just one party. Party planners can save a lot of money by doing this.
If you lock in arrangements for your children’s care, they cannot be changed later if one party’s circumstances change or if they simply change their minds. It is possible, for example, for one party to decide they wish to move away, or they might re-partner, which upsets the carefully balanced relationship. Rather than risk one party deciding that they no longer wish to follow a long-standing agreement, which can easily happen if the agreement was never finalized, Consent Orders mean that the parties are bound to continue to follow the Consent Orders regarding their parenting arrangements, regardless of any change to either party’s circumstances, which provides peace of mind to both parties.
Consent orders and maintenance orders for spouses – do I need them?
Occasionally, parties agree to pay spousal maintenance to each other. A lump sum or regular payments can be made through spousal maintenance. If the parties agree to this, then spousal maintenance Orders can be provided for and included in your Consent Orders. The agreement for the payment of spousal maintenance then becomes legally binding. Consent can be used to make a spousal maintenance Order, regardless of whether you were married or in a de facto relationship. It is not necessary to be married. The rules you set for paying spousal maintenance can be whatever you like, which suits both parties. The spousal maintenance payments, for example, might continue for some time, or until, for example, a child reaches a certain age, before they cease. Spousal maintenance is often used when people re-enter the workforce and earn their income while studying to re-enter the workforce.
Like Consent Orders finalizing your property settlement, Consent Orders dealing with spousal maintenance are legally binding. This means that they can be enforced by one party against the other if they are not followed or complied with.
If you need assistance with a divorce application, please contact our office.