Consent Orders are Orders agreed upon by the parties and approved by Court. Consent Orders can be made in relation to parenting issues and/or property issues. Once Consent Orders have been made, these will usually be the final step of a proceeding.
If the children’s arrangements need to change, if there were significant omissions of evidence or a substantial change in any factors that the decision was based on, then we may consider appealing the case from time to time.
Consent orders allow parties to reach their own outcomes while still being enforceable before the courts. Consent orders mean you and your partner/the other parent can decide on your own arrangements for parenting and/or property issues. Having enforceable orders also means that if the other party does not comply with the consent orders, you can file an application with the court for a breach of your orders.
The court will need to be satisfied that any property orders you seek are just and equitable and that any parenting orders you seek are in the best interests of the child. These are the same requirements as if your matter had gone to a court hearing.
Consent orders are also usually faster, cheaper, and more likely to preserve a relationship that enables co-parenting than if parties go to a contested hearing. They are also more likely to be complied with than Orders made by a court.
Though the contents of consent orders are agreed between parties, they must be filed with the court to be enforceable. The court will only make the orders sought by the parties if they are just and equitable (for property orders) or in the best interests of the child (for parenting orders). If the court does not think your orders are just and equitable or in the best interests of your child, it may reject the orders you sought.
Your orders may also be rejected on other grounds, such as:
• A possible miscarriage of justice due to duress or coercion.
• A party has defaulted on the orders
• The order is no longer practicable
If your orders sought are not made, you may seek a review of the decision.
Consent orders carry the same legal effect as orders determined by the court. This means they are intended to be final.
Parenting orders by consent can be varied if you bring an application for a breach of the orders. You might also be able to have your parenting orders by consent varied if there has been a significant change to you or your child’s circumstances, and the orders are no longer in your child’s best interests.
Property orders by consent can be varied if you bring an application for a breach of the orders by the other party, or in exceptional circumstances such as if the assets of your property are proceeds of crime. Property orders may be harder to amend as courts are required to try to end the financial relationship between you and your former partner completely.