How to apply for Consent Orders

If both parties have reached agreement about parenting and/or financial arrangements through family dispute resolution and want to formalize the agreement to make it legally bindin, here's what you need to do.

Are there any restrictions in filing consent orders for property or financial orders?

Applications can be filed anytime after separation but should be filed wit?hin 12 months of a divorce or 2 years of the breakdown of a de facto relationship if parties wish to seek orders from the court. If you are seeking orders for property or maintenance and more than 12 months has lapsed since your divorce became final, you should consider s44 (hppt://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fla1975114/s44.html) (3) of the Family Law Act.

If your defacto relationship broke down more than 2 years before the date of filing this application, an Application for Consent Orders is not the appropriate form. You should file and 'Application in a Case', seeking the Court's permission to bring an application for property settlement/maintenance.

CONSENT ORDERS APPLICATIONS CAN ONLY BE FILED IN THE FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA.

How do I file an application?

File an application for consent orders electronically (eFile) on the Commonwealth Courts Portal

OR

Complete and file the forms at the Family Law Court Registry.

Are there any fees?

There is a $155 fee (or $0 if you are eligible for an exemption of fees - only the applicant is required to be eligible for exemption). If you have eFiled your application you will be required to pay the filing fee by credit card. If you file your application by post or in person go to Family Law Court website and go to Making Payments to the Courts.

What will happen after I have filed documents with the court?

If you posted or filed an application for consent orders at a registry, each party will receive a sealed copy of the photocopied application back after filing, for their records. The original application will be kept by the Court on file. The application will be considered and the parties will be notified if the consent orders are made by receipt of the sealed orders. 

If the orders are not made, the parties will receive notification as why the orders were not made. Of you wish to follow up on your consent orders application you should email the family law registry where the application was made. If you receive notification that the consent orders have not been made by the Court, you should obtain legal advice.

What the court needs to consider

The Family Law Act requires the courts to regard the best interests of the child as the most important consideration when making parenting orders.

In relation to financial matters, the court has to be satisfied that the agreement is just and equitable and/or in the best interests of the child/ren before they can make a consent order.

Finally

It is advisable to obtain legal advice before making such a decision as a lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. You can obtain initial free legal advice from a Legal Advice Line (Legal Aid) in your state or territory.Alhtough court staff at Family Law Courts can provide information on access to services, they cannot give you legal advice.