How to apply for Consent Orders

While it it advisable to seek legal advice before applying to the courts to turn agreements reached in family dispute resolution into legally binding ones, it is not necessary.

  • A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. They can also explain how the law applies to your case.
  • The Family Relationship Advice Line (FRAL) can help you with free legal advice and information about services available to assist with information relating to family law proceedings. Their number is 1800050321. 
  • You can also obtain initial free legal advice from a Legal Advice Line (http://www.accesstojustice.gov.au/LegalAssistance/Pages/legalaidcommissions.aspx ) in your state or territory.
  • You can also refer to Access to Justice (http://www.accesstojustice.gov.au/Pages?default.aspx) which provides help and information on access to services.
  • Please note that FDR Practitioners or Court staff cannot give you legal advice.

If both parties have reached agreement in family dispute resolution about parenting and/or financial/property arrangements and want to formalise the agreement to make it legally binding, you can apply to the Family Court of Australia for consent orders.

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.

Restrictions in filing consent orders for property or financial agreements

  • Although an application can be filed anytime after separation, it should be filed within 12 months of a divorce or 2 years of the breakdown of a de facto relationship.
  • If you are seeking orders for property settlement or maintenance and more than 12 months has lapsed since your divorce, you should seek legal advice to find out about your options and obligations. In these circumstances you may find that you will need to consent to the Court making the proposed property and maintenance orders.
  • If your de facto relationship broke down more than 2 years before the date of filing this application, you should file an Application in a Case form, seeking the Court's permission to bring an application for property settlement/maintenance.

Which Court?

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 by going to

  1. (http://www.comcourts.gov.au/
  2. Go to 'Register for the Commonwealth Courts Portal for information on how to register.
  3. If you have any portal related queries email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact them by Live Chat.

OR

Complete and file the following forms at a family law registry (/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/contact-us/locations).

Are there any fees?

There is a $155 fee for full paying clients or $0 if you are eligible for an exemption of fees. For a full list of fees refer to 'Family Law (Fees) Regulation 2012

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

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 receive notification as to why the orders were not made. If you wish to follow up on your consent orders application you should email family law registry (/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/contact-us/locations) where the application was filed. If you receive notification that the consent orders have not been made by the Court you should obtain legal advice.

If you eFiled an 'application for consent orders' you will be able to go into the Documents Filed section and print a sealed copy for your record. 

 

This article is an excerpt taken from /wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/contact-us/locations