If parties are able to reach an agreement in relation to the care arrangements of their children (Parenting Orders), or the division of property (Financial orders), or the maintenance for a husband, wife or de-facto spouse (Spousal Maintenance) they are encouraged to file a Form 11 Application for Consent Orders in the Family Court.
Consent Orders have the same binding legal effect as orders made after a Court hearing.
The Family Court will consider the matters set out in the Family Law Act 1975 when deciding whether to approve the parties’ Application for Consent Orders.
For Parenting Orders in relation to the care of children, the Court will consider whether the arrangements are proper pursuant to sections 60B, 60CA, 60CC, 61DA, 64B and 65DAA of the Family Law Act 1975. The welfare and best interests of the children are paramount considerations.
Parenting orders generally include orders relating to whom the child will live with, will set out the days and the times that a child may spend with the other party, specify arrangements for handover, child maintenance (for children not covered by the Child Support (Assessment) Act); and other important aspects of shared parental responsibility. Issues such as any dietary requirements, special health needs, schooling, sporting schedules and other considerations which assist parties with the day to day care, welfare and development of a child may be set out in the Minute of Consent Orders.
For Financial Orders in relation to the division of properties and Spouse Maintenance, the Court will consider whether the arrangements are just and equitable pursuant to sections 72, 74, 75 and 79 of the Family Law Act 1975 and Part VIIIB of the Family Law Act 1975 for married couple; or section 205 of the Family Court Act 1997 and section 13A of the Interpretation Act 1984 for de facto couple.
If the parties agreed to vary or discharge an existing order, which was made in any other Court or Family Court registry, then this can be done by filing a Form 11 Application for Consent Orders together with sealed copies of the existing orders in the Family Court.
It is very important that you understand the meaning and effect of the orders you are seeking.
You should seek legal advice about what orders to apply for.
Our family lawyers can guide you through the process of an Application for Consent Orders.