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Consent Orders

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In the Australian Family Law system, Consent Orders serve as a valuable mechanism for resolving disputes and formalising agreements between parties, without the need for lengthy and costly Court proceedings. Consent Orders offer a legally binding solution and can be drafted to cover various aspects of family law, including parenting arrangements, property settlements, and financial matters. The following aims to provide an overview of Consent Orders and their significance within the Australian Family Law system

The Process of Consent Orders

Consent Orders are written agreements that reflect the mutually agreed-upon terms between parties involved in a family law dispute. These orders are approved by the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court (“FCFCoA”), making them legally enforceable. Consent Orders can cover a wide range of matters, including child custody and visitation arrangements, division of property and assets, spousal maintenance, child support, and any other financial matters. These orders can be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, ensuring that the agreed-upon arrangements align with the best interests of the children involved and the parties’ financial circumstances.

Consent Orders are comprised of:

  1. An Application for Consent Orders: which largely includes information about the parties, any children of the relationship and provides a snapshot of their current financial situation; and
  1. A Minute of Proposed Orders: which is comprised of the negotiated orders that the parties compile and agree upon, then signed by each party.

Once the Court receives the filed Application and Minute, it will review the documents and, if satisfied that the orders are just and equitable (eg. fair), will make the orders legally binding.

On account of this streamlined process, Consent Orders offer several advantages. They provide a quicker and more cost-effective resolution compared to litigation. By avoiding court proceedings, parties can save time, money, and emotional stress. Depending on the Family and Federal Circuit Court’s workload at the time, an Application for Consent Orders is usually considered within 4 to 6 weeks of filing. By comparison, it is not unusual that people taking the traditional Court litigation route waiting 18 months before reaching their Final Hearing. In addition, Consent Orders provide certainty and stability, as they are enforceable by law. This ensures that parties are bound by the agreed terms and can seek legal recourse if these terms are not adhered to. Lastly, Consent Orders can be consensually modified if there are substantial changes in circumstances, allowing for flexibility in addressing evolving needs and situations.

Consent Orders play a vital role as a non-litigious avenue of resolving disputes in the Australian Family Law system, providing a pathway for parties to resolve disputes and reach agreements in a legally binding manner. They offer a practical alternative to lengthy court proceedings and empower parties to take control of their family law matters.


You deserve to know your legal rights and responsibilities. We will guide you through the process every step of way, ensuring that not only are all potential outcomes discussed but also advice where it is relevant for your unique circumstances. You can rely on our expert family lawyers at Mornington Family Lawyers for a wide range of legal services. We offer sound advice and practical solutions tailored to your needs, whether you’re dealing with simple or more complex cases. We have experience in all family law matters and have helped many clients resolve their matters.

To get help resolving your matter, call us on 8391 8411 or complete our contact form for an obligation free discussion.



What needs to be done to commence a property settlement?

In the Family Court of Australia, parties intending to apply for financial orders must first attend dispute resolution before filing an application. The application can then be filed any time after separation but should be filed within 12 months of a divorce.

Can a property settlement be started before divorce?

Yes. During the period of separation, you may complete the property settlement before getting a divorce. You will need to sort out how to divide your assets and debts. This can be done via an agreement between yourself and your former spouse.

Can parties agree on a property settlement?

If you agree on arrangements, you can seek to formalise your arrangements by contacting our firm at Mornington Family Lawyers to draft your Consent Orders. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can engage our lawyers at Mornington Family Lawyers to apply to the Court for Financial Orders.

How are the assets divided into a family law settlement?

Despite popular opinion, there is no presumption that property should be divided 50/50. The Family Law Act 1975 sets out factors that must be taken into account when a judge is deciding on how property is to be divided. The Court will consider whether it is ‘just and equitable’ to make an order for an adjustment of property. In dividing the assets of the marriage, the Court will consider the relevant factors being:
  1. The respective contributions made by both parties – determining assets and liabilities;
  2. Direct financial contributions by each party to the marriage or de facto relationship;
  3. Indirect financial contributions by each party such as gifts and inheritances;
  4. Non-financial contributions to the marriage or de facto relationship such as homemaking; and
  5. Future needs – the Court will take into account further matters like age, health, financial position, care of children, and ability to earn.

What is the time limit for property settlement?

You may organise your family law property settlement as soon as you want after separation. A minimum period does not apply. However, due to the emotional aspect of the matter, you may choose to allow a short period of time to elapse before properly considering property division. However, a maximum time limit does apply. An application to the Court for property settlement must be filed within 1 year of a Divorce becoming “absolute” for married couples or 2 years of separation for de facto couples. These time limits apply across all States and Territories throughout Australia.


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