What is a consent order?

A consent order is a way of formalising an agreement to make it legally binding. Consent orders are a written agreement that both parties consent to, before being submitted to and finalised by the court. 

Consent orders are most commonly used in family law following the breakdown of a marriage or de-facto relationship.

The important thing to note about consent orders is that a consent order is legally enforceable. This means that if a court finds that a party has broken the agreement stipulated in the orders without a reasonable excuse then there are penalties that may be applied. 

Depending on the nature of the consent orders, the penalties can range from having to make back time missed with the other parent, to jail time. 

Consent orders are typically used to finalise an agreement regarding:

Child custody

After going through a breakup, you and your former partner will need to decide on the future arrangements for your child/ren. 

If you’re both in agreement on what you wish to happen but would like to have a formal agreement, you can avoid going to court and instead make the agreement legally binding by filing an application in the Family Court of Australia for consent orders.

When you file an application for consent orders, the proposed orders are considered by a registrar, who will then consider what is in the best interests of the child.

If it is found that the proposed orders are in the best interests of the child, the Registrar will approve them and they will then become court orders.

If you feel like there’s a possibility that one of you may stray from the agreement, consent orders are a good idea as they provide a deterrent for disobeying the agreement as-well-as a procedure to follow if the agreement is broken, unlike a parenting plan. 

For more information about the difference between a parenting plan and consent orders, please read our other article: Parenting plans vs consent orders.

Financial/Property agreements

After the breakdown of a relationship, you and your former partner will need to reach an agreement regarding the division of your property and finances. You may also need to pay maintenance to your former spouse or de-facto partner.

You can apply for consent orders to outline how your property, financials, superannuation and income is split between the two of you.

Ideally, you’ll be able to reach an agreement amicably and won’t need to go through dispute resolution in order to reach an agreement.

Once you have reached an agreement, you will need to file an application for consent orders. This can be done using the DIY consent order application kit, however, we recommend working with an experienced family lawyer such as MDV Family Lawyers to help guide you through the process to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties.

For more information regarding applying for consent orders, click here.