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In many instances, parties who separate are able to reach an amicable agreement with their former spouse about a property settlement, arrangements for their children and spousal maintenance without ever needing to commence proceedings in Court.
It is important that these agreements are formalised by binding consent orders. Failing which, any agreement reached is unlikely to be binding or enforceable.
You will also not be able to take advantage of stamp duty concessions for transferring property between you and your former spouse and capital gains tax relief without a formal agreement.
Formalising matters by way of consent orders will also significantly reduce the financial costs associated with commencing legal proceedings and, particularly in the event you have young children, place you in a better position to resolve any future issues that may arise in an amicable manner.
How to apply for consent orders
The friendly lawyers at HFM Legal can assist you in negotiating, preparing and filing an application for consent orders in the Family Court of Western Australia.
The application for consent orders consists of:
- a Form 11 application for consent orders;
- a minute of consent orders (this represents the orders you want the court to make);
- a copy of the marriage certificate (for de facto couples an affidavit as to jurisdiction will need to be filed);
- certificates of title for property;
- birth certificates for children; and
- the filing fee.
Can the Court refuse to make orders even if we agree?
In property matters, the Court can only make Final Orders which it considers to be “just and equitable” (or “fair and reasonable”) in all the circumstances of the case.
It can come as a surprise to some people that the Family Court can still refuse an application that the Family Court does not deem fair.
Even when parties agree to split property equally the Family Court may refuse to make the orders if, objectively speaking, one party should receive substantially more taking into account the relevant considerations of the legislation.
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