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Consent Order Lawyers

What is the Difference Between a Consent Order and a Court Order? 

Many people assume that Family Law proceedings take place when 2 parties can't come to a mutual understanding, thus needing a judge to settle their dispute. If an agreement is reached, going to Court will no longer be necessary and a Consent Order can be used instead.


Lawyer drafting consent order

What is a Consent Order?

A Consent Order is an Order drafted by a legal practitioner. It is drafted in the same format as a Court Order, but it will confirm that you and your former partner agreed ‘by consent’ about the division of your assets and parenting arrangements.

The Distinction between a Consent Order and a Court Order

The distinction between a Consent Order and a Court Order is a common source of confusion. They are both legally binding and can be enforced by the Family Court of Western Australia. Thus, there is no practical difference between the two.

While both types of Orders are legally binding documents, they differ significantly in terms how they are created. In this blog post, we'll look at what distinguishes these 2 Order types so you can decide which one is best for you. 

An application for Consent Orders to the Family Court is made by the parties after they have agreed about the terms of their settlement. Court Orders can either be made by consent or at the end of a trial.

A Consent Order is a written agreement approved by a Court. They are used when you have made an agreement and want the Court to turn it into formal Orders, and don't need the Court to decide for you. When the Consent Order is made, it has the same effect as a Court Order made by a judicial officer after a Court hearing.

If one party has initiated Court proceedings, the Court will make Orders about what each party must do, regarding property division or future care of their children or both.

After the Court hears evidence from both parties, the Court makes Orders which are fair to both parties. Both parties must comply with the Orders.

A Court Order is made by a judge

A Consent Order is a Court Order that contains the terms that the parties have successfully negotiated. A Consent Order is approved by a registrar in chambers. A  Consent Order is a ruling that a registrar of the court makes after reviewing the terms the spouses have agreed or consented to.

   Similarities:

  1. Consent Orders and Court Orders are both legally binding.

  2. The Court will consider the Consent Order objectively and will only approve the Consent Order if the Court is satisfied it is ‘fair and reasonable’. A judge will also make Orders which are fair and reasonable.

  3. Consent Orders and Court Orders are both hard to change.

  4. The same penalties apply for breach of Court and Consent Orders.

  5. A Consent Order and Court Orders can cover parenting arrangements, and property and financial arrangements.

Differences:

  1. A Court Order is made by a judge after hearing evidence from both parties, whereas Consent Orders are prepared usually by a legal practitioner acting for one party and agreed to by the other party.

  2. A Court Order is a lot more expensive than a Consent Order as it usually involves a lengthy Court process culminating in a 2 or 3 day trial.

  3. A Consent Order can be filed with the Court for approval without initiating Court proceedings or at any stage during the proceedings when an agreement has been reached.

  4. Consent Orders don’t include Court hearings.

  5. A Consent Order is made with the consent of the involved parties, while a Court Order is not necessarily made with the consent or either party. 

  6. Using Consent Orders you can resolve your dispute without having to go through expensive and lengthy Court proceedings. A Court Orders result from a trial and a ruling by the judge.


The Court welcomes a Consent Order, as it demonstrates that both parties have made a concerted attempt to agree, thus preserving the Court's resources and sparing both you and your former partner time and expense.

Conclusion

The distinction between a Consent Order and a Court Order is important to understand. A Consent Order is mutually agreed upon by the parties involved, whereas a Court Order is made by a judge after hearing both sides.

Seeking legal advice from a qualified consent order lawyer may assist you in obtaining the best outcome for your particular circumstances. Contact us for a free no-obligation property settlement assessment to help protect your rights and assets in separation and divorce. 

Consent Order Lawyers

Ground Level Suite One, 3 Barker Ave, Como Western Australia 6152 

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