If you reach an agreement with your spouse we strongly recommend that the agreement is formalised in Consent Orders.
The benefits of Consent Orders are:
The Family Court must approve the terms of the Consent Order and will not do so if it considers the agreement to be unjust. As a consequence it is important that you understand what the law is in relation to property matters and that any agreement that is reached complies with the law.
In financial matters, the Court will only permit a variation to Consent Orders where one party can show that they entered the agreement due to circumstances such as fraud, duress or a mistake of law or fact.
In financial matters, parties have the option of entering into a Binding Financial Agreement. A Binding Financial Agreement is not filed with the Court and does not require the court’s approval.
For the agreement to be a Binding Financial Agreement the solicitors for each party to the agreement must make a written declaration that they have given detailed legal advice on the contents of the document but not that they have given financial advice.
Binding Financial Agreements are highly litigated and are not our recommended option for formalising property agreements.
Without a Consent Order or a Binding Financial Agreement, no agreement whether in writing or not, will be enforceable between yourself and your ex-spouse. The Court can consider any informal agreement but is not bound by its terms.
© Cope Family Law 2020