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Consent Orders: What You Need to Know

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Can a Consent Order be enforced and is it binding?

Yes, Consent Orders are legally binding and enforceable as if the matter had been litigated and the court had issued Consent Orders at the end of a contested final hearing. Essentially, there is no difference. If either party decides not to follow any of the provisions contained in the document, then the other party is at liberty to go to court and request enforcement of the Consent Order that is not being followed.

The majority of the time, however, both parties comply with court orders once they are issued. Particularly when Consent Orders have been made by Consent, we have found that the parties are generally happy to abide by them, as they are based on something they agreed to at the time.

Consent Orders regarding the future care arrangements for children are very different from parenting plans. The terms of parenting plans are neither legally binding nor enforceable, and they are often drafted in such a way that they cannot be enforced in any event. Mediation is often used to prepare a parenting plan that both parties agree on. They then c ask us to rewrite the document in a way that can be enforced, such as Consent Orders.th sign off on that and Consent Orders are obtained in accordance with their agreement, and largely in accordance with the parenting plan.

How do I enforce a Consent Order if my ex does not comply?

If your former partner is refusing to comply with the Consent Orders, our first suggestion would be to speak with them, either personally or via a mediation, or even through a legal representative, to see if arrangements can be made. In some cases, this is not possible, in which case the non-defaulting party may have to seek enforcement of their Consent Orders through the Family Court.

In essence, you are required to give the court details of the Consent Order or Orders that you say haven’t been complied with, which then are backed up by an affidavit, which summarizes the manner in which you say the Consent Order hasn’t been followed. Afterward, the other party may respond to your application if they wish. In the end the court will set the matter down for a hearing and make a determination as to whether or not the Consent Order has been complied with. The court will then make Orders that remedy the situation so that the non-defaulting party gets the remedy that they are seeking.

The non-defaulting party might, for example, file an application with the court to have the property sold so that it can be paid the amount that they are entitled to from the sale proceeds if the defaulting party fails to pay their share of the property and refinance it into their name.

If you have any questions I suggest you call Kate Austin Family Lawyers in Sydney or call  their Melbourne office  

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