Is a Consent Order a Court Order: 4 Important Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

is a consent order a court order

The legal landscape sometimes feels like a maze, especially when terms overlap or are synonymous.

One such topic that often raises questions is the nature of consent orders in Australia. So, is a consent order a court order?

Is a Consent Order a Court Order?

Yes, in Australian law, a consent order is a type of court order.

Parties involved usually agree on the terms of the order, and once the court approves it, it has the same legal effect as any other court order.

It’s essential to understand that despite being based on mutual agreement, its enforcement is as binding as any court-determined order.

What are Consent Orders?

Consent orders are agreements that have been formalised and approved by the court.

These can cover various aspects, such as property division, spousal maintenance, or arrangements for children post-separation.

Once the court is satisfied that the agreement is just and equitable or in a child’s best interests, it can make the orders by consent.

What Are The Advantages of Consent Orders?

Mutual Agreement:

Consent orders stem from mutual agreements between the involved parties. This means that the terms and conditions laid out have been discussed and settled upon by both sides.

As a result, there’s often a greater sense of ownership and commitment to adhere to the order. This collaborative approach typically leads to fewer disputes or breaches down the line.


Court hearings and trials can be expensive endeavours, often raising significant legal fees, court costs, and sometimes even expert witness fees. Consent orders, being a product of mutual agreement, usually skip the more protracted stages of legal battles, resulting in substantial savings for both parties.


Consent orders offer parties the latitude to devise solutions tailored to their specific situation. Unlike court-imposed orders, which may be more rigid, consent orders allow for creative solutions that better cater to the unique needs and circumstances of the involved parties.

Legally Binding:

Some may mistakenly think that because consent orders are based on mutual agreement, they lack legal teeth.

However, once the court approves a consent order, it carries the same weight and enforceability as any court-issued order. Non-compliance can lead to serious legal consequences, ensuring both parties uphold their end of the agreement.

What Are The Considerations Before Applying for a Consent Order?

Legal Advice:

Even though consent orders arise from mutual agreements, it’s paramount to have them vetted by legal professionals.

An experienced lawyer can provide insights into whether the agreement is fair, equitable, and in the best interests of any involved children.

They can also foresee potential pitfalls or ambiguities in the agreement that might lead to issues in the future.


While it’s true that obtaining a consent order is generally faster than waiting for a court verdict after a full-blown hearing, it takes time.

The process involves drafting the order, possibly several rounds of negotiation, and then submitting it for court approval.

Parties must be patient and factor in this duration, especially if the order pertains to time-sensitive issues.

Review Mechanisms:

Life is dynamic, and circumstances can change. Especially in cases concerning childcare arrangements, it’s pivotal to include clauses that allow for periodic reviews of the order.

This ensures that the order remains relevant and suitable for the child’s changing needs and the evolving circumstances of the parents.

By grasping the advantages of consent orders and being attentive to vital considerations, parties can efficiently navigate the realm of consent orders within the Australian legal system.

Changing a consent order can be a difficult feat.

Understanding the nature and implications of consent orders is paramount for individuals navigating family law matters in Australia.

While they offer a harmonious way to settle disputes, it’s essential to approach them with caution, informed knowledge, and, ideally, expert legal advice.

Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.

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