What Happens After a Consent Order is Sealed by a Judge?
Once the judge seals a Consent Order, it becomes legally binding. This means that both parties must adhere to the terms set out in the Order.
It has the same legal effect as if the judge had decided the Order without the parties going through the entire court process.
A Consent Order aims to finalise agreements between parties regarding the division of their financial assets and care arrangements for their children.
Once sealed, it provides both parties with legal protection. If either party fails to comply with the terms, they can be held accountable in court.
It’s a way to ensure that both parties stick to their agreed-upon terms without further legal intervention, unless there’s a breach.
What Are the Steps Involved in Implementing the Consent Order?
- Drafting the Order: The agreement reached by both parties is drafted into a document called “Draft Consent Orders.” This step ensures that the agreement is put into a legally acceptable format.
- Application for Consent Orders: Alongside the draft, another document, the “Application for Consent Orders,” is prepared. This needs to be filed with the court. This procedural requirement ensures the court knows the intention to create a Consent Order.
- Review and Approval: Both documents are sent to the parties for approval. Changes can be made if necessary. This step ensures both parties agree with the terms set out in the draft.
- Signing and Filing: Formalises the agreement and sets the legal process in motion. Once both parties agree, they sign the documents filed with the court.
- Sealing by the Court: If the court finds the Order to be ‘just and equitable,’ it will seal the Order, making it legally binding.
What Are the Do’s and Don’ts After a Consent Order Is Sealed by the Judge?
After a Consent Order is sealed, adhering to its terms is crucial. Common mistakes include:
- Not following the Order’s specifics.
- Making informal changes without legal documentation.
- Assuming that the Order can be easily modified without consequence.
Comply with the Order: Always follow the terms set out in the Consent Order.
Seek Legal Advice: Consult a legal professional if you need clarification on any aspect of the Order.
Open Communication: Maintain open communication with the other party, especially concerning children’s care arrangements.
Document Changes: If both parties agree to any changes, ensure they are documented and legally recognised.
Ignore the Order: Failing to comply can lead to legal consequences.
Make Informal Changes: Any changes to the Order should be legally documented.
Assume Flexibility: The Order is legally binding and not easily changeable.
What Is the Duration of Different Types of Consent Orders?
Once sealed by the court, consent orders do not have an explicit expiration date. Instead, their validity and duration depend on the type of order and the circumstances surrounding it.
Financial Consent Orders: These are generally final once they are implemented. This means that the agreement is considered complete once the financial assets have been divided according to the order.
The order does not “expire” in the traditional sense; rather, once terms are fulfilled, it ceases to have any further effect.
Any attempt to revisit or change the terms would require exceptional circumstances, such as evidence of fraud or significant non-disclosure.
Seek Legal Advice: What Happens After Consent Order Is Sealed by Judge
Consent Orders play a pivotal role in ensuring that agreements reached between parties are honored and legally binding.
They offer a way to avoid lengthy court battles and provide a framework for both parties to move forward.
Given their binding nature, it’s essential to understand the terms and implications fully.
Always seek legal advice to ensure that your interests are protected and that the Order is fair and equitable.
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.