You and your former spouse may have spent weeks or maybe months negotiating backwards and forwards in respect of children, property or both issues and after you have done “the hard yards”, the process surely to formalize your agreement should be straightforward.
Unfortunately to formalize the process involves one of two complex processes.
There are two (2) types of process which are available to formalize an agreement between parties pursuant to the Family Law Act 1974 and they are:-
1. A Consent Order which is undertaken by an Application for Consent Orders, a process whereby the application together with Consent Orders is filed in the Family Court. This process can take between 4-8 weeks and involves disclosure of all assets and particulars of the parties to be inserted in the documents which are then filed in the Court. The Court then approves the orders or distribution and orders are made; and
2. An agreement between the parties is created wherein (which is referred to as a Binding Financial Agreement) wherein the parties detail their current circumstances, the contributions made and the particulars as to the parties and the orders or distribution to be undertaken. This process can take between 4-8 weeks and is slightly more expensive than the Consent Orders.
In some circumstances, for example where a superannuation split is required, the only method of undertaking the superannuation split is by undertaken by one of the processes set out above. Further if a transfer of property is required as part of the settlement, should one of the processes be undertaken, you will be entitled to an exemption of stamp duty.
Probably the most important reason for undertaking one of the above processes to finalise your agreement is that it brings the agreement to finality and prevents the other party from making a further claim in the future with either process only being able to be overturned in exceptional circumstances.
Of course should you have questions or if we can assist you in formalizing your agreement, please contact Joseph O’Hare of our office. Joe O’Hare is a family law expert and our firm is located in the suburbs of North Brisbane.
Further, we can provide a fee cap or fixed fee arrangement in respect of these processes in some circumstances. Should you require assistance, please contact Joe on (07) 3266 8999.