What is a Consent Order?

A Consent Order is an order from the Family Court in terms agreed to by both parties.

A Consent Order can be made without either party attending at Court. The process involves discussing and reaching agreement on matters such as:

  • who a child shall live with;
  • the time a child is to spend with another person;
  • who the child shall spend time with on special occasions and during holidays;
  • the allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
  • if 2 or more persons are to share parental responsibility for a child — the form of consultations required about decisions;
  • communication between a child and another person;
  • the process to be used for resolving disputes;
  • other aspects of the care, welfare or development of the child.

Unlike a Parenting Plan, child support matters cannot be included in a Consent Order.

There are various ways people come to agreement about these issues. Some parents have already reached agreement and simply contact us to draft the appropriate court forms. Other parents have agreed on some issues, and ask us to help them reach final agreement, either through correspondence or participating in a mediation.

When agreement is reached on all the relevant issues, the parties jointly file an Application for Consent Orders in the Family Court, asking the Court to make an Order reflecting their agreement. Obtaining a Consent Order is a common option for separated parents because it provides the security and structure of a court order, while allowing parents to have input about the terms of the order. It is also a much more cost effective way of obtaining a court order, as opposed to commencing an Application in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.

If one party has already filed an Application for Parenting Orders in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court, and you are able to reach agreement about care of children, you can jointly ask the Court to make a Consent Order at any stage in those proceedings.

Once a Consent Order is in place, there are consequences for not complying with your obligations and responsibilities or interfering with another person’s ability to comply with the Order. If you are concerned about non-compliance with a Consent Order, we suggest you contact us before either party files an Application for a Contravention Order in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.

If you would like to know more about obtaining a Consent Order regarding care of your children, please contact us. Alternatively, please read further information on our website about Parenting Plans or commencing an Application in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.


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