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Can You Do a Consent Order Yourself?

can you do a consent order yourself | Justice Family Lawyers

The short answer: technically, yes

While it’s true that no law requires you to use a solicitor for a consent order, it’s important to tread carefully. 

If you and your ex have a straightforward agreement and you’re both confident in your ability to understand legal documents, you can consider handling it on your own. 

However, to avoid negative implications, it is important to consider the risks involved in obtaining a consent order yourself.

What are the risks of drafting my own consent order?

While the idea of saving money by drafting a consent order yourself may be tempting, there are significant risks to be aware of.  Let’s dive into why hiring a family lawyer is a far safer route:

1) Hidden loopholes

Family law is complex, and without expert knowledge, you may unintentionally leave gaps or use wording in your consent order that could be misinterpreted later on. Even a small error can lead to expensive consequences or court disputes down the track.

2) Fairness for both sides

A consent order needs to be fair to be approved by the court. Without proper legal advice, you may unknowingly agree to terms that disadvantage you. A lawyer ensures the document protects your rights and interests.

3) Missing important details

Consent orders aren’t just for basic divisions. They should address various crucial aspects like what happens if one of you wants to move interstate with the children, how future inheritances will be handled, and other important considerations. It’s easy to overlook these details when you’re not familiar with the full scope of family law.

4) Tax traps

The way you split your assets can have surprising tax implications. If your consent order isn’t carefully worded, you could face unexpected and substantial tax bills.

5) Difficulties with enforcement

If your ex-partner doesn’t adhere to a poorly written consent order, it can be nearly impossible to enforce it through the courts. A correctly drafted order leaves no room for ambiguity, giving you the legal power to ensure the agreement is upheld.

Also read: 7 Benefits of Consent Order

Can a consent order be rejected if I write it myself?

If you’re thinking of saving legal fees by writing your own consent order after a separation, be aware that there are scenarios where it can get rejected by the court. Here’s what you need to know:

1) Incorrect format or information

Family courts have strict requirements for how consent orders are written. If your order doesn’t meet those standards, it will likely be sent back for revision, leading to delays and potentially extra costs involving a lawyer to fix it.

2) Unfair or unclear terms

The judge reviewing your consent order must ensure it is fair to both you and your ex-partner.  If your agreement heavily favours one side, or the language is vague and open to interpretation, it may be rejected.

3) Overlooked factors

Family law covers various aspects of asset division, financial support, and parenting arrangements if children are involved. If your consent order fails to address crucial issues like future living arrangements for children, treatment of inheritances, or tax implications, the judge will likely consider it incomplete.

4) Not in the best interests of children (if applicable)

When you have children, their well-being takes priority. Your consent order needs to outline a parenting plan that addresses their needs clearly. If the judge deems your plan unsuitable, your order can be rejected.

Also read: Benefit of Consent Order: 7 Advantages You Need to Know

Risks of DIY Consent Orders

Drafting your own consent order might seem like a way to save money, but the hidden risks can end up costing you dearly.  Mistakes in wording, unfair terms, and missing crucial details could lead to future disputes, court battles, and financial losses.

To protect your future and achieve an agreement that’s fair and legally sound, it’s highly recommended to seek expert guidance from experienced family lawyers.

They can help you navigate the process with confidence, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected, and that your consent order is drafted in a way that minimises the risk of rejection by the court or future legal complications.

Contact us today for your free consultation to secure your peace of mind for your future.

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