What Should You Do Next

Once you have the Family Law Calculator result, you should have an idea of what your property entitlements are, in accordance with the principles of the Family Law Act as implemented in case law. You can then finalise your property settlement with your partner by consent and make it official quickly and cheaply in one of two ways:

  • By way of financial agreement after separation - a financial agreement will require you and your partner to each receive independent legal advice from an independent family lawyer. The family lawyers will put your agreement into writing and once finalised, you and your partner will execute it, each in front of your own family lawyer, and the respective lawyers will sign an independent certificate of advice confirming that you received the proper legal advice (see our editorial about financial agreements for more information); or

  • By way of consent orders through the Family Court – you and your partner are not required to each have independent legal advice, although it is highly recommended that you do. It is recommended that you would at least have a family lawyer prepare the necessary consent orders as agreed between you and your partner. You and your partner will have to complete a detailed application form prescribed by the Family court, providing personal and financial information in detail. The application form, together with the consent orders, are then filed with the Family Court and reviewed by a Registrar of the Family Court. If the Registrar considers the orders to be ’just and equitable’ in the circumstances, the Family Court makes the orders. If not, the Family Court may ask for further information or amendments to be made, before the Registrar agrees to make the orders.

One main advantage in obtaining consent orders through the Family Court, is that it is less vulnerable to being set aside later on, whereas a financial agreement might be more exposed to be set aside, for example, in circumstances where the legal advice provided by any of the family lawyers, may not have been adequate (see our editorial about financial agreements for mor information).

Another main difference between the above two options, is that if you also wish to finalise parenting matters with your partner by consent, this can only be done by way of consent orders in the Family Court and not by way of an agreement between you and your partner, even if it was drafted by a family lawyer. A parenting agreement can be made, with or without a family lawyer, but it will not be binding and enforceable and will be subject to the good will of the parties. It is only binding and enforceable if made by way of order by the Family Court.

Both these options of finalising your financial matters by consent will save you significant legal costs which you would have otherwise spent on litigation in the Family Courts.

Please note that My Fair Share® does not deal or attempts to deal with parenting matters in any way.