When you separate it is best (if possible) to keep matters out of the Court system and as amicable as possible. Family Law Proceedings are stressful and costly. The team at Ferrier, Athanasiou and Kakulas see litigation as a last resort only, and promote reaching mediated/negotiated agreements.
Negotiated and meditated agreements can come about from the parties discussing and agreeing matters themselves directly, or by the parties attending Family Dispute Resolution or engaging in negotiations between the parties through lawyers.
In all of these cases we suggest that once you have an agreement in relation to property or children matters that you get advice from us as to the best way to implement the agreement and making it binding upon both parties.
We often suggest to parties that the best way to correctly document an agreement is through an Application for Consent Orders, prepared by one of our experienced family lawyers. Another way to document agreement is through a Binding Financial Agreement.
An application for Consent Orders is an Application that is lodged with the Family Court of Western Australia. This does not require either party to attend Court, other than to file the documents at the registry.
Once lodged the Courts must ratify the agreement before issuing Court Orders. In cases of child welfare matters the Court must be satisfied that the Orders are in the best interests of the child. For financial agreements the Court needs to be satisfied that the proposed Orders are just and equitable to both parties. Once the Court is satisfied as to these matters then it will make the Orders as sought.
Once Orders are made, if either party does not adhere to them, or fails in their obligations under the Orders then there is recourse through the Court system to have the Orders enforced. This is the protection that well-crafted and considered Consent Orders will give you.
If you have already come to an agreement and want advice as to how to document it correctly, or want the help of one our highly skilled team members to assist you with negotiations to reach an agreement then please give us a call.