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When can a Consent Order be set aside?

by Oscar Leo
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A Consent Order can be set aside by the parties themselves by simply agreeing to it.  For example, if one party was going to buy the other’s interest in the former matrimonial home, and the Consent Orders said they had to, but then they changed their minds, the parties could agree to sell the property instead and the second party would get the same amount of money from the sale proceeds as they would have if the property had been transferred. The parties don’t need to show up in court to have the Consent Order set aside in this situation, but they may want to amend their Consent Orders to reflect the changes.

Consent Orders can only be set aside in limited circumstances by the Family Court. Consent Orders can be set aside if there’s been a miscarriage of justice, like fraud, duress, false testimony, or suppression of evidence. If there has been some kind of hardship arise or a change in circumstances of an exceptional nature that results in hardship for one of the parties relating to the care of a child or children of the marriage or relationship may also be open to setting aside the order if that’s what Order to be carried out then the Court may be open to if circumstances have changed since the Consent Order was made that make it impossible to carry out the Order, the Court may be open to setting it

Furthermore, courts will not simply set aside Consent Orders that address the children’s future care arrangements without due consideration. Before the court will even consider an application to set aside parenting consent orders, it must be convinced that there has been a significant change in circumstances warranting reopening.

In making final orders, the court assumes that these orders will conclude the matter once and for all. In parenting matters, it is generally not considered in the best interests of the children for parties to go back to court repeatedly to change the children’s living arrangements.

When signing consent orders, is there a cooling off period?

Consent Orders don’t have a cooling off period. When a court makes an order, that’s it. Unless it can be established through a fresh application to the court that the Consent Order should be set aside, it’s there.  As a result, it’s really a good idea for parties to get independent legal advice before signing Consent Orders, especially if they have any reservations or doubts about their position. It’s also good to give yourself plenty of time to think about the Orders before you sign them.

If you sign consent orders, you can withdraw them before the court considers the matter and makes orders based on the documentation submitted to the court. If Consent is withdrawn, then the court no longer has any jurisdiction to make Consent Orders. It usually takes the court four weeks from the time the signed documents are submitted to the court until the Consent Orders are actually made, so you can withdraw your Consent during this time. You or your lawyer would need to notify the court of the withdrawal of your Consent as soon as possible, as once the Consent Orders are made, it’s hard to change them.If you require the assistance of a Family Lawyer in Canberra  please contact Kate Austin Family Lawyers. We would be pleased to assist you with your Consent Orders

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