When a couple separates or divorces there are several ways to go about dividing property and arranging for the care of children.
One is to simply make a private, informal arrangement which is often the easiest, cheapest option (but provides no legal protection). Another is to have the courts decide, but this is an expensive and time consuming process, after which you may still not get what you wanted.
The last and often best option is to create a consent order with the help of an experienced family lawyer.
Can consent orders be overturned?
In the vast majority of cases, consent orders cannot be overturned without agreement from both parties. After all, that’s the point of a consent order – to provide both partners with certainty that the agreement they reached will be followed in future (and to limit the chance that they’ll end up in court in future).
In case you didn’t know – A consent order is essentially a written agreement between a separated couple that details childcare arrangements and property division that has been ‘sealed’ by the court to make it legally enforceable. Because the order is sealed by the court it’s legally binding and therefore cannot usually be changed by both parties.
When can a consent order be overturned?
While consent orders usually can not be overturned by one party there are some limited circumstances in which they may be. These could include cases where:
- A miscarriage of justice has occurred due to duress or the giving of false evidence.
- A significant change of circumstances happened after the order was made and carrying out the order is either no longer practicable or doing so will cause hardship.
- An individual has defaulted on their obligations under the order and it’s now fair to vary the order.
- When one party has failed to disclose relevant information that could have impacted the child’s care and/or the division of property.
When consent orders are not prepared correctly following all requirements they may also be denied by the judge or more easily disregarded later in family law court. For that reason it’s important to engage a family lawyer who has experience preparing consent orders before going any further.
Amending your consent orders
Consent orders are difficult to overturn but in some cases it is possible. If you believe that your consent order should be overturned or amended then it’s always best to get advice early from someone you can trust.
The team here at Testart Family Law have years of experience with all facets of family law, including consent orders. If you need help preparing a consent order, or overturning one – get in touch today and we’ll take care of you.