“Will our financial agreement be rejected by the Court?” This is a question that we often get asked before a separating individual or couple choose to engage us to prepare the documents to formalise their financial agreement.. Another question is, “If the Court refuses to make our agreement, will the Court impose an outcome on us?”. The answer to the last one is no. The answer to the first question is, well it depends.

Let us start with a bit of background about the process to getting your financial agreement recognised legally by way of Financial Consent Orders.

The first step is to have your agreement documented properly.

Without getting into the specifics, for Financial Consent Orders, there are two documents that need to be prepared—a form called an Application for Consent Orders and another document called the Terms of Settlement.

The second step is to lodge the agreement documents with the Court.

This step doesn’t require you actually going to the Court and appearing before a Judge. These days, you can file your agreement documents online or alternatively drop them off at the Court Registry.

The next step is where the Court Registrar (being a lawyer of the Court) reviews your agreement documents.

This is a paperwork exercise whereby the Registrar reviews the information that you’ve provided in the agreement documents and then, if satisfied that the financial agreement reached is ‘just and equitable’, signs off on the agreement becoming legally recognised and enforceable. The Registrar then ‘seals’ the agreement and the agreement turns into sealed Financial Consent Orders.

Read Part 2 to learn about what the Registrar considers to determine whether the financial agreement reached is ‘just and equitable’ (fair).

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