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Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders?


When formally finalising property matters, you have two options; consent orders or a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA). Both documents will provide a binding agreement between you and your partner that sets out how property will be handled after separation or divorce. The main difference between the two is that Consent Orders are filed through the Courts and BFAs are not.  Here’s a little bit more information on each:

BFA

  • A BFA is a contract between parties that does not get reviewed by the Court.
  • There are no requirements of fairness in a BFA, that is why both parties entering the agreement must seek independent legal advice.
  • Each party's independent lawyer must sign a certificate confirming that they have provided the advice relating to the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement. 

Consent Orders

  • Consent Orders are  court-approved Orders that the parties have agreed upon regarding their property settlement.
  • There is no requirement to seek independent legal advice.
  • Once filed, the Court will decide whether the Orders are ‘just and equitable’

Consent Orders can be the simpler method of finalising a property settlement dependent on your circumstances. Compared to BFAs, Consent Orders offer more certainty as the Court must be satisfied in all areas proposed. Once Orders are made, there is also little grounds for it to be set aside. From a financial perspective, Consent Orders also have fewer technical requirements, so can also be cheaper.

If you have any questions on Consent Orders or BFAs, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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