Navigating Property Settlement: Binding Financial Agreements
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Navigating Property Settlement

Navigating Property Settlement: Understanding Binding Financial Agreements and Consent Orders

When it comes to property settlement during a divorce or separation, there are two primary legal documents that parties can use to document their agreement: Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) and Consent Orders. Both documents reflect the agreement the parties have made regarding the distribution of property.

Binding Financial Agreements

BFAs are a private contract between the parties and are legally enforceable. Unlike Consent Orders, no third party is required to make a BFA enforceable. However, it is important to note that a BFA may not provide for a fair settlement for both parties, so it is imperative to seek independent legal advice before signing. Once both parties have obtained legal advice and have signed the BFA, it becomes enforceable. Without legal advice, a BFA will not be enforceable.

Consent Orders

In contrast, Consent Orders require court approval before they become legally binding. The court must consider whether the agreement is fair before making it into a court order. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) considers several factors when determining fairness, including each party’s current and future financial positions, contributions made by each party to the relationship, and the needs of any children of the relationship. Once the court has approved the Consent Orders, they are legally enforceable like any other court order. Consent Orders can also account for parenting matters, which makes them a more comprehensive option than BFAs.

It is important to note that Consent Orders are final and cannot be cancelled without proof of fraud, impracticality, or exceptional circumstances regarding the children mentioned in the Orders. Once the Consent Orders are made, they cannot be altered unless both parties agree or there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants an application to vary or set aside the Orders.

Choosing The Right Legally Binding Document For Your Property Settlement

In summary, both BFAs and Consent Orders are legally binding documents that parties can use to document their agreement regarding property settlement during a divorce or separation. BFAs offer more flexibility and are quicker to create. At the same time, Consent Orders provide greater security and can also include provisions regarding parenting matters. It is essential to seek independent legal advice before entering into any financial agreement, whether it is a BFA or a Consent Order, to ensure that the agreement is fair and enforceable. Ultimately, the best option will depend on the individual circumstances of each case.

To navigate this challenging process with minimal stress, and help decide which option is best for you, get into contact with the trusted and reliable family lawyers at FEDEROV Family Lawyers. We strive to streamline your property settlement journey, making it as seamless as possible. We can guide you through the process with clear communication to help achieve a positive outcome. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can support you.