21 Mar Independent Legal Advice – Is it necessary?
A common concern raised by family law clients is the cost involved in obtaining advice and drafting agreements into binding Orders. Clients sometimes also wonder if it is even necessary to obtain legal advice about parenting and property matters.
If you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement with respect to arrangements for your children or how your property will be divided, it is recommended that the agreement is formalised by way of Consent Orders.
Consent Orders set out the Terms regarding the sale or transfer of property, spousal maintenance payments and arrangements for children; the Terms are filed with the Family Court after being signed by each party. Whilst it is not a requirement that each party obtains independent legal advice, it is recommended that appropriate advices are obtained to ensure that the Terms accurately reflect your understanding of the agreement.
It is important to remember that legal practitioners are only able to provide advice to one party in any family law matter.
While the cost involved in this process is a further concern for people who are often already stressed, there are many valuable benefits from receiving legal advice including:
- Advice about the range of possible settlement options and entitlements.
- Stamp duty on the transfer of property between parties is waived after Orders are made.
- Properly drafted documents have the benefit of protecting the agreement so that both parties can move on with their lives.
- Without a properly drafted agreement there is always a risk that you do not have a concluded agreement.
Formalising agreements into Consent Orders brings many of our clients a sense of closure and protection in what is undoubtedly a tumultuous and trying time in their lives.
Of course all families are unique and if you have any questions regarding your family law matters you should seek independent legal advice regarding the facts that are relevant in your matter.