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A Lawyer says ...

A Lawyer says, "Honourary Agreements are not final agreements".

Nothing is final but. Even a stamped financial agreement from the courts can be challenged.

Many couples throughout Australia every year settle out of court verbally and walk away - no problem. Why is writing that down on paper without lawyers certificates or court stamps a crime of some sort?
No crime just simply open to interpretation on how the agreement has been made, questions such as was the agreement made with undue pressure of one party or was the party fully informed of their rights at the time.

So it would take a lot of trust by both parties to make a written agreement and expect both will stick to it, especially if they get told how much they could have received if they did this, that and the other.

Thats why it's important to finalise decisions with well conceived court orders, lets face it court orders are still challenged if one parties interpretation is different to the other parties.

   
That's what I mean - why the rehtoric of "it's not final unless it's stamped"?

Maybe saying "it's not binding according to FL" is ok but saying a stamped agreement is "final" is open to interpretation.
I think it comes under the same category of an affidavit not being a legally binding communication and judges decisions being concluded by legal interpretation of the judge and not legal interpretation.

Therefore comes down to lack of the use of the legal systems teeth using the laws that exist, yes they are legally binding but are subject to interpretation.

It still comes back to the fact with out the stamp of the court it has not been legally tested when considering family law therefore easily argued, whether agreed upon by consent or ordered by a judge it is easily considered tested legally.

Don't forget the name of the document you are getting stamped " Final Orders " which are stamped by the court. Imagine getting all that way making final orders but not submitting them and suddenly find out the final orders you have both signed are not final. No stamp not final.
The standard orders that are sent in for stamping by the court are not called final orders but "consent orders". Only if the couple take each other to court and duke it out are the orders "final" orders apparrently.
Sorry thought you were attending for final orders point was that in both final and consent they can be considered legally tested in a fair environment where if oral or written it could be contested pressure was used to achieve the agreement or a person may have been confused and tricked into signing or verbally agreeing.

It makes sense to protect yourself in full and educate as many as possible about the pit falls of Honorary Agreements things are still open for appeals and interpretation but that works both ways as does contravention.

This hasn't been a handshake world for quite some decades now and that does need to be in the fore in separations.

 
If consent orders and final orders can be challenged then technically they are not final. What makes them any different to an honourary agreemnt then?

The only difference I can see is that the former have been before legal representation for checking but in the end they can still be challenged which makes them not final?
I really am having a great deal of trouble trying to understand what the starter of this thread is trying to say, so let me state the obvious.

1  Courts make final orders at hearings - but the orders are not marked as Final.

2  Interim Orders means that other order(s) will follow.

3  Consent Orders or Court Orders are never marked as Final.

4  No parenting orders can ever be regarded as Final, because orders made by Courts are open to Appeal (or a later change of circumstances) and Consent orders to renegotiation or an application to the Courts.

5  Verbal or honoury agreements are just that - verbal. If they are not  lodged in the Courts they just become an 'intention'.

6  Consent Property agreements (if of sufficient amounts) need a declaration that each party has sought independently legal advice.

7  It is very diifcult to reopen any 'Consent' property agreements.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I'm just after a straight answer - sorry for the confusion.

I can understand that a property order is harder to reopen than a parenting order but it still can be opened making it not final - that is all.

it's because I had a female lawyer barking down my throat saying my honourary agreements were not final which, according to what has been said here, is not true.
donga said
I'm just after a straight answer - sorry for the confusion.

I can understand that a property order is harder to reopen than a parenting order but it still can be opened making it not final - that is all.

it's because I had a female lawyer barking down my throat saying my honourary agreements were not final which, according to what has been said here, is not true.

Honorary agreements whether for contact or property are pretty useless as they only serve as an 'intention'. It is only when that agreement is registered that some 'finality' has occurred.

She was pretty right to bark down your throat. Property is a minefield area of Family Law best left to specialists. Asset splitting, claw backs, superannuation, spousal maintenance claims, property settlements, loans and pre and post assets are never really straightforward.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Some of us "specialists" have to deal with property agreements though - registered mediators that is.

I just don't like the way she tried to make me feel small and ignorant. Turns out that she was not being honest with me. Nothing is final.
donga said
Some of us "specialists" have to deal with property agreements though - registered mediators that is.

I just don't like the way she tried to make me feel small and ignorant. Turns out that she was not being honest with me. Nothing is final.
I hope when you say "specialists" you mean as a 'mediator' only - because your posts indicate you know very little about the legalities of property settlements.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I think one of the problems is the use of the word final and it's considered meaning.

If you are trying to gain a point by transposing the literal term ' final ' then what context it's used in needs to be considered, just looking in a dictionary gave 7 possible meanings that could be argued do not mean things have finished.

Thanks for the point form Agog I was not expressing myself very well.

I had not considered the fact you were referring to a lawyer contesting an honorary agreement you had organised, if this is so I'd suggest that the lawyer must have tried to make the point passively to begin with.
Passively would have been:  "an honourary agreement is not a court order and because of that it doesn't count as much as if it were stamped by the courts"

Heavy handed would be: "you don't know what you are doing, your honorary agreements mean nothing and are not according to family law" - that is not entirely passive nor true.

Nothing is final in family law

donga said
Turns out that she was not being honest with me. Nothing is final.
NOTHING is FINAL in family law.  There is always the possibility (albeit small in some cases) to re-open matters.

Nor are citizens permitted to be and act as adults and make their own decisions and accept the consequences of their actions.  The FCA is very paternalistic and acts like only it is an 'adult' and can make decisions.  Thus a binding financial agreement is not truly binding and can be set aside by the FCA - despite both parties being forced to spend money on getting independent legal advice.  This attitude exists because the FCA does not view women as adults (capable of making their own decisions) and reserves for itself the 'right' to rescue women when and how it choses.   It is sad that such a sexist view of women (and men) exists in a government/state institution.
donga it's worth remembering that as there is limited information about the situation and how it was dealt with coupled with humans natural defence of exaggerating or not fully listening to what they are hearing it is necessary to play the devils advocate and make some general assumptions.

As I rely on one persons account of the situation it's a fair assumption that more contact has happened prior to lead to the lawyers considered outburst. This may or may not have related to this specific incident.

I have to admit with my limited contact with lawyers I haven't met an honest one yet and as conversations are easily denied unless recorded and in some cases are not permissible in court what they say has little relevance unless you know it is true, remembering what they do say is also used as a tool for a physiological tool to demean the opposition.

This, has been and will be something we are inflicted with at most contact with lawyers, at times even our own.

Yes for all intensive purposes the lawyer lied when considering your perception of the word but then again they did not in their consideration of how the term is generally used.

Your best option would have been to file the applications with signatures in the court as ' orders by consent ' if the other party would not agree to this and sought legal advice because they thought they were under peer pressure then that is their right, if this representative advised them of their rights and their client then sought to instruct them to use legal action to finalise things this is also their right.

Unfortunately this is all we have to work with and the best defence is educating ourselves in regard to the law and the system, become thicker skinned and disregard those personal remarks.

I don't know if you have been personally separated from your children but property and financial's bears little on the mental and emotional abuse one receives from many parties when trying to regain access for time with your kids.
DFL and D4E - good posts.

I am happily married with two kids - just work DR with couples/families.

I too am skeptical of the legal profession only because of my experience with them. $30k worth of legal bills is not uncommon where I come from and I think it is pretty disgusting.

Telling people they don't need to go to mediation and then stringing the case out lazily batting back the opposing solicitors letters for a better deal is not mediation but procrastination at the clients' expense. Don't worry I see it all.

I want a way to help my clients avoid lawyers who charge all together. They are keen to do honourary agreements but have not the time nor money to enter into a round of money sucking exercises with legal representatives.

I am in the process of contacting one lawyer who I can strike an arrangement for a modest fee to send my clients to knowing that my agreements have respect with them.

I spent hundreds of dollars to get my qualifications - they mean nothing if all it is is a peice of paper with signatures - what am I an idiot or something?
If both parties who have separated have come to seek mediation and are happy with the agreement as it stands then why can't the necessary official documents be sent to the court as consented.

Parties are able to do this with out lawyers or mediators.

That's because some parties have considerable variation within their agreement. That means that the agreed division is not exactly equal or may appear to be favouring one party. You cannot submit this in my state as it will be returned saying "do again".

The couples are adamant that they want it this way and many are put off by the complicated F11 form.

I believe that there is another way with Affidavits but again a lawyer or majistrate has to look over it and attach a certificate or stamp.
Yes, this is what my X did agreed to the financial side of things and was willing to sign affidavit through her lawyer as it appeared by financial statement I was in the better position, though if her financial statement and mine were compared it was myself who was in the worse position as it was it was settled in pre-trial and all ended up well.

But there was no variation with in our agreement it was simple, I took debt and she allowed more contact still seems a good deal to me  ;)   
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