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Is it dangerous to sign consent orders?

signing consent orders and it's implications

My partner is in the family law process in the magistrate's court.

now, I'm going to keep detail sketchy hear to protect all.

The magistrate said, in court that my partner fly and collect the child to have time with him, in said child's home town (ie where we live - the ex unilaterally absconded and my partner was unable to get a recovery order - long story). The magistrate said, in court, that my partner would be responsible for 2/3's of the cost of travel (the ex is on a low income, even though my partner earns $10K less) and she would pay 1/3 of travel costs. It was plainly spoken and understood by all.

The orders came out and were not clearly worded. They stated 2/3s and 1/3s cost of travel for the child. Which unfortunately could be interpreted as only the child's airfare (not the case).

So my partner applied, under the slip rule, to have this amended. It was re-worded to reflect what was said in court and what was intended in court.

The ex's solicitor requested a hearing as they felt the slip rule had been abused in order to give our side an unfair advantage.

A hearing date was granted.

The ex's solicitor has now backed down and wants to sign consent orders. They want to vacate the original order and consent to the exact wording of the order - but replacing a comma with a full stop separating the 1/3 of costs from the sentence stating. "This includes the father's travel costs"

We have called the help-line about process and the FMC person expressed concern at this and suggested getting legal advice. Unfortunately, due to the time taken with snail mail, this makes it very difficult.

Sorry about the lengthy explanation, but

can anyone shed any light on the implications of signing this consent order?
Does making it a consent order mean she is less bound to pay her share?
Is the other side doing this so that we can't use what they've done in an appeal later?
Do we have to sign a consent order, can't they just abandon the hearing date?


Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Consent orders

Reading the passage with a comma and with out, gives a different meaning. The comma indicates the travel costs includes the fathers. With out the comma the fathers travel costs appear separate from the child's - depends what else is said after the fathers travel costs are mentioned.

There was a recent big case (contract law ) where the outcome was based around a comma!

For example:
The panda: eats,shoots and leaves.  It means the Panda eats, then shoots(a gun) and then leaves. (the place of the shooting)
The Panda: eats shoots and leaves.   It means the Panda eats shoots and leaves as food.
You can now see what a difference a comma makes to the interpretation of a sentence!
 

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Yes, I am worried that the other side could interpret that the ex pays 1/3 of travel costs to GET to the child to the airport. OR one third of the child's air fares (and not the father's costs). As a separate sentence this makes it very ambiguous….

So, given that we don't want to sign this document - how do we get out of the hearing and go with the amended orders?

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

All in a comma

Do not sign them - tell the court that you do not consent to the altered orders. Call the 1300 number.

You do not have to sign a consent order - consent means both parties agree (consent) to sign the orders. If you do not agree, then there is no consent order.


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
OK, consent orders have been ammended to remove the offensive grammer. My partner is still not keen to sign. Does this then imply the ex does not have to pay for costs incurred before the signing of the consent order?

It does ones head in.

The solicitor is pushing pretty hard for my partner to sign…which immediately gets my spidey-senses twitching.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Costs

Are we talking legal costs or travel costs? I will contact you by email. I require more info.

Ps When a lawyer is eager to get things done or has a good deal for you - worry! Their job is to represent their client's best interest, not yours.


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 


basically on the day in court the magistrate gave an order for travel costs.

when transcribed a single sentence was missing which made the order ambiguous - but not to anyone who was present in court, on the day.

a submission was made for clarification and the magistrate added that sentence back into the order

the ex's lawyer made a request for a hearing for submissions, because they felt the slip rule had been inappropriately applied and the new order benefited me.

a date was set

the ex's lawyer has since decided to consent to the changes and vacate the hearing date

BUT

wants me to sign a "minutes of consent" striking out the amended version of the order and replacing it with AN EXACT COPY of the amended order

is this normal procedure or is the lawyer pulling a fast one?



the order relates to costs contributions for travel, does striking the amended order out and replacing it change the obligation to costs?

does it change the date the order takes effect (the ex has made miniscule contribution to costs - a 10th of what she should have paid)
Have just had legal advice. The advice is that this is an attempt to have costs paid for only those trips taken AFTER the consent orders are signed.

Advice is not to sign the orders. The slip rule was applied correctly. Hope that the lawyer walks away from the hearing date, but if they insist on a hearing, hope that the magistrate blows their top at the correct party. :thumbs:

If others would find it useful, I am happy to post all the links from Rules and Judgements that we found in our research on the "slip rule"

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

consent orders

 Good to see the advice from the lawyer was the same as ours! When you are in court mention the fact that your ex is not complying in full, with the orders issued.
Your ex seems to have a slippery lawyer, so do not be pushed to sign 'their version' of your orders! You know what they are up to - re read our private emails.
It would be great if you could post the links for every one else on this site to see.

 

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Thanks Monteverdi,

the difficulty we have is that we are only used to the real world. As such, we constantly question whether we are reading too much in to things and being a bit hysterical and jumping to conclusions.

So far the ex has done a nice line in finding what I hope are "rogue" lawyers.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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