When it comes to property settlements, however, at Argent Law we generally advise clients that it is their best interests to have their property settlements confirmed in legally binding Court Orders, or otherwise a Binding Financial Agreement. This is because property settlements often result the in the transfer of assets of great value – such as real estate, companies and superannuation – plus the transfer of great liabilities – such as home mortgages, credit card debt and car leases.
It can create unnecessary frustration, heartache and costs for parties if an agreement is reached but then one party backs out of the agreement. Thus Argent Law will usually advise clients that their property settlement agreements should be confirmed in writing – either as Consent Orders made by the Court, or by way of a Binding Financial Agreement.
Regarding parenting agreements, sometimes there is a lot of good will, good communication and trust amongst separated parents. Further, sometimes parents have a short-term plan for the care of their children, but want to retain flexibility of their parenting arrangements as their children grow and their needs change. In such circumstances, legally binding parenting orders that last until the child is – or children are – 18, may not be appropriate or necessary. If any type of written agreement is required between the parents in this situation for any reason, a Parenting Plan may suit their needs.
However, unfortunately, often there in not so much good will, good communication or trust among separated parents. For these reasons – and for the purpose of stability and certainty generally – parenting Orders may be necessary for the parents (and in the best interest of the child or children) in future. In these circumstances, one or both parents may see the benefit of entering into legally binding parenting Orders that will last until the Child is – or children are – 18 years old. Such Orders can be changed in special circumstances, but the parties are essentially committing to a long-term plan for their care of their children until the child (or children) reach adulthood. The Orders may nonetheless provide – and usually do provide – for flexibility of the parenting arrangements so long as both parents consent.
Otherwise, if legally enforceable parenting Orders do not appear to suit both parents’ needs, a Parenting Plan may suffice.
Whether Orders, a Binding Financial Agreement, or a Parenting Plan are needed in your case is something the Argent Law team can advise you on. Don’t hesitate to call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced family lawyers.