Your selected location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. HHG Articles
  4. /
  5. Settling without commencing proceedings in the Family Court
4 Mar 2016

Separating couples do not necessarily have to go to Court in order to fairly divide their property. Whether the couple is a married couple or a de facto couple, there are alternatives to Court available. A common example is that the couple simply:

a) comes to an agreement about how to divide their property; and

b) formalises the agreement by way of Consent Orders.


Proceedings in the Family Court should be a last resort, when all other possible avenues have been exhausted.


Reaching an Agreement

All parties to a family law property matter are under a general duty to disclose all relevant financial documents; r 13.01 of the Family Law Rules 2004. The parties should be prepared to provide financial disclosure, even if the matter is likely to be resolved by consent. Full and frank disclosure can increase the efficiency of any settlement discussions.


Couples can reach an agreement about the division of property in a number of ways, including:

a) an informal discussion between themselves (without solicitors);

b) mediation (with or without solicitors); or

c) negotiation through solicitors.


The time and cost involved in settlement discussions will vary, depending on each party’s willingness to compromise and how they conduct themselves in negotiations.


Consent Orders

Once the parties have reached an agreement, then they can enter into a legally binding settlement. This is done by way of an application to the Family Court for Consent Orders.  The parties must sign and file the following documents with the Court:

a) Form 11 Application for Consent Orders;

b) Minute of Consent (in other words, the terms of the agreement); and

c) Evidence of the marriage or de facto relationship – usually a copy of the marriage certificate (for married couples) or a joint affidavit (for de facto couples).


After the documents are filed with the Court, a Judicial Officer will review the application to ensure that that the proposed settlement is fair. If the Judicial Officer is satisfied that the agreement is fair and equitable, then he or she will make the Orders sought.


You do not have to attend Court for Consent Orders.  The Court considers the application using the paperwork you have filed. If the application papers are insufficient or incorrect, then the Court will write to you to request additional information to assist with their assessment of the application.


Implementing Orders

Once the Orders are made by the Court, then the parties may take the appropriate steps to implement (enact) those Orders. For example:

a) transferring property from one party to the other;

b) transferring property from joint names into one party’s name;

c) selling property and dividing the net proceeds of sale;

d) one party paying out a lump sum to the other party; or

e) arranging a superannuation split (for married couples only in WA).


This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office on Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"

Sitka Pil

My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"

Nathan Lynch

"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."

Jim Goodwin

"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"

Dr Lana Bell

"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."

Jan Atkinson

"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."

Lynette Livesey

"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."

Nigel Plowman, Director at McKinley Plowman & Associates

"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."

Richard Beal, Director at BDO

"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."

Michael Malone, Founder of iiNet

"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."

Bernice Climie

"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve Harvey and Jane Powell

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."

Amanda Williamson

"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."

Kerry Samson

"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"

Graeme Hammond

"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."

Carolin Grimm - Marine Plant Systems

"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."

Rosslyn Tasker - COO AltusQ Pty Ltd

"Good service you can count on."

Miles Lee

"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."

Mark Armitage

"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."

Jacques Taylor

"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."

Tony Walker

Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.