VIC Consent Orders VICTORIA

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BlackxxAssassin

Well-Known Member
13 May 2019
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I was hoping someone could provide their opinion on the following matter.

I was in a relationship with an Australian citizen. We had 2 joint bank accounts. Before leaving the country I went and spoke to a branch manager who told me he would put a freeze on 1 account, and leave the remaining account unfrozen to take care of things which suited me fine. At this stage, my former partner was refusing to cooperate.

Term deposit - locked in for a term to earn interest. Reasonably sized balance. Now matured. (FROZEN by bank manager)
Everyday account - Small balance (Not frozen to allow certain things to be paid)

At that time, I was told by the branch manager that it would require both signatures to access the money. Which suited me because it meant she couldn't run away with all of it.

Since then, the consent orders have been drawn up. They have just been filed and stamped by the registrar as received, and the hearing set for this coming Thursday. So in preparation for this, I was advised to contact the bank and request any documents required to release the money and close the account, and split money etc.

So that's all good, until today when I contacted the bank using the overseas number, who told me that I could in fact withdraw all the money right now, transfer it to wherever I please and close the account, using only 1 signature. I'm astonished. All this time, my former partner could have done just that.

I'm assuming she will be advised to go to the bank and request paperwork or find out what's involved in complying with the orders, and I'm worried if she does they will advise her she is able to withdraw all the money and do as she pleases. Leaving me out of pocket.

I'm an honest person, I'm not going to take all of it. However, who knows what she may do.

So...
- Should I withdraw the money and send it to the solicitor's trust account before that happens? Then advise the solicitor on Monday morning that after receiving the information that it only required 1 signature it was the safest thing I could do. Then either withdraw the application for consent orders and settle without using the consent orders, or withdraw and change the consent orders to state that the money is now held in a trust, and continue to split it as before.
- If I wanted to I could transfer it all here and disappear, if I wanted to do that, I wouldn't be here asking.
- If I leave the money there until the hearing date, it's possible she could take it all and run.
- The consent orders have been signed by each party, stamped by the registrar to say received but the hearing hasn't taken place yet. So, would there be any problems arising from me transferring all the money to the solicitor's trust account?

To my knowledge, even as a joint account which only requires 1 signature to make decisions, if the bank can allow me to withdraw the money then I shouldn't have any issues. Does signing a consent order that has been filed at court, but the matter not heard by a Magistrate, would that affect my right to withdraw the application for consent orders up to any time before the hearing date?
 

CSFLW

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
24 September 2018
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Have you filed the consent orders?
 

CSFLW

Well-Known Member
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24 September 2018
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If the consent orders have been filed, why is there a hearing?
 

BlackxxAssassin

Well-Known Member
13 May 2019
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When doing consent orders, we have both reached an agreement. When you file them with the court, the hearing is the date on which the Magistrate looks at the consent orders to ensure the outcome is fair for both parties. If the orders are found to be unfair to either party the Magistrate can refuse to sign off on them, and I believe they would advise the reason behind their decision, and we go back to negotiating. Something along those lines.
 

CSFLW

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24 September 2018
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Consent Orders are filed with the court and reviewed by a Registrar. If the Registrar has any comments they will write to the parties. Do you have a lawyer?
 

BlackxxAssassin

Well-Known Member
13 May 2019
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My solicitor filed the consent orders yesterday and they were stamped by a Registrar, and date of hearing listed as next Thursday. The stamp is just a circle with the date, "Deputy Registrar" and "Magistrates Court of Victoria" in it.

My solicitor advised me the hearing date was as mentioned above and that they were advised by the staff the following,
"...advised by the court that it is at the discretion of the Magistrate sitting on the day as to whether they will accept a scanned copy of the Application..."

As I am overseas, I queried if an original document signed by both parties was required, as all my contact has been via email, therefore scanned copies of documents.

So to my knowledge, the orders have been filed but not "approved" for lack of a better term.
 

CSFLW

Well-Known Member
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24 September 2018
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Okay. When the orders are made you will be able to divide your assets accordingly.
 

BlackxxAssassin

Well-Known Member
13 May 2019
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121
The whole reason I had to go down this path of consent orders, because the ex wouldn't play ball. When I spoke to the bank, they advised since it was a joint account and there was a "dispute" between us they would put a freeze on the account and any transactions would require both account holder's signatures. This was supposedly done by a branch manager and naturally I believed he had done so.

When I contacted the bank just this morning they advised via the overseas contact number, I was told that this wasn't the case and I could withdraw all the money with no issues if I wished. My solicitor advised me to contact the bank and get paperwork ready to settle the account as per consent orders.

Naturally, I would assume my former partner would be advised to make the same inquiries, and I am now concerned that if they tell her the same as what I was told, she could clean the account and I would have little to no way of recovering said money. Hence, I'm considering withdrawing all of it and transferring it to my solicitor's trust account and use statements to back it up and prove it's all there. If she goes to the bank on Monday morning she could take it all, as the consent orders haven't been signed off on, just "filed with the court".

Up until this stage, both my former partner and I have been under the impression that there has been a freeze/hold on the account and requiring both signatures. Therefore, she decided not to come to an arrangement to finalise the accounts.

I'm trying to find out if there would be any consequences for me for making that transfer after the date of "filing", even though it could be in my best interest to "protect the money".

Thank you for your responses.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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When I spoke to the bank, they advised since it was a joint account and there was a "dispute" between us they would put a freeze on the account and any transactions would require both account holder's signatures. This was supposedly done by a branch manager and naturally I believed he had done so.
If you have a record of the call/receipt number or the like you will at least have some comeback should the funds be withdrawn

I'm trying to find out if there would be any consequences for me for making that transfer after the date of "filing", even though it could be in my best interest to "protect the money".
Did you tell the bank to place a freeze on it in your most recent contact? Assuming your orders will get approval on Thursday, If it were me, I would informing my solicitor of the situation & asking if it would be okay to transfer at least your proposed share into the trust account