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NSW Parenting Consent Orders - Timeframe for Serving Initiating Application?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by jaemsach, 20 February 2015.

  1. jaemsach

    jaemsach Member

    20 February 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi, my partner is self-representing to apply for parenting consent orders. He filed in court on the 2/2/2015 and was given a hearing date of 17/3/2015. He sent the papers the next day to The Sheriff in Sydney to have his ex served with the initiating application. She found out about this court date because they also have their divorce hearing on the 3/3/2015, and she filed a response about that with the court, and they told her about the other court date to do with the consent orders.

    She sent him a text message today saying that she hadn't been served these papers yet and she is supposed to be served within 28 days for the initiating application for consent orders. Is this right? We were given no time frame and The Sheriff's office said that they had plenty of time to serve her. It's Friday afternoon and we obviously can't ring The Sheriff until Monday now. Can anybody please help?
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    24 December 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi Jaemsach,

    Are you sure your partner is applying for a consent order? A consent order is when the court approves a written agreement to settle by the parties so that the settlement agreement has the effect of a court order. It is generally non-contentious as both parties have already agreed to its terms beforehand. Consent orders are governed by Family Law Rules Part 10.4 (FLR) or you can read about it on the Family Law Court's website "Applying to the court for orders" and here.

    If your partner and his ex cannot agree on a parenting plan, they would need a court to determine this. This would be done through one party applying for a parenting order with the court for court determination. Is this what your partner is attempting to do? If so, and if this is the initiating application, it should be served on the other side (via "special service": see FLR Part 7.2) as soon as possible and within 12 months after the date of filing the application with the court: FLR rule 7.04. Rules will be different if the document is not an initiating application (already filed with court). If the family action is already in progress, and the parenting order is another action that your partner wishes to join onto a main action (e.g. heard together with the divorce hearing) then you will most likely need court's consent to joint the parenting action and when the court gives consent, he or she will generally also state how long the party has to file documents with court and to serve on to the other side.

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