My partner and myself are separating and we have come to a separation agreement as to what we are splitting and monies owed and a time frame this needs to be paid in. How do I go about making this a legal contract without it costing too much money?
The Family Law Courts site says that you can formalise your agreement through either:
a financial agreement, or
applying for consent orders in which you ask a court to make orders in the terms of your agreement.
For the financial agreement to be legally binding, you must both have:
signed the agreement, and
received independent legal and financial advice before signing.
For the consent orders, you just follow the instructions and fill out the forms in the Application for Consent Orders Kit. A consent order is a written agreement that is approved by a court and you agree to follow the terms stated in the document.
You and your former partner can apply for consent orders to be made without going to court.
For the independent legal advice requirement - If you're in financial hardship, you could contact Legal Aid in your relevant State to see if they'll give you independent legal advice so that you can finalise your financial agreement. If you go to a lawyer, just ask ahead about what their fee would be for this. I would try to confirm a set fee so you know what you're in for.
Hope this helps. Please keep LawAnswers updated with how things progress.