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Your initial consultation with our family lawyers is confidential and can be done by phone, videochat or in person, whatever is easiest for you. This initial conference will usually take around 30 minutes. During that time, we will be able to identify what outcomes you are hoping to achieve, give you advice about how the process generally works, what you can expect and give you an outline of your likely costs.
Our family lawyers are highly experienced at getting to the heart of your matter and laying out your options in simple-to-understand terms. You will finish your meeting with an understanding of the next steps in your case, what issues need to be addressed and how best to go about addressing them.
Contact us now to arrange for your free, no-obligation consultation.
We try and lessen the pressures of divorce as much as possible by providing comprehensive advice relevant to your unique matter.
You cannot seek a divorce until you have been separated for at least 12 months and the marriage is irretrievably broken down. Separation can occur with both parties living under the same roof, however the Court will need evidence (usually in the form of Affidavits) that the separation is genuine.
If there are children, the Court must be satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place in terms of their care and support. These arrangements do not have to be permanent. You have 12 months after a divorce is granted to settle the division of property
You can record your parenting agreement in one of two ways:
Parenting plans are written and signed agreements between the parties that detail who the children will live with, the time children will spend with each parent and various other aspects that deal with the care, welfare and development of the child/ren. They are not binding or enforceable but can be regularly updated, reviewed or amended.
Consent orders are essentially a formalised version of a parenting plan. You must make an application to the Court, lodge the documents signed by the parties and await the Courts approval. Consent orders provide certainty and are both binding and enforceable.
A property settlement is the formal division of the asset pool of a married or de facto couple so that it is final, binding and enforceable. Any settlement reached must be “just and equitable”.
The asset pool is determined by looking at the assets, liabilities, superannuation and other financial resources of the parties. It is then adjusted following an assessment on whether legal ownership of the pool is just and equitable, the contributions of the parties and future factors affecting the parties. Then the asset pool is divided.
You will need to formalise the agreement so that it is binding and enforceable by:
Since the definition of “marriage” under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) was changed in 2017, same sex couples can marry and have the same entitlements under the law as heterosexual couples. Same sex couples who have children, including those adopted, born from surrogacy
or artificial reproductive technology like IVF, are recognised as the legal parents of that child.
De facto relationships describe a couple, whether of the same sex or different, who are not married but live together. You will have the same rights as a married couple if you register your de facto relationship or meet the time requirement of 2 years. Some de facto relationships can be difficult to show in which case a Court may consider further factors to determine de facto status and subsequent entitlements.
Generally a preferred method of dispute resolution, mediation is guided by a qualified and impartial mediator who is able to help resolve your dispute outside of Court.
If you cannot reach an agreement during mediation, then you have the option to continue negotiation or go to Court. If you decide to take the matter to Court, the Judge will decide for the parties. It is a good idea to have legal representation if possible as a number of documents need to be filed with the Court and subsequent hearings attended. You and the other party can decide to settle outside of Court but you must notify the Court of this agreement.
As experienced family lawyers, we can provide you with advice about mechanisms that can help protect you and your children. Courts can grant an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) which prohibits your partner from certain kinds of behaviour (i.e. stalking, intimidation, harassing). If an ADVO is breached it can attract criminal sanctions.
Domestic violence can also have a direct impact on custody and parenting arrangements. If you have children with your partner and decide to separate or divorce, the Courts may be more inclined to award you sole responsibility of your child so that their welfare is ensured.
It is also relevant in determining the division of assets and property settlement after separation. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of yourself or your child/ren, please contact 000.