Dealing with separation
Separation is never easy for anyone. It is usually immensely stressful and it is important to have support to help you through this difficult time. This includes support from your friends, family and a caring Family Lawyer. Our experienced Family Lawyer can advise you about your rights and entitlements in family law in a sensitive manner.
When you separate, important decisions need to be made with your former partner concerning the care of your children. You will also need to consider how to divide property and other assets. This often requires detailed negotiation with your former partner, which can be incredibly challenging to deal with emotionally.
If you are separating or are considering separating, seeing us will enable you to determine your options and make the process smoother and easier to navigate.
Should you wish to formally dissolve your marriage, you will need to make an Application for Divorce. We are able to assist you in this.
Some divorces are simple but some can be complicated so it is a good idea to contact us for advice prior to making any application.
We charge a set fee for an Application for Divorce.
Our Family Lawyer can assist you to negotiate an agreement with your former partner about parenting issues such as who the children live with and how much time they spend with each of you. If appropriate, counselling sessions may be recommended.
Our Family Lawyer will be able to discuss your parenting arrangements and how such arrangements can be formalised.
If a parenting agreement cannot be reached by consent then the parties may need to issue Family Law proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court or the Family court.
It is compulsory for all parties to attempt to resolve children’s matters through an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation before issuing proceedings (save for some exceptions). Family mediation is conducted by a registered family dispute resolution practitioner who will issue you with a certificate after the mediation. This certificate must be filed with the court if there is a necessity to issue proceedings.
Property settlements can be very complicated, depending on the state of the asset pool.
A property settlement will need to include all assets and liabilities of the marriage or relationship. They can include a range of assets such as the family home, investment properties, shares, businesses, motor vehicles and superannuation and a range of liabilities such as mortgages, loans, credit card debts and tax liabilities.
Many separated couples find it difficult to agree on the marriage asset pool. Our experienced Family Lawyer will be able to advise you on your options if this is the case, including the organising of sworn valuations.
Informal separation agreements
It is not uncommon for a couple to reach informal agreements if they have separated on amicable terms. However, it is risky to agree to an informal arrangement. Even if you have reached an agreement with your former partner, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a Family Lawyer. This allows you to determine whether the agreement is in your best interests and will formalise the agreement reached. Formally settling the matter can prevent your former partner from making claims on property assets which you have acquired after separation.
The ‘pre-nuptal agreement’ or a ‘Binding Financial Agreement’ (BFA) is a private contract made between yourself and your partner which provides for how assets, liabilities and superannuation will be divided in the event of separation.
BFAs can be prepared prior to a marriage or prior to parties commencing a de facto relationship. It can also be done during the marriage and after cohabitation.
Some people view BFAs like insurance-insurance in case the relationship does not work out how it was intended to.
There are very strict requirements when making a BFA legally binding and our experienced Family Lawyer will be able to ensure that any such Agreements you enter into will fulfil all legal requirements.