If you are separated or are thinking about separation it is important to obtain legal advice about your rights and obligations so that you can make informed decisions.
Each person’s circumstances are different and unique and therefore advice will vary between person to person.
We can provide you with advice on all of your questions, some examples are:
What happens at the breakdown of a relationship?
Will I lose my interest in my home if I move out?
Can I take my furniture?
Can I take money out of the accounts?
Can I change the locks?
Who pays the mortgage?
Who pays the household bills?
Can I take the children?
When can I spend time with my children?
Do I have to pay child support?
Can I get child support?
There are many legal requirements for obtaining a divorce. We can prepare your Application for Divorce and assist with filing and serving the Application as well as attending at the hearing on your behalf.
We are able to advise you about all aspects of divorce and the time limits that apply.
In order to file your Application for Divorce you will need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse lived separately and apart for at least twelve months and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.
You can be deemed to be separated even if you or your ex spouse remain living under the same roof. You will be required to file further documents if you lived under the same roof within that twelve month period.
Children’s matters can be difficult on everyone involved especially trying to work out what living arrangements are in the best interests of your children.
We can provide you with advice and representation in assisting you to negotiate the care of the children through either a Parenting Plan, mediation or Consent Orders.
If you are unable to reach an agreement about your children’s living arrangements and other matters we have extensive experience representing parties in court .
We also can help grandparents who want to negotiate or bring an application in court to have time with grandchildren or have grandchildren live with them.
It is important that you obtain information and advice about your rights and obligations for property settlement, as soon as possible either prior to separation or soon after.
Property settlement is the distribution of assets and liabilities between two parties, which also includes superannuation splitting if applicable.
It is recommended that property settlement is considered prior to filing an application for divorce.
We can assist with providing you with initial advice to help you negotiate a property settlement at mediation.
If you or your partner have reached an agreement we can prepare the necessary documents to ensure that you have a final and binding settlement.
If you and your partner rely on an informal or verbal agreement between yourselves there could be serious consequences in the future as either party could look at setting that informal agreement aside and in effect they could seek to take another ‘bite’ at property settlement.
It is therefore essential to seek legal advice about any agreement reached and formalising such agreement either by way of Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement.
Our aim is to help you resolve your matter without going to court in a timely and cost effective manner.
If there is a necessity to issue proceedings we have extensive court family law experience and expertise to fight on your behalf and ensure that you get your legal entitlements.
Once your divorce becomes finalised you have a twelve month time limit to issue proceedings for property settlement.
The Child Support Agency applies a formula to determine the child support payable by parents for children.
There are also circumstances in which the formula can be varied and we can discuss these with you and your prospects for success.
As every family's need are different some parents wish to enter into their own child support agreement we can assist in negotiations and prepare the agreement for registering with the Child Support Agency.
DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) covers de facto relationships and we can advise you about your rights, entitlements and obligations for property settlement, spousal maintenance, superannuation splitting and children’s issues arising from the relationship.
There are many misconceptions out there with respect to property settlement after the breakdown of a de facto relationship and we can provide you with all the advice that you may need.
We can help finalise property settlement and children’s Orders either by negotiation with the other side or through bringing an application in the Family Law Courts to obtain court orders and ensure any agreement is final and binding.
There are time limits to apply for a property settlement application in court for de facto relationships and we can provide you with all the advice you need.
If you have concerns about the paternity of your child you should seek legal advice specific to your situation. It may be necessary to consider DNA testing either on an agreed basis or as ordered by the Family Law Courts if the other parent will not co-operate. Determining the parentage of your child could be crucial not only with respect to child support payments but the ongoing parenting relationship with that child.
The testing procedures are relatively straight forward with mouth swabs from the child and parents rather than invasive blood testing. The procedures require very strict compliance with documentation and identification, including photographic ID.
Spousal maintenance may be applied for in certain situations after separation in a marriage or de facto relationship.
There are many factors that will be taken into account and we can discuss these with you and your prospects for success for spousal maintenance.
We can help you to negotiate spousal maintenance with your spouse or alternatively represent you in bring an application for spousal maintenance in Court.
We can provide you with the legal advice prior to your first mediation appointment.
We can also assist with providing you with representation if required.
Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution for children’s issues is often a good first step to try and resolve problems with the assistance of an experienced Mediator and with the appropriate legal advice.
Mediation can also be helpful in property settlement matters. We can provide you with the tools and information you will need to mediate your matter.