The breakdown of a relationship or marriage is certainly a very traumatic and stressful time in a person’s life. It not only affects the husband, wife and partners, but it also affects the whole family, especially the children. Family law disputes can also encompass those associated with de facto relationships, which may include property and financial disputes, binding financial agreements, parenting and children’s matters and which parent they live with or spend time with, child support issues, spousal maintenance, adoption and all associated issues that arise as a consequence of the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship.
Our family law team provides practical, sensible and honest advice, which focuses on our clients’ specific needs and requirements. We always aim for timely and cost-effective resolutions, to minimise the emotional and financial toll that these disputes can have on our clients.
Do I have to be divorced to split the property?
As soon as you have separated you can make arrangements to split your property and debts between you and your ex-partner, you do not have to wait until you are divorced.
Do we have to go to Court?
No, not at all. If you have already agreed on how things should be divided between you, your lawyer can draw up the document which will finalise the arrangements, and then get underway the legal processes which will split the assets.
What if we can’t agree?
There is an established process in cases where there is disagreement over how property should be split. Firstly the court needs to be satisfied that you have attempted to reach an agreement, and to this end, you will be ordered to participate in dispute resolution.
If this doesn’t resolve the matter then an application for property orders must be filed with the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court. This application must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.
The matter will be set down for hearing and a legally binding decision will be made by the court.
How does the court decide?
Firstly the court will calculate the total assets owned by both parties, including property, shares, cars, jewellery, savings, furniture etc. This includes things you brought into the relationship, those acquired during the relationship and also those purchased after separation.
Next, the court will weigh up the contributions from both parties, including financial, non-financial, inheritances and assets brought into the relationship.
Then the court will look at the future needs of both parties, including factors such as your capacity to earn money and your parental responsibilities.
Lastly, the court will make a decision based on what is just and equitable to both parties.
We can help
Dealing with the complexities of property settlement is stressful but the consequences of not doing it properly can impact on the rest of your life. We are experienced negotiators and will make sure that you get the best possible outcome.
Child Focused Family law and divorce
A marriage breakdown is a challenging time, especially when children are involved. Even if you know the choice to divorce is right for you, you want to ensure your children’s rights are protected. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced, understanding lawyer on your side, one who can negotiate the best outcome for you and your children. We have been providing family law services for 6 years. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators, and where possible we endeavour to settle disputes outside of court. We do our best to save you time, money and stress.
Our family law experience includes:
- Divorce and nullity proceedings
- Pre-nuptial and separation agreements
- Spousal maintenance
- Child support and enforcement of payments
- Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
- Guardianship of children
- Paternity/parentage issues
- Domestic and family violence and Intervention Orders (IVO)
- Family mediation
- Same-sex relationships
- De facto relationships
We take a simple approach in our practice: dedicated service, expert advice, and respect.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation with an experienced family lawyer.