Family Law requires a steady hand to help you navigate through turbulent waters
We understand that the breakdown of a relationship can be a very stressful and uncertain period in your life. It’s important to get access to straight forward and common-sense advice so that you can make the separation process as seamless as possible. Your legal representative must strive to get the best result for you so that you can move on with your life during this difficult period.
Get the Right Support from Proven Experts
Its important that your legal team has the expertise to in the full range of matters relating to family law and de facto relationships, including:
- Getting a divorce;
- Mediation and Court representation;
- Negotiating agreements in respect of the division of property, assets and debt;
- Negotiating parenting arrangements for children;
- Spousal maintenance;
- Child support;
- Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs);
- Prenuptial agreements; and
- Estate planning and updating your will post separation.
The Family Law Act was introduced in 1976 and established a “no fault divorce” system. This means it is irrelevant as to who is to blame for a divorce as long as you feel your marriage has broken down and there is no possibility of reconciliation. You also need to have been be separated for a year or more.
The divorce process involves the filing of a divorce application with the Family Law Courts. If both parties are agreeable to the divorce, the Court will grant the divorce application without you needing to appear at Court. However, if the divorce is contested by one party, or if you have children under the age of 18, the Court will require you to appear in Court and the judge will need to be satisfied that proper parenting arrangements have been put in place in respect of the children of the relationship.
At the end of a relationship, it is necessary to determine how to divide up your assets and financial resources. The Family Law Act 1975 makes provision for the Family Law Courts to determine financial matters relating to property settlements for married couples and de-facto couples.
A de facto relationship is defined in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975 and requires you and your former partner, who may be of the same or opposite sex, to have had a relationship living together on a genuine domestic basis for two years or more.
A financial settlement can cover such things as property settlement, maintenance, child support or financial enforcement. “Property” covers such things as your home, other real estate, money in the bank or other financial institution, cars, boats, investments, business interests, household contents, and Superannuation. In making a financial settlement, the Court will make a settlement based on a just and equitable division of the financial assets of the relationship.
The most difficult problem to resolve after you separate is determining how much time a child should spend with each parent. The court assesses whether it is practical and in the best interests of the children to spend ‘substantial and significant time’ with each parent. It is usually seen as beneficial for both parents to have a meaningful involvement in the different aspects of their children’s lives including during the week, on weekends, on holidays and on special occasions.
Mediation is always a great option, if available, to try and resolve your matter. This means that you will be able to settle either your financial or children’s matters through negotiation and discussion and without the need of going through a nasty trial.
Over 90% of matters settle through mediation. We do not believe that it is worth the extra expense and stress on our clients to go further if unnecessary. We pride ourselves on briefing great barristers and having solicitors that provide honest and upfront advice so from the very beginning, you know what the ultimate outcome will be.
At Melbourne Law, we are here to assist you with all your Family Law issues. For a limited time take advantage of our FREE 20min confidential consultation offer to discuss your situation and work out an action plan to protect your interests. Call 1300 739 361 or click here.