Q: When is the right time to see a Solicitor?
A: You should always speak to a Family Law Solicitor as early as possible. If you are thinking that you may separate from your partner, it is a good idea to book an initial consultation to discuss your rights and obligations, as well as the steps you may face in your separation. If you see a Solicitor early on, you can plan ahead and make informed decisions. If you leave it too late, you may miss a key date which may be fatal to your matter, or you may incur further expenses unnecessarily if we are required to act urgently to protect your interests.
Q: How long after separation can I apply for a divorce?
A: 12 months.
Q: Can I have a property settlement before my divorce is finalised?
A: Yes. You can begin proceedings after separation and if both parties agree, the Court can make Consent Orders to formalise your agreement.
Q: Can I apply for a Parenting (Court) Order before my divorce is finalised?
A: Yes, you can apply to the Court for both Interim and Final Parenting Orders following separation and if you both agree, the Court can make Orders to formalise the situation.
Q: What range of property settlement am I entitled to?
A: Each case is different and is determined on its own facts. The Court will determine the property division based on contributions made during the marriage. The Family Law Act takes into account initial contributions as well as contributions by the homemaker and breadwinner.
Q: Are there alternatives to going to Court?
A: There are various primary dispute resolution processes available, including Mediation, Conferences and community based Counselling.
Q: What are the grounds for Divorce?
A: The only reason for divorce in Australia is that there has been an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. You show this by being separated for 12 months.
Q: What about the children of defacto couples?
A: All children are treated the same way by the Family Law Act. It does not matter whether their parents are married or not.
Q: Is spouse maintenance and child maintenance the same thing?
Q: I have reached an Agreement with my partner. Do I still need to see a Solicitor?
A: Yes. If you have already negotiated and reached an Agreement with your partner, you will save significant legal costs as we do not have to do the negotiating for you. However, you still need to document the Agreement you have reached, otherwise, it will not be binding or enforceable. You should also check to make sure that what you are agreeing to is fair and reasonable, and that you are not settling for less than what you are entitled to.
Q: What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A: Couples who are about to marry and who wish to detail and regulate their financial relationship both during the marriage and in the event of death, separation or divorce can enter a pre-nuptial agreement. A pre-nuptial agreement is a type of Financial Agreement and provided the agreement is completed correctly it is enforceable in Court.