Separation & Divorce
Separation & Divorce
Family law is a sensitive area that addresses three of the most important concerns – your children, your property and your future. There are various ways to resolve family law matters. Through careful discussions with our clients, we ensure that the right approach is taken to maximise the prospects of a successful and cost-effective outcome. We can assist in all areas of family law, including:
Divorce & Separation
- Practical legal advice and guidance after separating
- Applying for a divorce
- Advice for de facto relationships and same sex couples
- Practical and legal advice regarding the division of assets
- Superannuation splitting
- Binding Financial Agreements (before, during and after relationship)
- Consent Orders
- Negotiation and mediation
- Property Conferences and Hearings
- Initiating Court Proceedings
Children’s & Parenting Matters
- Negotiating and preparing parenting plans and parenting orders
- Mediation / Family Dispute Resolution
- Initiating court proceedings
- Recovery orders / relocation / contravention applications
- Interim hearings / trials
Getting a divorce
To obtain a divorce you need to show that you and your partner have been separated for a continuous period of more than 12 months and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.
The court acknowledges that, in some circumstances and for various reasons, parties may be separated but continue to live under the same roof. If this truly reflects your circumstances, then you may still file your divorce application but must include appropriate evidence setting out details of your arrangements.
For marriages of less than two years, a certificate from a family counsellor confirming that you and your ex-partner have considered reconciliation must be provided, unless special circumstances like domestic violence exist.
Usually, you do not need to attend court if the application for divorce is made jointly or if it is made individually and there are no children of the marriage under 18 years.
We can assist you in filing for a divorce in court to ensure that your application proceeds smoothly, efficiently and as quickly as possible.
What happens after the divorce is granted?
If the application is approved, the court will grant a divorce order which becomes final one month later.
Parties may apply for a divorce before finalising the division of their property. However, the granting of a divorce triggers a 12-month limitation period within which to commence proceedings for property settlement or spousal maintenance.
A divorce order also affects a previously-made Will and arrangements should be made to review and update estate planning documents.
Some practical tips to remember after separating
- If possible, discuss interim parenting arrangements with your ex-partner that are in your children’s best interests.
- Try to negotiate any financial matters with your ex-partner, at least in the interim.
- Arrange to see a lawyer as soon as possible – even if you and your ex-partner are on good terms you should each have independent legal advice and be aware of your respective rights.
- Ensure that you have access to bank accounts, home loan accounts and investment details – keep originals or copies of important documents such as passports, marriage certificates, superannuation and insurance policies.
- Update passwords for email and other online accounts, and particularly internet banking.
- Talk to your bank about closing joint accounts, closing / capping credit cards or overdrafts, maintaining home loans, etc. Open an individual account if you do not already have one and discuss any concerns and assistance available from your bank.
- Ensure that your real estate and other major assets remain secure and insured.
- Contact Centrelink regarding your entitlement to any benefits or financial assistance.
- Maintain a diary recording specific dates and events.
In an area of law where no case is the same, it is important to have the benefit of experience on your side. We have a ‘down to earth’ and practical approach to family law and recognise that for many clients, this may be their first contact with a lawyer. We use every effort to ensure that our clients feel at ease and can talk freely about their legal matter.
If you need any assistance, please contact Stephen Roberts at [email protected] or call (07) 4052 7514 for a no-obligation discussion and expert advice.