Family Law

Parenting Orders

Parenting orders are court orders are imposed by judicial officers of the court and reflect decisions or judgements made by them. There is now a resumption of equal shared parental responsibility unless there are issues which point to family violence or child abuse or where it would not be in the best interests of the child. Before the courts make a parenting order they always consider what is in the best interests of the child which involves the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents and the need to protect the child from harm or abuse, neglect or family violence.

Where parents cannot agree then the best option is to apply for court orders. Sometimes this is the only way to deal with the dispute as it introduces certainty in these circumstances.

The Process involves the completion of an initiating application, preparation of some evidence (sometimes in the form of an Affidavit) and filing this with the Court. 

Property Orders

Disputes between spouses about property are dealt with under the Family Law Act. Property settlement occurs when the matrimonial asset pool is divided up between the parties to the marriage. It takes into account all income, all assets and all liabilities as a result Property and financial settlements can be complex. Although property matters may be dealt with between the parties they need to be formalised by consent orders with independent legal advice to make them effective. In most circumstances it is prudent to obtain legal advice.

The Process involves the completion of an initiating application, preparation of a financial statement and filing this with the Court. 

Binding Financial Agreements

Binding Financial Agreements includes Pre-nuptial agreements an expression used to cover agreements before marriage or relationships. They provide an opportunity for people who wish to create certainty as to what would occur if their relationship does not work out.

Binding Financial Agreements may be entered into before you marry, during a marriage, and upon the breakdown of a marriage. Since 1 March 2009 they can also be entered into by de facto couples, a de facto relationship the definition of de facto includes a same sex relationship, and may be entered into before you enter a relationship, during a relationship, and upon the breakdown of a relationship.

The Process involves the completion of document called a Binding Financial Agreement which must be signed by both parties and contain a statement that before the agreement was signed the party has been provided with independent legal advice from a legal practitioner and annex a certificate of that independent legal advice. 

Divorce

Divorce only applies to married people. It is the legal process of the termination of a marriage. To obtain a divorce you must prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and that you have been separated for a continuous period of more than 12 months. Separation can occur without either party leaving the matrimonial home and we can assist you in explaining how this works. Different rules apply where the parties have been married for less than two years.

The Process involves the completion of an application for divorce, preparation of some evidence in the form of an Affidavit and filing this with the Court.

Child Support

The majority of children in Australia, of separated families, are covered by the Child Support scheme. Most commonly the payment of child support for children in separated families is either agreed upon by each parent, or otherwise assessed and monitored by the Child Support Agency. The Child Support Scheme provides for the administrative assessment of child maintenance by the application of a formula by the Child Support Registrar. The Courts in very limited cases have a role to play in the determination of child support.

The Process involves application to the Child Support Registrar. In most circumstances there will be no need for legal assistance. We are able to assist should you require it.

Spousal Maintenance

A party to a marriage is liable to maintain the other to the extent that the party is reasonably able to do so, if and only if, the other party is unable to support himself or herself adequately.

The Process involves the completion of an initiating application, preparation of some evidence (sometimes in the form of an Affidavit) and filing this with the Court. The Family Court deals with more complex matters and the Federal Magistrates Court with less complex matters.