The end of a relationship is undoubtedly one of the most difficult and challenging times in a person’s life.
Separation and divorce bring with them the need to disentangle two lives so both parties can move forward with their lives. To do so might involve dividing assets from the relationship, working out the best way to raise children, and whether one ex-partner should financially support the other despite their new separate lives.
Contact Our Parramatta Family Lawyers
At Family Lawyers Parramatta, we will assess your family law matter with a sensitive, understanding approach that will put your mind at ease on any of the issues outlined below.
Separation Lawyers Parramatta
When one partner decides to end the relationship and tells the other, or both parties agree the relationship is over, then separation begins.
For married couples, if they first separate and then later decide to divorce, the parties will need to demonstrate that they have physically and financially separated, even in the situation where they might still live under the same roof for the sake of children, for example.
Divorce Lawyers Parramatta
There are conditions a separated couple must meet in order to be able to apply for a divorce to formally end the relationship. The parties must first be able to demonstrate:
- they were in a legal marriage;
- the marriage has broken down irretrievably;
- the parties have been separated for at least 12 months;
- there is no prospect of reconciliation;
- the parties are Australian citizens, permanently live in Australia, are ordinarily resident in Australia or have been for a year prior to initiating divorce proceedings.
An application for divorce can be made jointly or by one party to the marriage. Seek legal advice in either situation from Family Lawyers Parramatta to ensure your application conforms to the requirements.
Child Custody Lawyers Parramatta
Deciding on where children from a broken relationship will live, how they will be raised, and what schooling, health and other arrangements need to be made for them, begins with dispute resolution.
The Family Law Act stipulates the former couple must attempt mediation (with a few exceptions, such as where family violence is involved) before seeking any parenting order from the court when agreement can’t be reached.
The best interests of the child/ren is the primary interest of the court when it makes parenting orders. Determining this involves an assessment of a range of factors: the benefit of the child/ren having a meaningful relationship with both parents, and whether changed living arrangements will have an effect on the child/ren. The wishes of each child may also be taken into account, depending on their age and maturity.
This assessment may be different if family or domestic violence is present in the parenting matter.
Child Relocation Lawyers Parramatta
One of the more difficult consequences of a relationship ending arises when one parent wishes to move a child interstate, overseas or to a location which means the other parent would not regularly see the child.
It’s important to get the right legal guidance in this situation. The parent who wishes to move with the child must apply to the court for relocation orders. In making its decision, the court considers the possible detrimental effect of the move on the child, as well as the nature of their relationship with the non-relocating parent.
When one parent wishes to take a child or children overseas after a relationship breakdown, the issue becomes even more complex and may invoke provisions of international such as the Hague Convention. Discuss your situation with Family Lawyers Parramatta as soon as possible if you’re facing this situation.
Child Recovery Orders in Parramatta
These orders are made by a court where one parent has removed a child from the other parent’s care without consent. This also applies in the situation where one parent fails to return a child to the other parent at an agreed time. The court may hear an application for a recovery order on an urgent basis given the fear of such a development engenders in the parent wondering where their child is. Such orders can also be used to prevent one parent from removing a child from an overseas location.
Binding Child Support Agreements in Parramatta
Raising a child is expensive – there are constant outlays for school, clothes, health, dental and entertainment. The cost, stress and lengthiness of court proceedings mean many separating couples would prefer to reach a flexible agreement between themselves as to what financial support is needed in relation to child-rearing. In situations where one parent is the primary caregiver while the other works full-time, a child support agreement may require the ‘breadwinner’ to pay periodic and non-periodic payments to the other parent. The agreement is binding but can be flexible enough to be changed later should both parents’ circumstances change.
Binding Financial Agreements in Parramatta
Either before, during or even after a relationship, a couple may make a Binding Financial Agreement (‘BRAs, sometimes also called a ‘pre-nup’). These agreements act likes contracts between the partners and set out the details of what will happen to property and financial assets from the relationship should there be a break-up. BFAs can also cover division of superannuation, debts and spousal maintenance.
Expert legal advice is highly advised before you enter into a BFA. Such agreements can often be the subject of court action once the relationship is over when one party challenges its validity or may claim it was entered into under duress or through unconscionable conduct.
Property Settlements Lawyers Parramatta
Dividing property assets such as the family home can be one of the more difficult things to confront after a relationship breakdown.
The process involves first identifying the asset pool to be divided. Typical assets include the home, any investment properties, savings and investment accounts, shares, superannuation, vehicles, businesses, inheritances, debts and other liabilities.
The next step is to figure out how much each party to the relationship contributed. This is done by assessing not only financial contributions but also the value of homemaking and/or child-rearing by one or both partners. Finally, the future needs of each person is considered before the court decides what would make a ‘fair and equitable’ division of assets between the parties.
A decision as to whether maintenance should be paid by one party to the other may also be included in this process.
Settling Matters Outside of Court
As mentioned, court proceedings can be costly, lengthy and sometimes prevent your relationship with your ex from remaining civil into the future. An out-of-court settlement with your ex-partner dealing with all of your issues may be far preferable.
Meet Our Parramatta Family Law Expert
At Family Lawyers Parramatta, we’ll provide advice and guidance to help you avoid court and reach a fair resolution of your family law issues with your former partner. If court proceedings are necessary, we will use our expertise in this area to represent you and help you move to the next stage of your life.
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