When it comes to family matters, well-meaning friends and family will be a rich source of advice – advice you probably should not rely on. Here we set the record straight on the top five pieces of advice given by bush-lawyers.
You don’t have to involve the Family Court to sort out your property; you don’t even have to have a lawyer. But be warned – if your agreement is not properly formalised:
Once you reach an agreement with your partner it is vitally important that it be formalised either by way of Family Court consent orders or a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA). In order for a BFA to be legally binding, both parties and their lawyers must sign it. Consent orders require the imprimatur of the Court. We can advise you how to best formalise your agreement.
Divorce refers only to the issue of a decree absolute. This decree ends a marriage. It does not resolve or change property issues significantly and it does not resolve parenting issues.
Divorce is the only part of a family law matter that usually requires twelve months separation. Generally, property and parenting issues can and should be resolved as soon as practicable after separation.
Although it usually is, separation need not be physical. Generally, separation is taken to have occurred when one party has clearly communicated the end of the marriage to the other party. This can occur while both parties continue to reside in the same home (known as separation under one roof). It can also occur against the wishes of one party.
Although it’s a fair result in some situations, there is no presumption that the asset pool should be divided equally. Family laws require that each case be decided on its own merits. Visit – I’m separated, what are my property rights?
And finally: To get the best result you need a tough lawyer.