Loading...
Menu

Family Law Specialists

Child support

[+ Child support+] is a complicated issue for every divorced parents that requires careful consideration and attention. The breakdown of a family unit is a very difficult time for a child, or children, and there are numerous factors that need to be taken into account to ensure that decisions are made in the child’s best interests. When parents separate, proper arrangements need to be made for the ongoing financial, physical and emotional support of their children.

The majority of children in separated families are covered by the Child Support scheme. The support payments for children in separated families is commonly agreed upon by each parent, or otherwise assessed and monitored by the Child Support Agency rather than the Courts.

There are two types of child support:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Binding child support agreement: this is a formal agreement presented in writing form and requires the signature of both parents. The agreement can only be entered into with legal advice and must include a statement that each party has received independent legal advice as to the effect and advantages and/or disadvantages of the agreement, before it was signed

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Limited child support agreement: this agreement does not require legal advice and must be an administrative assessment in place at the time that the agreement is entered into.

You should seek for advice from child support lawyer for your children’s best interest and get understanding about your rights and obligations with regard to financial support.

Children’s issues and parenting arrangements

When an agreement on a divorce has children involved, it is necessary to keep their best interest in any decision making. Separation is an extremely difficult time for children and we want to minimise the impact on them and keep their rights in mind, whether we are negotiating custody, access, child support or visitation rights.

Separation is usually a stressful time for your children and they may react in different ways to separation or divorce. How they react often depends on the child’s age, temperament and the level of cooperation or conflict between the parents. Since every family is different, parenting arrangements will be different from family to family. You and your former partner should try to make arrangements that will work the best for your children. When making arrangements for your children, you will need to take into account:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. their age,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. their routine,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. how they will spend time with each parent and other people (e.g. grandparents or relatives),

*
p<>{color:#000;}. who will look after them after school and where will they spend holidays

*
p<>{color:#000;}. any other things such as choice of school, health care, sport, or religious matters, and

*
p<>{color:#000;}. how to ensure that the children continue to enjoy their culture.

If you and your former partner agree on the future arrangements for your children after separation you do not have to go to court, you can:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. make a parenting plan, or

*
p<>{color:#000;}. obtain consent orders approved by a court.

Courts make orders about parental responsibilities only if the parents cannot agree about the arrangements for their children, these are called parenting orders.

You should seek for legal advice in order to make an appropriate parenting arrangement and find out the best approach for you.

Conveyancing and property law

If you want to buy or sell a home, land or investment property you’ll have to sign a contract. The legal work involved in preparing the sales contract, mortgage and other related documents, is called conveyancing.

Although it seems quite straightforward, property law can be quite complex and conveyancing has to consider issues such as contract terms and conditions, mortgages, covenants, easements, caveats, the type of property title, the type of tenancy, local council regulations and zoning to name just a few.

Conveyancing involves these steps:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. examining the contract for sale

*
p<>{color:#000;}. arranging building and pest inspections

*
p<>{color:#000;}. examining a strata inspection report (if the property is in a strata scheme)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. arranging finance if necessary

*
p<>{color:#000;}. exchanging the contract of sale

*
p<>{color:#000;}. paying the deposit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. arranging payment of stamp duties

*
p<>{color:#000;}. preparing and examining the mortgage agreement

*
p<>{color:#000;}. checking if there are outstanding arrears or land tax obligations

*
p<>{color:#000;}. finding out if any government authority (eg. local council, Sydney Water, NSW Roads and Maritime Services) has a vested interest in the land or if any planned development could affect the property

*
p<>{color:#000;}. finding out any information that may not have been previously disclosed such as a fence dispute or illegal building work

*
p<>{color:#000;}. calculating adjustments for council and water rates for the property settlement

*
p<>{color:#000;}. overseeing the change of title with Land and Property Information NSW

*
p<>{color:#000;}. completing any final checks prior to settlement

*
p<>{color:#000;}. attending settlement.

While you can do your own conveyancing, most people engage a licensed conveyancer or solicitor. Options for doing your conveyancing are:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. using a licensed conveyancer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. using a solicitor

*
p<>{color:#000;}. doing it yourself.

 

De facto relationships

A [+ de facto relationship+] is defined as a person that has a relationship living together with another person, who is in the same or opposite sex, on a genuine domestic basis. From 2009, a de facto relationship can apply to the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court to have children and financial arrangement determined in the same ways as married couples.

Before the Court can determine your financial dispute, you must satisfy all of the following:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. You were in a genuine de facto relationship with your former partner which has broken down

#
p<>{color:#000;}. You meet one of the following four gateway criteria:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That the period for the de facto relationship was at least 2 years

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That there is a child in the de facto relationship

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When assessing property or custodial claims in cases of a breakdown of a relationship, it is recognised that significant contributions were being made by one party and the failure to issue an order would result in a serious injustice

#
p<>{color:#000;}. You have a geographical connection to a participating jurisdiction

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Your relationship broke down after 1 March 2009 (or after 1 July 2010 if you have a geographical connection to South Australia only); although you may be able to apply to the courts if your relationship broke down prior to the date applicable to your state.

It is important that you seek legal advice from a family law specialist or a family lawyer to ensure whether your circumstances satisfy the criterion above before lodging your application.

 

 

Domestic violence and AVOs

Domestic violence is a serious matter. If you have any immediate fears for your safety, or that of your children, please contact the police for assistance and/or protection.

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an Order made by a court against a person who makes you fear for your safety, to protect you from further violence, intimidation or harassment. All Apprehended Violence Orders made by the court prohibit the person who is causing these fears from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking, or intimidating you. Other conditions can be included. The person you fear, known as the defendant, must obey the Order made by the court.

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Order:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)

An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order is made where the people involved are related, living together or in an intimate relationship, or have previously been in this situation.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO)

An Apprehended Personal Violence Order is made where the people involved are not related and do not have a domestic relationship.

In NSW, breaching an Apprehended Violence Order may leads to a maximum penalty of 2 year imprisonment and/or a fine of 50 penalty units (a penalty unit = $110)

In order to apply for an Apprehended Violence Order, you can contact the police and they can make an application for you on your behalf. A police prosecutor will present the matter in the court for you. Alternatively, you can make the application on your own at your local court. In this case, you will need a lawyer to represent you in the court or you can represent yourself.

 

 

Property settlements

A [+ property settlement+] is one of the most important features of separation/divorce as it sets out how the assets of the relationship will be divided. Dividing properties in a divorce means all the assets such as real estate, car, savings, shares, superannuation, and debts will be split between partners. Financial and property settlement is a difficult problem that you should ask for legal advices from a family law specialist as early as possible.

When intending to get a divorce, the couple should sort out the property settlement agreement. If the agreement can’t be reached, the couple will be required to attend the dispute resolution for their property settlement issues before going to court. The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia use dispute resolution services as they are an affordable and often quick option for resolving disputes, while allowing you greater control and management of the process and the outcome. You should seek legal advice before deciding what the best option for your dispute is. A lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and responsibilities and also help you and your former partner reach an agreement without needing to come to court.

Once you and your former partner have come to an agreement through dispute resolution then you can make a parenting plan or file consent orders with the Court. If the agreement still can’t be made, the court will make the decisions for your property division based on differents factors, including:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The duration of the marriage

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The age and health of each spouse

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The contributions made to the marriage by each spouse

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The current income and earning potential of each spouse

The child rearing responsibilities of each spouse

 

 

Separation & Divorce

In Australia, if a couple has been living separately for more than 12 months and has no likelihood to resume their marriage, they can apply for a [+ divorce+]. Under the eye of law, a couple doesn’t have to live apart to be separated. You will have to provide the court evidence to verify that you have been separated under the same roof in order to get a divorce. The Court will require you to provide an affidavit to prove the gradual or sudden changes in your relationship especially evidence that you and your spouse have separated..

Before making the decision to separate, you should make a plan to minimise the unforeseen consequences that may cause problems in the future. You should ask yourself the following questions:

*
p<>{color:#2E2D2C;}. Will you take the children?

*
p<>{color:#2E2D2C;}. What about the pets?

*
p<>{color:#2E2D2C;}. Do you fear a violent response?

*
p<>{color:#2E2D2C;}. Can you take the company car?

*
p<>{color:#2E2D2C;}. Does your departure create any legal implications?

If you have difficulty in answering these question, seek for advice from a divorce lawyer or family specialist.

According to the Australian law, you have to fulfill the following things:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You must have a valid marriage

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Either you or your spouse must:

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Regard Australia as your home or intend to live in Australia indefinitely

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Have Australian citizenship

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

Separation and divorce application is a simple legal process. You can either apply by yourself or ask a lawyer to do it for you. If you apply for a divorce together with your spouse, it is a joint application and you and your spouse are joint applicants. If you apply for a divorce by yourself, you are a sole applicant and your spouse is the respondent.

Wills and estates

A [+ will+] is a legal document that clearly states your wishes on how your assets to be distributed after your death. You work hard to build up and maintain your assets. It makes sense to take the same sort of care in making sure that your loved ones get the benefit of them when you are gone. The best way to ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes, you should have a clear, legally valid and up-to-date will. Different states will have different legal requirements for preparing a valid legal will. However, in all states you must

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have testamentary capacity, which means you must be over 18 years old and understand what you are doing

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ensure that your specific wishes are in writing – verbally telling someone what you would like to happen is not enough, and

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have the document signed in the presence of two witnesses in order for your Will to be valid.

Studies show that on average 45% of Australians do not have a current will. If you die without a will, your property and estates may be divided based on a Government formula, which may not reflect your wish. And if you don't have any next of kin, your property will go to the State after you die.

Hence, it is necessary to have legal advices from experienced lawyer about drafting your will in order to prevent any unexpected outcomes with your properties and estates after you die.


Family Law Specialists

  • Author: KarenLHaga
  • Published: 2016-04-15 04:50:07
  • Words: 2159
Family Law Specialists Family Law Specialists