Do you find yourself in need of a Central Coast Family Lawyer?
By reading this section of our website we can only assume that either you’ve already accepted that the marriage has broken down and there is no hope for reconciliation, or you still have hope that things will improve and you just want to know your options.
In either instance, we offer a free 30-minute consultation with a family lawyer. Website content is great to give you an idea of where you stand and your options, but it cannot compare with discussing your specific circumstances with a qualified lawyer practising in Family law.
Usually by the time you start thinking of divorce and separation the relationship has been broken for a while and all attempts to save it have failed. There can be little doubt that commencing divorce proceedings can be a time of heartbreak and confusion, regardless of how difficult things were in the end. Our Central Coast family lawyers appreciate this and can guide you through the process with compassion and empathy.
The Right Time to Hire our Central Coast Family Lawyers
If you’ve reached the stage of thinking of divorce it is quite likely that you have already started thinking of how the family unit will be divided. Who will the children live with? Where will they live? Can you retain the family home? or will it need to be sold? If it does need to be sold where will you live? Will you be able to afford a home for yourself and the children? Can you support yourself and make mortgage repayments alone, if not can you get any help from your spouse or through benefits?
No doubt there are a million thoughts swimming around your head right now, and that’s where our family lawyers can help. There is a wealth of information on the internet that you can spend hours reading through, but Family law can be a daunting concept. Our lawyers are trained in this area and can guide you on all your options, advising you where you stand and giving you information specific to your circumstances that may not have even occurred to you. We guarantee that after an initial 30-minute free consultation with us you will leave our offices with greater clarity and peace of mind.
Usually, when clients first come to see us, they state that they are separating and Divorce is at the forefront of their mind, however, Divorce should quite often be the last step, firstly due to Court time limits it is wise to leave a Divorce to the end, as (unless you have the permission of the Court) you only have 12 months from the date of divorce to settle property matters in the case of married couples, or 24 months in the case of de-facto couples, however, the most important factors at this stage for you to be considering are:
- Care arrangements for any children, i.e. who will the children live with? How often will they see the other parent and when? Where will they see the other parent? Who will they spend Christmas and birthdays with;
- Whether spousal maintenance is required to enable you to support yourself and any children pending a property settlement – can you cover mortgage repayments and school fees alone;
- how property should be divided between you? Who contributed what and who has the most need moving forward? What is a fair spilt?
- Do you need to change your Will or create a Will? The answer will always be yes, as your current will is cancelled on a divorce, and prior to divorce it is unlikely that you would want your assets to be left to your former partner. You can only ensure that this doesn’t happen by drafting a new Will;
- What are the tax implications of a divorce in relation to the division of property? Will you have to pay stamp duty again?
- Is there a need to apply to the Court for protective orders such as an AVO for you and the children? Do you need an exclusive occupation order so that you are permitted to reside in the family home alone with the children?
These are the type of concerns that can be discussed with our family lawyers.
Spousal Maintenance can take both or either of two forms. Firstly, spousal maintenance can be in the form of one lump sum, such as one person taking a higher percentage of the share of the assets, that higher percentage representing a set amount of support, or secondly, spousal maintenance can be agreed or ordered as ongoing regular payments.
In order for Spousal Maintenance to be applicable, one of you must be in need of ongoing support, as you are unable to support yourself ‘adequately’ and the other person, needs to be able to afford to pay Spousal Maintenance.
When you are sure that the relationship is over, it is only natural and often necessary that you will want and need to divide your property. There is also another more pressing reason that you may not have considered, and that is, that until you separate your assets legally by way of Consent Orders or Binding Financial Agreement, everything you possess or purchase moving on from the relationship is part of the marital assets and years after separation your newly purchased home or car could be transferred to your ex-partner as part of a family law settlement. This is not a fact that most people are aware of and should certainly be a motivating factor in formally and legally dividing assets.
This will likely be your biggest concern. Who will the children live with and when will you see them? will your spouse make it difficult for you to see the children or speak badly of you to the children? how will you cope on your own? What about holidays and birthdays? what about overseas travel?
Our family lawyers will guide you through all these options. If communication between you and your spouse is still ongoing and the relationship has not broken down completely, we can assist with arranging mediation so that you and your spouse can decide in a safe environment what are the best arrangements for the children. If communication is no longer ongoing or even possible due to family violence or quite simply an inability to communicate, we can assist by communicating with your spouse or their solicitor with a view to coming to an agreement as to care arrangements for the children.
In order to obtain a divorce, you will need to show to the Court that:
- the marriage has broken down irretrievably;
- You have been separated for a period of 12 months (even if you have continued living together); and
- where there are children of the marriage who are under 18 years of age, that there are arrangements in place for the care and welfare of the children.
Why Hire Darley Legal – Experienced Family Lawyers Central Coast
There are a lot of firms out there that can advise you on your options in a divorce/separation, so what makes us different from the rest?
- We pride ourselves on our ethics and our compassion, we will tell you upfront your options and likely outcome, without you spending significant hard-earned monies on legal fees without any realistic prospects of being successful in obtaining the result you desire.
- We understand that clients do not have unlimited access to funds and legal fees and court fees can be expensive, for that reason we offer payment plans and a high degree of compassion in relation to fees.
- We understand that you don’t want to have to repeat yourself over and over, and for that reason you’ll be appointed the same solicitor that will assist you from start to finish.
- We understand that you also need to work and have other commitments and for that reason we are happy to conduct appointments on the weekends or after hours.
- We practice in a number of areas and can offer you expert advice on other matters ancillary to your separation, such as making or changing a Will, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Guardianship, purchasing or selling a property, even obtaining an AVO or defending one.