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 family lawyers appreciate this and can guide you through the process with compassion and empathy.
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 which 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 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.