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Divorce Lawyer

At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers, a Divorce Lawyer will work closely with you to ensure you are well aware of your entitlements when being advised about family law issues relating to:

  • Divorce;
  • Property settlement;
  • Superannuation;
  • Separation agreements;
  • Parenting and custody disputes;
  • Child support.

A Divorce Lawyer at Matthews Folbigg family law specialists regularly provide professional advice to clients about how to protect their assets in the event their marriage or relationship breaks down (by entering into a prenuptial agreement), how best to make arrangements for your children following divorce and how to apply for child support following divorce.

How do you know when you can apply for a divorce?

Parties who have been validly married and subsequently separated for a period of at least 12 months may apply to the Court for a divorce.

Once a Divorce Application is filed with the Court, a hearing date is allocated approximately 6 weeks later. Before the hearing date, the Application must be served on your ex-spouse. There are rules about this and legal advice is recommended by an experienced Divorce Lawyer from Matthews Folbigg Lawyers.

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Impact of Divorce on Retirement

Often during a highly stressful divorce or property settlement, for instance where domestic violence may be involved or the parties are simply eager to settle quickly and move on with their lives; individuals are readily settling without consideration of future financial stability. In particular, an article by Patricia Babalis (link below) highlighted a report by the Swinburne Institute for Social Research which discovered that at divorce, asset settlement ‘is often mishandled due to emotional tension and ignorance of what can be included in a settlement’. Further, the article touched on the reality that is financial instability from divorce. Where separating parties do not achieve a settlement that ensures future stability, individuals may find themselves struggling in their retirement plans due to reduced super balances and sale of property.

 

In reiterating the words of Babalis, divorce is a stressful and sometimes unexpected time. However, ‘knowing what you may be entitled to could be a good start to making sure asset distribution is fair.’ Our specialist separation lawyers are able to give you the guidance you need in regards to your current situation, as well as ensuring the best for your future long term financial position.
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Prenuptial Agreement

Going into a marriage or de facto relationship, couples do not plan to fail, however often couples fail to plan, overlooking benefits that a prenuptial agreement may have.

A binding financial agreement is a way that couples can plan out the potential future rights or obligations of either party in the event that the relationship doesn’t work out. Such an agreement can be made before or after entering the marriage or de facto relationship.

What can the agreement include?

Prenuptial agreements can cover a range of assets, financial resources and liabilities that are often precluded from individuals minds. Such areas other than income that may be addressed by a prenuptial agreement may include:

  • Superannuation
  • Inheritance
  • Trusts
  • Businesses
  • Real Estate
  • Investments
  • Pensioner entitlements
  • Debts and liabilities

What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?

Although often viewed as a negative way to commence a relationship, a prenuptial agreement could serve as a positive way for couples to openly communicate about the potential distribution of assets and debts as well as any expectations either individual may have.

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Separation Lawyer and Property Orders

Clients often ask their separation lawyer, “What kind of property Orders will the Court make?”

In the 2012 case of Stanford; the Appeal Court of the Family Court decided that in some cases, the Court may decline to make any property Orders between partners who have separated. Most parties who commence their case in the Court expect that the Judge will make some type of Order for a property adjustment.
In the case of Stanford, divorce lawyers saw that sometimes the Court will not make any order. Before the Court makes an Order the separation lawyer needs to be able to show that it is just and equitable to do so.

In that case the separation lawyer for one of the parties was able to show that because of the way that the parties to the relationship managed their finances separately during the relationship, that the arrangements that they themselves had worked out should not be changed. Although they had been together for many years and one party had a lot more in assets and super than the other party, the Court chose to not make a property Order.
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