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How can a Marriage Lawyer help?

When your marriage or relationship breaks down, there are many things that you need to consider. No doubt, going through this will bring upon change and while emotions may be high, it is very important that you speak to a Marriage Lawyer.

What can a Marriage Lawyer assist you in dealing with:
  • How to divide your finances
  • How the mortgage is to be paid
  • Who should pay the mortgage
  • Whether you should contact the bank for special consideration
  • Whether it would be ideal to sell the house
  • Where the children should live
  • How much time the children should spend with your partner
  • What should happen with the children on school holidays
  • Whether you should seek child support from your partner

At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers, a Marriage Lawyer will work closely with you to ensure you are well aware of your entitlements when being advised about family law issues. A Marriage Lawyer can help you understand the process involved with Divorce; Property settlement; Superannuation; Separation agreements; Parenting and custody disputes and Child support.
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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is now recognised as a serious and widespread problem in Australia impacting the individual, their family unit and the community at large.

Husband or Wife, Mother or Father, Child or Teenager – Everyone has a right to be safe from any type of violence.

Yet there are many people who do not seek help for a myriad of reasons. Often the case is that victims are fearful of breaking up and leaving the family unit, especially when there are children involved. Sometimes the thought of attempting to escape can be too daunting. Others don’t consider leaving because they do not believe that their circumstances amount to any real domestic violence.

Physical violence is a commonly known form. However domestic violence has many forms including Sexual Violence, Emotional Violence, Financial or Economical Violence. Social Violence – such as limiting one’s ability to make independent decisions about their social life or a partner who controls where you go and with whom – can be categorised as domestic violence.

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Child Custody & Child Custody Laws

Child Custody Laws and Child Custody Rights are terms often used when parents seek advice in relation to parenting disputes. When parties make competing parenting applications, the Court is required to consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Children’s Rights

Child Custody Rights relate to the rights of the subject child, not the parents.

The rights of a child can be summarised into two primary considerations:

  1. The child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
  2. The child’s right to be protected from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

If the primary considerations conflict then the need to protect the child prevails.

The best interests’ principle is the overarching and paramount consideration in all parenting matters. Primary considerations, together with an extensive and broad list of additional considerations are matters that the Court will take into account when determining what is in the child’s best interest. An experienced family lawyer can advise you on which considerations are relevant to your circumstance.

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Child Support Lawyers

Parents going through a separation may be required to pay child support. This may involve a payment being made by one or both parents to the other to help with the cost of looking after the children.

The child support assessment process is administered by the Australian Government, Department of Human Services (“DHS”). A parent may make an application to DHS for a child support assessment. DHS would take into account a number of factors including the income of each parent and the percentage care of the child or children. A change to the circumstances of each parent or of the child can change the calculation of child support. This can be a significant source of conflict.

In order to provide certainty and stability, parents may agree to make a legally enforceable agreement about the amount or frequency of child support that is to be paid, as well as how these payments are calculated. Parents may also reach an agreement relating to additional expenses for a child including school fees, clothing or payments for extra-curricular activities. A Binding Child Support Agreement is a written agreement signed by both parents that allows parents to agree on these issues. This may be for an amount that is less than or more than the Child Support assessment that would otherwise apply.

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Why you need to speak to a family law lawyer when thinking about a Prenuptial Agreement

At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers we work closely with our clients to ensure they are well aware of their entitlements when undertaking a property settlement. 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.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in drafting prenuptial agreements.

Why you need to seek advice from a family law lawyer about obtaining a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are very complicated and require strict compliance with the legislation for the prenuptial agreement to be valid. A prenuptial agreement is binding on the parties to the Agreement if, and only if:

  • The prenuptial agreement is signed by both parties;
  • Before the agreement is signed, each party is provided with independent legal advice from a legal practitioner as to the following matters:
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Why you should speak to family law lawyers about travelling overseas with children after separation

Before you put down the non-refundable deposit on your dream overseas holiday, it is best to check with family law lawyers whether you may need your former partner’s consent to take your children. While it is common for Orders to include mention about who holds the passports, how they are to be renewed and what is permissible overseas travels, they are not compulsory. This may mean you will need to seek the consent of your former partner to take your child overseas. You may also need to seek their consent in applying for or renewing your child’s passport.

Renewing or applying for a passport

If your Orders are silent on getting your children a passport or ensuring they remain valid, you will need to obtain the consent of your former partner in getting a passport. This will require you to complete a passport application or renewal application which shows the consent (generally the signature) of both parents. If your former partner refuses to sign the application, you may still able to apply for a passport.

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The Sydney Property Market – How Family Law Lawyers deal with this?

In Blackwell & Scott (2017), the Full Court considered whether the Trial Judge had made an error by setting aside consent orders that were entered into by the parties.

These property consent orders were made; which were to an equal division. In order to give effect to this equal division of property, the parties negotiated and entered into consent orders that provided for (in summary):

  1. a property held in the husband’s sole name be sold and the parties were to share equally in any proceeds of sale exceeding $440,000;
  2. pending the sale, the husband will be responsible for the mortgage payments, outgoings and other expenses;
  3. that the husband retain a second property also held in his sole name and on the payment by him to the wife of $130,000 within 90 days of the orders, the wife shall relinquish any right, title and interest in this property; and

The husband breached the consent orders and did not make the $130,000 payment that he was required to make to the wife within 90 days.
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Prenuptial Agreement upheld on Appeal – De Facto Relationship with one woman while married to another

In the recent decision of Sha & Cham [2017], the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia considered an appeal by the Appellant Husband (who we will call Mr B) and the Respondent De Facto Wife (who we will call Ms C).

Background

The appeal arose from the first instance decision of His Honour Judge Johnston in proceedings before the Family Court of Australia. In those proceedings Ms C bought an application seeking injunctive orders and enforcement of a s90UC Binding Financial Agreement, more commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement which She and Mr B had entered during the course of their relationship.

Judge Johnston found that the parties were in a de facto relationship. As such, Ms C was successful in the Family Court.

The Facts

Mr B married Mrs B.

Mr B meets Ms C in a massage parlour and they commence a sexual relationship that evening.

Mr B continues to live and be married to Mrs B.
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