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Property Settlement – A Marriage Lawyer explains the steps and significance of the decision in Stanford v Stanford

It is difficult for a couple to determine how they will distribute joint assets if they are separating. A marriage lawyer generally is familiar with clients who are involved in voluntary separations where as a result there is a need to distribute the parties’ assets to allow for each person to move on. However, what about situations where the parties have not been involved in a voluntary separation? Maybe it occurred by reasons outside of the parties’ control. The facts in the High Court case of Stanford v Stanford gave an example of such a situation. It also adjusted the legal test for courts to apply when making a property order (s 79 Family Law Act 1975). [...]  READ MORE →

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A Marriage Lawyer outlines spousal maintenance

The dynamic of family relationships is unique in every scenario. Yet you can almost guarantee that a marriage lawyer has been informed of many if not all types of household arrangements. Commonly, in relationships one party will inherit the role of being the ‘breadwinner’. In other words, one party is responsible for providing financial support to the other party and/or to their children.

A confronting reality will then be that despite the breakdown of a relationship, a financially dependent party may remain reluctant to leave. Financial dependency can be a compelling force convincing one party to remain in a relationship although it may not foster a safe environment. [...]  READ MORE →

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Asking a marriage lawyer if I can change my child’s surname

Moving forward from a separation can be arduous and filled with unexpected change. Not only do you have to re-evaluate your living circumstances but also your child’s. A marriage lawyer will be able to navigate you through a claim proposing a change to your child’s surname. A marriage lawyer will advise you of this unique area of family law and in this article we will consider if the court has allowed for this to occur in the past. If this is a claim you wish to pursue it is just as important that a marriage lawyer is able to provide you with some key points. [...]  READ MORE →

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A marriage lawyer explains time limitation for proceedings

Approaching any marriage lawyer when filing an application for a divorce order can be daunting and overshadowed by emotion. The breakdown of any relationship brings uncertainty and stress. It is important to consider any legal requirements that may apply when finalizing the arrangements for children and/or distributing assets. A marriage lawyer will consider the Family Law Act 1975 which provides time limitations for the bringing of property claims.

In the recent decision of Welland & Hawthorn [2021] FedFamC1A, the Full Court heard an appeal from the dismissal of an application for leave which sought to bring property settlement proceedings out of time. In determining the duration of the parties’ de facto relationship, the Court found that separation had occurred in February 2016. Since the de facto wife filed her application in November 2019, it was 20 months out of time. The de facto wife had two children who lived with her when the de facto husband was incarcerated. It was claimed that the de facto wife had relied on assurances from the de facto husband in 2017 and 2018 in the form of financial provisions. Although the applicant spouse engaged multiple marriage lawyers between 2017 and 2019 no proceedings were actually brought. [...]  READ MORE →