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Speaking to a Divorce Lawyer about Treatment of Assets after Separation

When parties to a relationship separate or divorce, they will at some stage need to divide their property through the process of a property settlement. Time limits apply to applications to the court for property settlement.[1]

Sometimes there can be a significant delay between the date of separation and date of a final property settlement. This may be because one party does not accept that the marriage is over or they do not want to meet with a divorce lawyer.  It may also be because the parties just want to get on with their lives and avoid the perceived complexity relating to a property law settlement.  This type of delay can have an impact on the final settlement, particularly if one of the parties receives an inheritance or other large lump sum payment after separation.

It is often thought that property acquired after separation will be excluded from the property pool to be divided between the parties. This was an issue that the Full Court of the Family Court of Western Australia considered in the recent case of Calvin v McTier [2017] Fam CAFC 125. In this case the husband acquired a significant inheritance from his father’s Estate four years after the parties separated. The Trial Judge found the net value of the matrimonial property to be $1,340,319.00.  The inheritance remaining at the time of the trial was $430,686.00.

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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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Prenuptial Agreement

More frequently spouses who propose to enter into a De facto Relationships or intend to marry are wishing to minimise conflict in the event that despite their best efforts, the relationship might not work out. Since 2002 in relation to married couples and 2009 in relation to De facto and same sex couples; the legislation has provided parties with a mechanism whereby they can enter into a binding financial agreement / prenuptial agreement which will govern the separation of their finances in the event that the relationship should break down.

There are certain requirements that must be followed to ensure that such agreements are binding.

The requirements include:

(a) That each party must be independently legally advised.

(b) The Agreement needs to identify the relevant legislative section that is relying upon.

(c) The Agreement needs to comply with the Family Law Act in terms of the specifics of what is being released and on what terms.

The court has a limited ability to rectify a defective agreement, however on the whole, if those legal requirements are not met, the parties can enter into an agreement but it may not be binding.

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Divorce Lawyer Parramatta

When a marriage comes to an end, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and emotional. You may also feel uneasy about taking the step of seeing a Divorce Lawyer and obtaining legal advice.  At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers our team of Divorce Lawyers are highly skilled and experienced in all aspects of Family Law including but not limited to:

  • Negotiation of property settlements;
  • Negotiations of parenting arrangements and child custody;
  • Representation of clients in court proceedings conducted in the Federal Circuit and Family Court;
  • Divorce proceedings;
  • Financial agreements and Child Support Agreements.

You need to have peace of mind that the Divorce Lawyer you choose is one that you can rely on and trust to deal with your matter to the best of their ability.

At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers, you can rest assured that your Divorce Lawyer will not see you as just another client. We take every client’s matter seriously and give every client the commitment and dedication that they deserve and tailor our advice to suit your matter and ensure that you understand the advice given to you by your Divorce Lawyer.  We will advise you of the progress and discuss options with you at every step of the way.

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Child Custody Laws Advice

Isn’t 50/50 care my right under child custody laws?

With the emphasis on both parents being more involved in the care of children after separation many people assume that parenting law now guarantees a shared care or 50/50 split of the child’s time with each parent.

While the overriding principle since the Family Law Act commenced in 1975 is that all parenting arrangements should be made ‘in the best interests of the child’ a series of changes to family law since 1996 has seen a steady move from the notion of ‘parents child custody rights’ to an approach which prioritises the rights of children.

Section 60CC of the Act focuses on the importance of children being safe from harm and having a ‘meaningful relationship with each parent’. Family law also encourages parents to work together (where it is safe to do so) and negotiate care arrangements which best suit their children and their individual circumstances. The old notion of child custody ‘rights’ gives way to a more responsive outcome.
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Separated or considering Separation? You should speak to a Separation Lawyer

A separation lawyer is a family lawyer who can provide you with legal advice at an early stage of your separation. Getting the right advice about your circumstances from an experienced separation lawyer can assist you to make decisions about:

  1. Your separation;
  2. Your children;
  3. Your living arrangements;
  4. Your finances;
  5. Your legal options;
  6. Related consequences and possible outcomes.

A skilled separation lawyer will also be able to discuss and help you navigate through all interrelated aspects of your separation.

Depending on your particular circumstances a separation lawyer may make recommendations and suggestions for:

  1. Securing access to funds and assets
  2. Obtaining financial documentation and records
  3. Relevant programs and support groups such as:
  • Parenting programs;
  • Counsellors and psychologists;
  • Financial planners and accountants; and/or
  • Estate Planning Lawyers.

If you are separated or thinking about separating, contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at familylaw@matthewsfolbigg.com.au

Disclaimer

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.

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Domestic Violence and Family Law Lawyers

There is a great deal of focus both by the media and by Courts on domestic violence issues for families and the law.

The Federal Government announced significant funding in the first half of 2017 to provide support, assistance and guidance to both victims of domestic violence and partners where an issue of domestic violence has been raised in the proceedings.

The purpose of the funding is to ensure that all parties have access to both support and education where appropriate in order to reduce the impact on families of domestic violence.

The program acknowledges that victims of violence can be both partners, therefore a program which is confined to women only would not serve the community at large to meet these concerns.

It is also important to provide support and resources to any spouse where the allegations have been made as against them.   The Court does recognise and have regard to any litigants who might have had a problem in the past but are addressing those concerns in an educative process to assist and allay concerns as to domestic violence.
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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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