Family Lawyers
Ipswich

Separation is a difficult time for anyone, whether it was mutual or if one person decided that the relationship needs to end. It is important to seek advice early on in Family Law Matters to understand what a likely outcome would be and plan accordingly. In most family law matters it is often a requirement, to attempt alternate dispute resolution (or mediation).

Property Settlements

When it comes to the division of property, your Solicitors may need many personal documents including valuations, bank statements, superannuation statements among many others. It is important to consider what each party had at the beginning of the relationship, the contributions during the relationship, the assets and liabilities at the conclusion of the relationship and then ongoing needs into the future.
There is no black and white answer when it comes to an entitlement from a property settlement and it is often a good idea to consider what you need to move on, both emotionally and financially and start from there.
It is important to finalise your property settlement early on after a separation. Assets and debt accumulated after separation, may have some bearing on the outcome. Further, you should seek advice about critical and limitation dates as you will need to file documents with the Court before 12 months from the grant of divorce or 2 years from the date of separation if you were defacto.
Each of the party’s superannuation interest is counted as an asset when it comes to a property settlement however it is important to note that should there be a Superannuation Split (where one party’s superannuation is transferred to another) that the funds will form part of the Superannuation and will only be available to you once you are in a position to claim your superannuation as normal.
When first seeing your Solicitor with respect to a property settlement it may assist to attend the appointment prepared with a list of assets and liabilities as at the commencement of the relationship as well as at the present date. This will assist the Solicitor in giving preliminary advice as to possible and likely outcomes.

Children

Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents providing it is practical and safe for them to do so. In Court matters the emphasis is put on the best interests of the child.
When it comes to children’s matters it is important to get Orders in place to ensure that you have a minimum amount of time. If the parties are getting along and agreeing to alternate arrangements, great, but when the parties start to disagree at least you have recourse if the other parent decides to stop time with the children.
There are many points that a Court will consider when making Orders relating to children including; who was the primary carer during the relationship, needs of the child, cultural back ground, welfare and safety, practicality (work, distance between parties etc) and the older a child is the more weight their views are given.
You should also consider the longevity of the agreement. Once Orders are made, it could be a difficult process to amend them and it will usually require the consent of the other parent or a significant and material change in circumstances for the Court to consider amending the Orders.
In Children’s proceedings you will hear terms such as meaningful relationship. Simply put this means that both parents are involved, if possible and if safe for the child, with the day to day lives of the child which includes helping with homework, attending sporting activities, and day to day activities.
In children’s proceedings, we suggest to our clients to consider what would the child want, what does the child need, what would the child think. Keeping these in mind as well as the best interests of the child can often assist with a quicker resolution of these matters.

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