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Separation and Divorce


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Separation and Divorce


Separation means both parties live separately and apart. However, you may be separated while still living in the same home as your spouse.

A divorce is the legal end to a marriage. The court must be satisfied that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”, which is proven if the parties have lived “separately and apart” for a total period of twelve months.

You need to be separated for a period of 12 months prior to applying for divorce.

As of 9 December 2017, same sex married couples (including those who married overseas prior to 9 December 2017) are treated the same as heterosexual married couples under the Family Law Act, and will be able to divorce under Australian law if they meet the other requirements for divorce under the Act.

We can assist you to navigate the separation and apply for divorce.

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Property and Financial


Property and Financial


During their relationship parties will usually acquire various assets, financial resources and debts. We advise on the fair division and adjustment of property settlement between couples, including de facto and same sex couples.

If parties cannot agree, it may be necessary to make an application to the Court to decide how the property is to be divided. Even if parties reach agreement it is highly recommended that legal advice is obtained as to how best to formalise and implement that agreement.

We work in collaboration with the business law team at Harwood Andrews to ensure you receive advice tailored to your specific financial situation, particularly where there is a family business, or other business interests or complex structuring involved.

Our team can assist in the preparation of binding financial agreements, which are technical documents requiring independent legal advice.

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Parents and children


Parents and children


 After parties separate, a decision must be made as to whether the children will live with one or both parents. If children are to live primarily with one parent, then the time they are to spend with the other parent must also be addressed. These arrangements were formally known as custody and access arrangements. It is usually in the best interests of the children if their parents can reach their own agreement about these matters.

Such an agreement can be formalised in the form of a parenting plan, or parenting orders made with the consent of the parties and approved by the Court.

If agreement cannot be reached between the parties, and they have attended mediation without achieving a resolution, it may be necessary to apply for parenting orders from the Court.

Our team can assist in all aspects of parenting matters.

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Mediation


Mediation


After parties separate, a decision must be made as to whether the children will live with one or both parents. If children are to live primarily with one parent, then the time they are to spend with the other parent must also be addressed. These arrangements were formally known as custody and access arrangements. It is usually in the best interests of the children if their parents can reach their own agreement about these matters.

Such an agreement can be formalised in the form of a parenting plan, or parenting orders made with the consent of the parties and approved by the Court.

If agreement cannot be reached between the parties, and they have attended mediation without achieving a resolution, it may be necessary to apply for parenting orders from the Court.

Our team can assist in all aspects of parenting matters.

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Child Support Agreements


Child Support Agreements


In many circumstances parents agree on the level of child support that one parent is to pay to the other and any other expense toward which they will contribute, including school fees and private health insurance. To formalise this, a child support agreement can be entered into by both parents. We can assist with these agreements.