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Why Should You Know About The Family Law- Blog

There are things that you should know via law news right off the bat to help you to cut through the confusion and get on with finding an amicable, positive way forward.

Most people going through separation and divorce are doing it for the first time, so it's not surprising that you may not know even the most basic facts. However, you will be constantly shocked at the sheer amount of misinformation and confusion that you come across when you talk to people about amicable separation and divorce through a family law Attorney. Let's cut through that and get to the most important thing that anyone hoping to separate and divorce amicably should know about the family law act.

Children have rights, parents have responsibilities

Parents don't have rights when it comes to children. In the eyes of the law, children have rights and parents have responsibilities. This means that no parent has a right to equal time with a child, regardless of what they may pay in child support. Rather, parents can agree to spend equal time with a child, or a court can order it if they think it is in the best interests of the child and practicable.

Start with what's best for the children and work backwards from there. Then formalise your arrangements as a parenting plan or parenting orders to make sure you're both on the same page.

Super is included in the shared property pool to be divided (as well as almost everything else)

All assets and liabilities that you have should be included in the shared property pool, regardless of who's the name they may be in or whether you got them before or after the separation. This includes things like superannuation, interests in companies and trusts and even assets and liabilities shared with a third party. This doesn't mean that everything identified will be divided, but it all contributes to the value of the pool. Things that you owe like credit cards and loans also need to be included to get an overall picture.

Property shouldn't necessarily be divided 50/50

Many separating couples assume that they should just keep everything already in their name and then split anything jointly owned 50/50. While this may be appropriate in some cases, the family law blog lays out very clear principles for how property should be divided, based on contributions and needs.

Current and future needs are key considerations in working out how you should divide your assets and liabilities. The most common needs looked at by the court are to do with your age, your health, your ability to earn now and in the future, and your responsibilities for caring for children. Generally, if one of you is worse off than the other when comparing these factors, then an adjustment should be made to the division to help balance this out.

Contributions can be financial, but also include things such as caring for children, being a homemaker or renovating a property. In general, the longer your relationship, the fewer contributions matter.

Getting divorced and doing a financial settlement are 2 different things

Legally finalising your finances and getting a certificate of divorce are 2 separate processes. To legally finalise your finances, you'll need consent orders or a binding financial agreement; whereas to formally end the marriage, you need to do an application for divorce. Surprisingly for many people, you've only got 12 months after your divorce to do a financial settlement – so you're better off doing this before you apply for divorce.

Family law lays out and protects the rights and responsibilities of family members across a wide spectrum of situations. It is designed to be a framework that provides a basis for achieving fair and equitable results for all family members involved, whether they are adults or children.

Family law can be an emotionally charged area of law, dealing as it often does with failing relationships and the resulting conflict. For this reason, family law solicitors require not only legal knowledge but also a good understanding of people and how to support them with appropriate sensitivity.