Going through separation is challenging both emotionally and financially for everyone involved. If there are children involved this will add further emotional toll on the parties.
At WBH Legal we understand the difficult and sensitive nature of separation. With our experience, knowledge and expertise we will help you to ensure the process is smooth and less frustrating for you as we have done for many of our clients before.
Separation and Divorce
When you separate from your ex-partner for at least 12 months you are able to apply for Divorce. You may still live under the same roof and be considered living separately.
The only requirement for divorce is the irrevocable breakdown of your marriage with your ex-partner. There is no requirement to prove who is at fault.
If you have children under 18 with your ex-partner the court must be satisfied that proper care arrangements are in place for them before granting divorce.
If there are no children under the age of 18 and you and your ex-partner agree to apply for divorce after separating for more than 12 months, you may not have to attend a court hearing.
Once divorce order is granted, your divorce becomes effective one month after the date of the order.
A significant consequence of divorce is that you and your ex-partner will have a period of 12 months from the date of divorce to apply for property settlement.
We can assist with your divorce application to make it smooth and stress-free for you.
If you have any children with your ex-partner, you will need to consider post separation who the children will live with and spend time with the other parent.
Except in certain limited circumstances, the separating parents are required to attempt resolution of their disputes about their children through mediation before going to court.
If the parents are able to reach agreement about the care arrangement of the children, they may enter into a parenting plan. They can then apply to have the parenting plan made into Court orders known as Consent Orders.
Parenting plans are voluntary written agreements between the parties. Parenting plans are not legally enforceable, however, it may be persuasive when the agreement breaks down and a party applies to court seeking orders regarding children.
Consent Orders made by a court are legally enforceable and binding on all parties.
If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on care arrangements for the children, either party may apply to court. A court always takes into account the best interest of children in determining who the children will live with and the amount and frequency of time the children will spend with the other parent.
The court looks at two primary factors when deciding the best interest of children:
- the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and
- the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence
Out of the two primary considerations, greater weight is given to the consideration to protect the child from harm.
There are a number of other secondary factors a court looks at.
If you are a grandmother/grandfather who has been significant in the life of a child, you have certain rights under the Family Law Act including being able to spend time with the child.
We can help you through this difficult time in your life as we have helped many other of our clients.
After separation you can apply for property settlement from the assets that you and your ex-partner own in sole or joint names.
Each party must list their full assets, liabilities and financial resources to ensure a fair division of the asset pool is achieved. If a party does not show their full assets and financial resources then it may be a ground for further claim or a court decision to be set aside in the future.
You and your ex-partner can agree on how to divide the assets. If you agree, you can formalise your agreement through the family court or by entering into a Binding Financial Agreement.
If you and your ex-partner do not agree on how to divide your assets then either of you can apply to court.
The court applies four step process when determining the division of property between you and your ex-partner:
- Identify all assets, liabilities and financial resources of both parties;
- Identify the contributions (if any) each party made to the acquisition, preservation, improvement or maintenance of the assets (these include financial, non-financial contributions and other contributions such as caring for children, homemaking etc);
- Determine the future needs of each of the parties based on their age, health, earning capacity, care of any children, financial resources.
- The court must be satisfied that any division of property is just and equitable.
All of the assets of the parties including assets acquired after separation are subject to inclusion in the property pool available for division. So it is important to get proper legal advice and finalise your property settlement prior to acquiring any asset post separation.
Our experienced and dedicated family lawyers will help you to understand your entitlement so that you make informed decision.
Why Choose WBH Legal?
We have the expertise, knowledge and skills to help you through this difficult time of your life.
Our expert family lawyers in Adelaide, Brighton and Darwin will provide you with advice in simple and straightforward manner so you can understand. We will always keep you informed and advise you each step of the way so you can make informed decisions.
Our lawyers are fluent in multiple languages. We will speak in your language to ensure you feel comfortable instructing us and understand our advice.
Here at WBH Legal, we offer a no obligation consultation, where our trained lawyers will guide you through the legal process, making you aware of your entitlements and giving you a clear idea of the costs applicable to you. You can then have confidence and trust in our ability to deliver our service to the high level you expect.
Contact us now to arrange a FREE 30 minute consultation.