You’re now separating with your partner and trying to understand your position, whether it be in relation to your finances or issues with parenting. However, it is important to not rely upon many unqualified sources for information, whether it be from social media, a friend of a friend who has gone through a separation or advice from your family itself. Each case is different and should be dealt with in accordance to its own facts. Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors specialises in Family Law, and we can provide you with expert advice.
Here are 5 common family law myths which you may have heard of: –
- Everything will be split 50/50.
This is one of the most common myths in relation to property settlement. In Australia, there is no rule provided for equal division nor is there a clear-cut mathematical formula followed. According to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), the Court considers a number of factors such as: –
- The financial contributions of each person;
- The non-financial contributions of each party;
- Any contributions made to the welfare of the family by each party; and
- The future needs of each person.
Remember, each case is unique and requires adjustments made in order to ensure there is a ‘just and equitable’ result. This does not necessarily mean equal.
- My partner cheated on me and therefore will be obligated to pay for.
This is the second misconception. Australia is a ‘no fault’ jurisdiction which applies to the partner who had an affair. This means that any moral issues such as infidelity does not impact the overall property settlement or determines who the children of the relationship are to live with. Of course, there are exemptions if there are issues such as domestic violence.
- We have to be divorced in order to separate our assets.
This is not necessary. Parties are able to negotiate and formalise any issues relating to their property at any stage, whether it be after they separate and prior to being divorced. However, it is important to note that should a Certificate of Divorce already be granted by the Court, parties have 12 months after that date in order to formalise the property settlement.
- We don’t need Court Orders. Everything has been amicable.
There are many benefits of obtaining Consent Orders from the Family Court in order to formalise an agreement in relation to the division of the property. This protects your interest in the future and provides confidence that the matter is final. It is also an enforceable agreement by the Court should your ex-partner does not comply with the initial informal agreement.
The benefits of the digital age is that we have become accustomed to do-it-yourself guidelines and other online resources to help solve problems. However, not seeking legal advice can in fact be detrimental to your matter and result in future unnecessary legal costs. Lawyers understand the complexity of the law, can negotiate a better outcome on your behalf and take the burden of handling the matter whilst you are experiencing the emotional stress that can come with separation.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors on 02 8917 8700 or email us at [email protected] if you wish to discuss any issues.