When a relationship or marriage ends, people often fear that they will need to go to court to deal with the separation of joint assets and liabilities, and arrangements for their children. This can be extremely stressful for those involved.
Do I need to go to Court?
It is not the case that people automatically need to go to court when their marriage or de facto relationship ends. If the parties to a separation can agree on how they separate jointly-owned assets and liabilities and also have an agreed co-parenting arrangement for any children there is no need to go to court at all.
However, if parties cannot agree on the separation of assets, how children will be cared for, or various other aspects of their separation, legal processes may be necessary. In relation to childcare arrangements, the Family Law Act 1975 s 60I states that before a party makes an application to the Court for Parenting Orders, genuine attempts at resolving the dispute through mediation (or other forms of alternate dispute resolution) must be made.
To read more details on alternate dispute resolution and how this could be helpful in settling disputes without going to court, see our earlier blog post on the topic here.
Do I need a Lawyer?
You will most likely need a legal document to be drafted to ensure that the agreement between the separated persons is clear, defined and legally binding. This is when a family law solicitor can assist you. Your family law solicitor will be able to explain to you the different types of documents that are available to set out the separation of assets and liabilities. You can also obtain such documentation to set out childcare arrangements. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) sets out how these different agreements function.
There are different types of documents available to you, and your solicitor can assist you to decide what will work best for your circumstances. Once you have decided on the type of document you need, your solicitor will be able to draft the document to reflect what you and your ex-partner have agreed, to ensure that it is clear and binding.
Why Should I get Legal Representation?
Each party will need their own legal representation before signing any documentation to ensure that they obtain independent advice.
Clients often find that once they have entered into binding documents drafted by their lawyer, there are fewer arguments between them and they can move on with their lives with certainty following their separation or divorce.
The team at Etheringtons Solicitors are skilled at handling all matters relating to Family Law, and are able to assist with complex cases. If you need assistance with any area of Family Law, do not hesitate to contact us on 9963 9800 or enter your details in the form here and we will contact you.