Family and Divorce law is the area of law that deals with parenting disputes and the division of assets of couples when they separate or divorce. This can range from sharing custody of your children, child support and dividing assets.
No one goes into a marriage thinking they will get divorced one day, and no one goes into a relationship thinking they will break up. But things happen, and relationships sometimes fall apart through no one’s fault. So it’s the question ‘what do you do to rebuild your life after a divorce?’ that matters
Divorce is the legal ending or dissolution of a marriage. Australia has ‘no fault’ divorce. In Australia, the only ground for getting a divorce is that the marriage broke down, and there is no reasonable chance that you and your spouse will get back together.
This means that when granting a divorce, the court does not consider the reason, or reasons, why the marriage ended. Therefore, neither spouse needs to prove that the other did or did not do something which caused the marriage breakdown.
Whether you are prepared for divorce or not, the consequences of divorce, mentally and financially, can be difficult to deal with, especially when there are personal and joint debts and not enough savings to pay off those debts. This is where we come in to assist you and your spouse in determining who has the capacity to take on the debt and what happens to the rest of the assets or liabilities. When you engage us, we make it our priority to ensure your assets are preserved during the process and that you get what you are legally entitled to and the best outcome for you and your situation.
Divorce affects people differently because people are different and have different situations when they are getting divorced. However, when parties are divorcing, and there are children involved, the children’s best interest is important, and their well-being is a priority. Therefore, you need experienced lawyers like us to guide you through the process and to ensure you and your children get a fair share of your assets and the best outcome for your family.
Contrary to what many people think, there is no automatic entitlement to a 50/50 asset division in Australia. What each party gets depends on a few things. Some of those things include:
You have heard comments like, “there is nothing simple about a divorce” or “divorce is complicated”. How long an application process takes depends on whether the application is simple or complex and whether an objection to the application has been lodged by one party. It also depends on the Court schedule. It usually takes about 8 to 12 weeks if all the paperwork is in order and there are no objections.
Assets are divided in accordance with the steps stipulated in the Family Law Act 1975 or the Family Court Act 1997. If you were married in Australia, or one of you has lived in Australia for 12 months or more, or if your assets are in Australia. You don’t need to be divorced to go through Property Settlement, but you need to be separated. It does not matter how long you have been separated. So long as you are separated, and there is no likelihood of reconciling your marriage or relationship with your spouse.
There are two types of fees, a fee for the Application for Divorce and a lawyer fee if you choose to use one. Lawyer fees can range from $770 to $1100 for a simple divorce but can cost more if additional steps are required to be taken.
It depends on your financial situation. You may be entitled to a discount if you have a Centrelink or Health Care card. Otherwise, you will be liable to pay the whole amount. The fee for an Application for Divorce changes every year, so it is best to check the website before making your application, but it is around $945. You pay this fee to the Court with your application. You can also ask your spouse to contribute to the cost if they are willing.
Don’t consider the above cost of dividing assets of the relationship or sorting out your parenting disputes, such as who the children will live with or what happens to them once you separate or divorce. These costs are different. How much you will pay a lawyer for going through property settlement or your parenting dispute is totally different. The cost of divorce and parenting in Australia can depend on the type of lawyer you choose. If you choose an inexperienced lawyer in Family or Divorce Law, you could pay a whole lot more than you bargained for because mistakes can be made along the way, and the process can lengthen because of that. You also need to be careful with lawyers that are aggressive for the sake of being aggressive, as they could complicate your situation even further and cost you more money in the process. Being aggressive does not mean being effective. Experienced lawyers don’t need to antagonise other lawyers or your spouse to get you what you want, so be careful. Adding extra conflict to an already fragile situation is not healthy for you or your family, especially if you share children with your spouse. You need a lawyer who has empathy but is also effective at what they do and mindful of the costs. Divorce is expensive, but there are ways to minimise the costs of getting divorced or separated.
At ABMS Lawyers, your case is not an experiment to us. We know what works and what doesn’t. We also know what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be, both financially and mentally, during the process. We work with you to ensure you get what is fair and are entitled to, but we also assist you in trying to mend the relationships that matter to you and your children if that is what you wish. Divorce or separation doesn’t need to get nasty. It is possible to get divorced and separated amicably. Just ask us how!
Talk to us. We will give you tips and advice you can depend on to ensure you are better prepared for what comes next.