When you are considering a divorce or separation, most people will need a divorce lawyer to help them with the process. Family law disputes can become emotional and difficult, with a lot of uncertainty about what your rights are and how the process works. Having a family lawyer assist you during this time will help you navigate the process easily to reach a better outcome.
We are dedicated to providing you with easy to understand legal advice and assistance throughout the entire process. From the initial meeting where you are able to become familiar with your lawyer to the final stages, we are ready and available to work for you.
It is important to be as active as you can to sort out your financial and childrens’ matters. Financial matters are often better dealt with sooner rather than later. Having your property entitlements sorted out early will help both parties to move on. You also need to act before the other party has an opportunity to remove assets that you may be entitled to.
Getting advice from experienced family lawyers is key to making the best decisions. Getting legal advice will help you form a strategy and know what to expect next. A good family lawyer will also be able to give you many options on how to resolve your matter from their experience and knowledge of the law and court appearances.
Having clarity about your financial future will help you move on faster and put you in a position where you can make the best decisions about your future.
There are three main areas to think about when you separate:
Each area requires a different approach and we will help you so that you can make a clear and informed decision.
If you and your former partner are not able to reach agreement on your division of assets or your childrens’ matters you may need to apply to the family court.
These must be dealt with separately and children matters must be dealt with to the satisfaction of the family court before they will grant a divorce.
We can assist help you negotiate a private agreement privately or through mediation and, if necessary, the family courts. We have significant experience in all aspects of family law litigation. This can range from mediation to a conference with a Court expert to discuss arrangements for your children.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time. With our easy to understand approach and our commercial attitude we can guide you throughout your separation.
When partners in De Facto Relationships are separating it is different in that a formal divorce is not required to be applied for. In this case you will seek to settle your children matters and financial settlement as part of your de facto separation.
For a court to decide on property settlement after a de facto breakdown you must satisfy the court’s criteria. The court has a longer list, but here are the most typical criteria:
The full criteria can be viewed here.
You can apply for a divorce after being married for over two years and separated for over 12 months. The court will not look at why the marriage has ended.
Many people will obtain legal advice about the divorce application process to ensure that application is correct and served on the parties correctly so that the matter isn’t delayed.
For couples that looking to separate that haven’t been married for more than two years they can apply for a counselling certificate with the Family Court. This means that you must attend counselling and look to resolve the issues in the marriage. If your partner won’t attend counselling, then an affidavit must be prepared and filed with the application. A divorce lawyer will be able to assist with this process and advise you on the requirements of the court.
For those that separate and live together this is called “separation under the one roof”. The courts will recognise this arrangement as valid, however you will need to prove that this is the case if your partner disagrees and contests the dates.
You should obtain some legal advice on this issue as it may become a disputed issue later if one party becomes aggrieved.
Once the application for divorce is made and filed at court your former partner must be served with the Application. They will have a right to respond and may file a response if they disagree with the facts.
They do not have to agree to a divorce or consent for you to obtain a divorce, but the court process must be carefully followed for a divorce to be granted. This is particularly true in cases where there is a difficult or uncooperative partner.
At the hearing date the Court will consider the Application made and if your former partner has been served. Once the Court grants the Application the Court will make a divorce order available to us in one month and one day from the hearing date, after which time we will provide the order to you.
This divorce order officially means that the marriage is over.
We provide professional and quality legal advice to our clients for all family law matters. Whatever stage you are at in your separation or divorce our lawyers can assist and provide tailored advice. We work with our clients to have their family matters resolved quickly as possible.
We also have a unique advantage for clients with businesses and complex asset pools in that we have a deep understanding in commercial and property matters that can assist in resolving your matter. This is particularly helpful where parties with family businesses or partnerships are divorcing or separating.
How long after marriage can I get a divorce?
How long separated before divorce in Australia?
What am I entitled to in a divorce Australia?
How do you separate assets when separating?
Do you need a lawyer to divorce?
What is my wife entitled to in a divorce Australia?
Does Adultery affect Divorce in Australia?
You will need to be married for at least two years before you can file for a divorce. You can apply for a counselling certificate from the court and this will help the court to decide if you can apply for a divorce earlier than the two years. You will have to attend counselling and obtain a certificate or if one partner does not you will have to have an affidavit prepared.
You will need to be separated for over 12 months before you can apply for a divorce. If you live together under the same roof you may need to provide evidence that you have been separated for the 12 months and still living together.
Divorce is a separate process to a financial settlement and each relationships assets and debts will be divided differently depending on many factors. Some factors considered are length of marriage, earning capacity, children and maintenance of children, health and age. To understand what you are entitled to you will need to seek legal advice to discuss your financial situation. Each financial settlement is different, and it is difficult to assess so it best not to compare with friends or family and get expert advice.
Division of assets will be negotiated through what is called a property settlement in family law. You can do this through yourselves, although it is hard for most to work out what they are entitled to, or through mediation or ultimately court if you can’t agree. A family lawyer can help advise you as little or as much as you wish in preparing financial settlements. For it to be binding you will need to prepare a binding financial agreement and each party must obtain independent legal advice. Alternatively, you may be seeking spousal maintenance or a court order to divide the assets between you.
You don’t need a lawyer to obtain a divorce, but you may need advice as you engaging in a court process and there are strict rules about applications, affidavits and responses and how these are filed. If you do not follow the court procedures and rules you can make the timeframe longer and the process more complicated.
Each property split is calculated differently for each couple and you will need professional advice to determine what you or your wife are entitled to in a divorce. There are no two identical property splits. Generally speaking the longer the divorce the closer to a 50/50 asset split, however there are many factors that can mean one person gets more than another, such as earning capacity, health, children, age, inheritance or gifts and many other factors. Read the full list on what a court considers when deciding on financial settlements for separating couples HERE.
No adultery isn’t considered in your divorce proceedings. Australia introduced “no fault” divorce in 1975 and as such the reason why you are divorcing are not considered by the court. The Court only needs to be satisfied that the marriage is finished and that you won’t be reconciling the relationship.
I found Christopher Raggozino to be very professional and efficient. He dealt with my matter quickly, but never over-promising or over-selling what he could achieve. I really appreciated his quick responses to any questions. PCL in general were very easy to deal with and I would recommend their services.Katherine J
If I had of gone to another law firm that was cheaper I may have saved many thousands of dollars but as it turns out I may have lost a lot more than that upon settlement. Using a firm such as PCL lawyers I had the peace of mind that each issue as it arose was dealt with in a very matter of fact way and to the letter of the law.Brett Wilson / Glen Waverley