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Property Settlement Lawyers Brisbane

Will I have a claim for property settlement following the breakdown of my relationship? | Family Lawyers Brisbane

Q: Will I have a claim for property settlement following the breakdown of my relationship?

This is an important question and particularly where you have not been married to your former partner.

We have seen in last week’s blog that the Court may only make an order dividing property where the persons affected are not married, after the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

In order for a relationship to qualify as a de facto relationship at law, not only must the parties not be married or related by family, they must be a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis, having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship.

The term “genuine domestic basis” is not a term of art but is to be given its ordinary meaning.

We outlined for you in our blog last week some of the factors or circumstances that will be of relevance where a court is determining if a de facto relationship existed.

It is not necessary that any particular circumstance is found in order to determine that a relationship is a de facto relationship.  The Court may have regard to any matters that seem appropriate to the Court in the circumstances of a particular relationship and may attach what weight (or importance) that the Court considers appropriate to any particular circumstance.

The Family Court of Australia in a decision in 2011 has said that for a de facto relationship to be found to have occurred, there must be the manifestation of “coupledom”, which involves the merger of two lives.

The Court found that a continuing cohabitation in a common residence is not necessary to establish the continuation of a “de facto relationship”, at least where the parties have lived together and have not effected a permanent separation. Nevertheless, the definition of “de facto relationship” suggests that, usually, the parties should have, at some stage, been “living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis”.

The Court took the view that the fact that the parties have never lived together in a common residence was an indication that they have not “lived together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis”. The Court considered that that indication would be “especially significant where parties have not shared the common burden of maintaining a household”.

The fact that one or both of the people involved may have at some stage intended eventually to marry would not in itself lead to a conclusion that they were involved in a de facto relationship.

The Court considered that there must have been a manifestation of a relationship where “the parties have so merged their lives that they were, for all practical purposes, ‘living together’ as a couple on a genuine domestic basis”.

In next week’s blog, we will look at some examples of relationships where the Court has found that a de facto relationship did not exist. Remember, it is very important to know whether or not you are or have been in a de facto relationship. Unless you have been, you will not have a claim for property settlement following the breakdown of the relationship.

Family Lawyers Brisbane

Family Lawyers Brisbane

What next?

Contact us for advice whether your relationship is likely to be considered a de facto relationship at law and what is your likely entitlement for the division of the net assets that you and your former partner hold, whether together or in your separate names.

Our experienced team of Family Lawyers Brisbane, can offer you tailored legal advice, to help you move forward in life. Give us a call today to receive a FREE 15-minute consultation.

 

Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside

What is the process for Divorce in Australia? | Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside

Wondering what the requirements are for divorce in Australia? Our divorce lawyers Brisbane Northside provide a guide to the process. 

In Australia, we have a “no fault” divorce system. Unlike other countries, you do not have to prove any wrong doing on the part of your husband or wife to be able to file for Divorce.

The main requirement in Australia, is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, that it is not reasonably likely that the parties will resume cohabitation. To demonstrate that there is no likelihood of reconciling, you must live separately and apart from the other party for a period of at least 12 months.

There are a few different variations of this, such as parties who live separately and apart, but “under the one roof”, and parties who reconcile for a short period before again separating, but who have lived separately and apart for a total period of more than 12 months. It’s important to remember though, that if you get back together for more than 3 months and then separate again, the 12 month separation period will start again.

If you fall under one of these categories and you’re uncertain as to whether you will be eligible to apply for Divorce, why not make use of our free 15-minute telephone conversations to get some clarity.

Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside

What’s the process for Divorce in Australia? | Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside

Apart from living separately and apart for a period of at least 12 months, in order to apply for a divorce in Australia, at least one of the parties to the marriage must be:-

  1. An Australian citizen; or
  2. Ordinarily resident in Australia, and has been so resident for at least one year prior to filing the Application; or
  3. Domiciled in Australia.

The next question then, is whether you and your ex are going to file the Application together, i.e. a “joint application”, or if just one of you is filing the Application.

If you are filing for divorce, and the application is not a joint application, then you must serve the Application on the other party. The Court website provides some useful tips on serving a Divorce Application here.

Once you have filed the Application, the Court will set down a date.

If the Divorce Application was a joint application, or if you have served the other party with the documents and they have signed the Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) and this document has been filed, neither of you are required to attend at Court for the divorce hearing.

Once the Registrar makes the Order, your divorce becomes effective 1 month after the Order was made.

If you make an Application for Divorce and things don’t go smoothly or if you would like us to handle the Application for you, give our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside team a call and we will help you what can otherwise be a stressful time.

Contact our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Northside a call today, to receive a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.

 

Time arrangements for children with separated parents | Custody of Children

Keeping up with the times and the lingo in relation to “custody of children”

When it comes to referring to who has the care of children in family law proceedings, the reference to who has “custody of children” is considered old fashioned and no longer appropriate.

The underlying premise is the right of the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.

The terms “equal time” and “substantial and significant time” are now used when it comes to considering the time that children should spend with each of their parents under Court orders.

But what do these terms mean?  In this article, we explain what the terms “equal time” and “substantial time” means to the Court and for you as a parent.

Custody of Children

Custody of Children

 

Parenting Orders: Parental Responsibility

Before a Court will make an order regarding the time a child spends with each parent, the Court must apply a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child’s parents to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child.

Parental responsibility encompasses all duties, powers, responsibilities and authority conferred by law upon parents.  This means responsibility for the day to day issues and for the big issues such as their health, education, religion etc.

If equal shared parental responsibility applies, when making decisions about the big issues, also known as “major long term issues” for the children, parents must:-

  1. Consult each other in relation to a decision being made about that issue; and
  2. Make a genuine effort to come to a joint decision about that issue.

The Court can refuse to apply the presumption in certain circumstances (which is referred to as “rebutting the presumption”) where there is evidence of abuse of a child or of another child who was a member of that parent’s family or of any family violence.

If the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility for the child is not rebutted, then the Court must consider whether “equal time” would be in the best interests of the child, whether it is “reasonably practicable” and if so, consider making an order to provide for the child/ren to spend equal time with each of the parents.

Then, if the Court does not make an order for “equal time” the Court must consider making an Order for “significant and substantial” time.

Reasonably practicable

To determine whether time is reasonably practicable, the Court considers the following factors:-

  • how far apart the parents live from each other; and
  • the parents’ current and future capacity to implement an arrangement for the child spending equal time, or substantial and significant time, with each of the parents; and
  • the parents’ current and future capacity to communicate with each other and resolve difficulties that might arise in implementing an arrangement of that kind; and
  • the impact that an arrangement of that kind would have on the child; and
  • such other matters as the court considers relevant

Making an Order

The Court will rely upon evidence from each party to the proceedings, whether that be the parents, an independent children’s lawyer, or a third party joint to the proceedings, to:-

  1. determine whether the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility is rebutted in cases where this is raised;
  2. Determine what is in the best interests of the child;
  3. Determine what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances; and
  4. Determine what Order should be made regarding the care of the child or children.

Equal time v Substantial and Significant: What’s the difference?

Equal time is just that, a 50/50 care arrangement. Whether that’s with weekly or fortnightly changeovers, or a varied changeover routine that works best for the child, the child spends equal time with each parent.

Substantial and significant time, on the other hand, is defined in the legislation. The legislation says that time will be considered substantial and significant, if the time the child spends with the other parent includes both:

  1. days that fall on weekends and holidays; and
  2. days that do not fall on weekends or holidays; and
  3. the time the child spends with the other parent allows the parent to be involved in:
    1. the child’s daily routine; and
    2. occasions or events that are of significance to the child; and
  1. the time the child spends with the other parent allows the child to be involved in occasions and events that are of special significance to the parent.

What does “being involved in the daily routine” mean?

There is no definition for “daily routine” that applies for all children and all families.

Being a part of your children’s daily routine does not necessarily mean seeing your children every day.

In a 2016 case, the Full Court held that the children spending time with their Father on alternate weekends, alternate Fridays (from after school to 7 pm), special days and school holidays comprised substantial and significant time.

The Full Court said that this was substantial and significant because the practical effect of the orders was that the children would spend time with the Father during school term every week, for a full weekend every second weekend and at school events that parents normally attend. The children would also have time for telephone and FaceTime contact with the Father and also for block periods in school holidays and on special occasions.

Obviously, each child’s routine and life is different as is each family and the practical effect of arrangements will vary for each case.

What should I do next to ensure appropriate care arrangements for children?

If you are considering separation, or if you have already separated, and you have a child or children with your former partner, call our Family Lawyers  on (07) 3506 3651. Our team of experienced lawyers located at the Grange and Brisbane CBD can assist you in your matter regarding custody of children.

To receive a FREE 15 minute consultation with one of our solicitors, contact us today and take the next steps to ensure the care, welfare, and development of your child is protected.

Brisbane Property Settlement

How long do I have to get the Court’s assistance after I leave my partner? | Brisbane Property Settlement

There aren’t many instances in family law where one law applies for married couples and a different law applies to de facto couples.  However, one instance where this situation occurs, is in the ability to seek property settlement Orders by consent when you’re out of time. Find out the information you need to know about getting a Brisbane property settlement order. 

It is extremely important that parties finalise their financial relationship properly and formalise their settlement either by way of Court Orders or by way of a Binding Financial Agreement.   These forms of agreement are available to both those who were married and those who were in a de facto relationship.

But what if you didn’t do anything about your property settlement at the time and you let it go for a while…is it too late to seek a property settlement now?

In this article, we explain the options available to both married and de facto couples to obtain property settlement Orders, once the relevant time limits expire.

We’ve highlighted where the law differs between married couples and de facto couples to make sure you don’t miss the information crucial to your situation, so keep an eye out for the information that is relevant to you.

First, however, we need to take a step back and address what time limitations apply to seeking the Court’s assistance with your property settlement.

Time limits for applying to the Court for a Brisbane property settlement

You may not have realised that there are time limits in relation to commencing an application for property settlement.

Once these time limits end or lapse, you no longer have the right to apply to the Court for a property settlement with your former partner, unless you can demonstrate to the court why you should be allowed to bring the action out of time.

In family law, the limitation periods that apply to parties wanting to finalise their financial relationship with the Court’s assistance are as follows:-

  1. Marriage: Once your Divorce Order becomes final, you have 12 months to initiate a property settlement in Court; and
  2. De facto: After you end a de facto relationship, you have 2 years to initiate your property settlement in Court.

This means that you can apply to the Court for property Orders at any time after the day that you separate, up to and including the day that your limitation period expires.

It is extremely important that you aren’t even so much as a few minutes late, once midnight strikes on the day that your time limit expires, you don’t want to find yourself looking like Cinderella after the ball.

For those who were married: Although parties who were married only have 12 months to initiate proceedings to finalise their financial relationship with the Court’s assistance, this period takes into account the fact that you must be separated for a minimum period of 12 months before you are able to apply for a divorce.   There is also no maximum period of separation for those who were married.

So that means if neither party applies for a Divorce, the time limit won’t expire.  That clock only starts ticking once the Divorce Order becomes final.

Making an application to the Court out of time

For both married and de facto parties:

The legislation specifically permits parties, whether married or de facto, to seek permission from the Court to commence a Court action even though a limitation period has expired.   This is called “seeking leave” of the Court.

If you are seeking leave from the Court to file property proceedings outside the limitation period, you must demonstrate to the Court that hardship would be caused to a party to the marriage, or a child of the marriage, if leave is not granted.  This can be more complicated than it sounds and you should always seek advice from a solicitor experienced in family law before deciding whether or not to commence a Court action out of time.

Can you and your former partner seek Property Settlement Orders by agreement if you are out of time?

Ideally, property settlement is finalised by consent, or by reaching agreement, with your former partner.  This is usually much quicker and less costly (both emotionally and financially) than filing a Court action for property settlement, where there is no agreement between you.

For those who were married:  If you were married but your former spouse agrees to seek property settlement Orders by consent out of time, you can still apply to the Court jointly using an Application for Consent Orders form.

For de facto relationships:  The big difference

However, if you were in a de facto relationship, even if you and your former partner both want to agree to seek property settlement Orders out of time, you cannot apply to the Court jointly using an Application for Consent Orders.

You must make an Application to the Court seeking special leave to apply for property settlement Orders and have the matter heard by a Judge.

The Court website provides some helpful direction as to how de facto couples should progress in the event that they require the Court’s assistance (out of time) to finalise their property matters:-

“If your de facto relationship broke down more than two years before the date of filing this application, an Application for Consent Orders is not the appropriate form. You should file an Application in a Case + Affidavit seeking the Court’s permission to bring an application for property settlement/maintenance.”

We can also assist you and provide you with advice in relation to making an application for property settlement out of time.

Brisbane Property Settlement

Brisbane Property Settlement

Key points to remember

So far as limitation periods go, the key points to remember are that:-

  1. If you were married, you have 12 months from the date your divorce order is finalised to file an application in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court; and
  2. If you were in a de facto relationship, you have 2 years from the date of separation to file an application in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.
  3. Where the law differs between those who were married and those who were de facto, is if both parties agree to seek property settlement Orders from the Court after their time limitation has expired. Parties to a de facto relationship cannot apply using an Application for Consent Orders once their time limit expires, and must apply for special leave of the leave of the Court to obtain those Orders.

The key is to not wait too long to get advice.

Want to learn more?

It’s never too soon to know where you stand and receive some guidance as to how to legally finalise your relationship with your former partner.

Contact our Brisbane Property Settlement team today to set up an initial consultation for some preliminary advice.

You may also find our “Things to consider on or prior to separation” video useful.

Can a Child’s view effect who gets custody?

If you’re a parent looking to get partial or full custody of your children, you may be interested to know how your child’s views and preferences are considered by the family courts. Find out from our child custody lawyers northside.

Child Custody Lawyers Northside

Child Custody Lawyers Northside

The situation

A recent High Court decision this year considered parenting arrangements where the children had  expressed that they wanted to live with their father. In that case, the father had initially taken his two sons on a holiday from Australia to New York. A week and a half into the trip, the father decided he wished to stay in the United States with the boys and not return to Australia. The mother filed an application seeking that the children be returned to Australia.

The parents had already made parenting orders a few years earlier which provided both parents with equal shared parental responsibility for the two boys and their daughter. That means that they shared responsibility for long term decisions effecting the children.

As part of those orders, the children would live with the father and the mother as agreed between the parties or at the children’s own election. The orders allowed for the children to travel overseas for a holiday with a parent but did not permit a child to decide, independently of his or her parents, whether or not the child would live in Australia or abroad. The father was in breach of the parenting orders then by keeping the children to live with him in New York.

The children had expressed that they wanted to remain with their father in New York rather than with their mother. So, how did the courts decide where the children would live?

What did the courts decide?

The primary judge in the matter ordered that the boys be returned to Australia. Once the boys returned home, the orders (as agreed by the mother) allowed the boys to choose from a number of options, where they would live. These options included living with the mother, living in accommodation provided by the father together with paid supervision services or, living with one of their friend’s parents who had agreed to accommodate the boys. If the father chose to return to Australia, the boys could also choose to live with him. These orders gave weight to the children’s preference as to where and with whom, they wanted to live.

Why do the courts consider the child’s preference and how much weight is given to it?

In making orders, the Family Court was required to consider the best interests of the children. The views expressed by the children were just one of the many factors considered by the court in deciding what is in the best interests of the child. The level of importance to be given to a child’s view will depend upon factors such as the child’s age or maturity, and level of understanding of what is involved in the choice they have expressed. A child may not, for example, appreciate the long-term implications of separation from one parent or the child’s siblings.

The primary judge in this case had made an interim order that allowed the children to live with a third party, someone other than their parents. The boys had expressed views that suggested at least one or both of them would not want to live with their mother. The court allowed other mothers of longstanding friends of the boys to be appropriate guardians. In deciding whether these other parents were appropriate guardians for the children to live with, the court considered whether they could offer “nurturing and care”, implement arrangements for monitoring homework, transportation to and from school and the type of sleeping arrangements that the boys would be given.

These orders were only interim orders however. The court found that more information would be desirable before making a long term parenting order in favour of third parties. In circumstances of urgency however, there was sufficient evidence before the court to make interim orders which included the option for the boys to live with one of their friend’s parents.

Want to learn more about child custody and parenting arrangements?

If you would like to learn more about child custody, have a look at our resources here created by our experienced child custody lawyers northside.

Or, if you’re looking to receive tailored legal advice, contact our team of child custody lawyers northside. Contact us today to receive a FREE 15-minute consultations with one of our experienced child custody lawyers northside.

Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane

Relocating a child | Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane

On 4 April 2017, Queensland footballer and Melbourne Storm superstar Cooper Cronk announced that in 2018, he would be relocating from Melbourne to Sydney with his fiancé. With the issue of moving inter-state currently in the media, we wanted to look at relocation in Family Law on our blog this week, and in particular, how it works when parents are separated and one parent wants to move and take the children with them. Read on to find out from our Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane.

Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane

Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane

 

Sometimes, a parent may wish to relocate with the children interstate or to a place which is not within easy reach for the other parent to spend time with the children. If this is your situation and you and your former partner cannot reach agreement or resolve matters at a mediation, you will need to file an Application in court.

It is important to remember that as an adult, you have the right to pack up and go wherever and whenever you choose. However, as a parent, your child’s best interests must be considered. It may be that your child’s best interests lie in making the move that you wish to make. However, if the other parent objects, you may find that resolving this issue sees you in Court unless parents can reach agreement.

In most cases, you must attempt a dispute resolution meeting with the other parent before seeking the assistance of the court. However, this may not apply if the other parent has already relocated with the children without your consent. You may then apply to the Court seeking a recovery order and other parenting orders. You may wish first to try to reach agreement with the other parent. You  should be mindful though of not leaving it too long to go before the court if agreement cannot be reached. You will want to avoid a situation where your children become established in their new environment, possible involving a new school or kindergarten.

If you are the parent wanting to move, where agreement cannot be reached with the other parent through negotiation or a dispute resolution meeting, you will need to apply to court seeking a parenting order which provides for the children to relocate with you.

Once you get to Court

All parenting cases are determined on the facts of the case. There is no pre-determined outcome for a matter regarding relocation nor a formula that can be applied.  The Court will consider all the usual factors that are relevant in a parenting case.

The Court will need to determine whether it is in the best interests of the child to spend equal time with each parent and whether equal time is reasonably practicable. If it is not, the Court must consider whether the child spending substantial and significant time with each of the parents is in the best interests of the child and whether it is reasonably practicable.

The paramount consideration for the Court will always be what is in the best interests of the child. When determining what is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider the benefit of a child having a meaningful relationship with both parents, whether there is any risk of or actual family violence or neglect and numerous other factors.

As the parent wanting to relocate, you do not need to provide a compelling reason to the court for wanting to move. That being said, it can help when attempting to persuade the court that it will be in the child’s best interests to allow the child to relocate to demonstrate your reasons for wanting to relocate. Those reasons may for example effect your capacity to parent and this will be of relevance in determining what is in the best interests of the child.

Case Study

Sally and Mike have been married for 14 years. They have a 5 year old child, B. The family moves to a rural mining town for Mike’s new job. Sally really struggles with living in a rural town and decides to return to Brisbane with B. Sally and Mike separate shortly after. Mike applies to the court for a recovery order – to have Sally return to the rural town with B. This order was made, and upon returning to the town, Sally could not find a full-time job or a house for her and B to live in.

Upon appealing the recovery order, the court finds that although it was in the best interests of B to be able to spend equal time with both parents, it was not reasonably practicable for that equal time to occur in these circumstances. In circumstances where the relocation meant that Sally was living in a caravan and relying on Centrelink for income, the court ought to have considered alternative orders.

Get in Contact with our Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane

If you or someone you know is going through a similar situation, it’s important to seek legal advice early on. Our Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane, offer professional and experienced advice that can help you and your family to move forward in life. For more information on Child Custody, click here. Or, give our Child Custody Lawyers Brisbane a call today for a free 15 minute consultation.

 

Family lawyers in Brisbane

Are you entitled to receive financial contributions from the father? Our family lawyers in Brisbane are here to help.

It can be an exciting but overwhelming time being pregnant, especially if you’re going it alone. Last week on our blog we explored the rights an expecting mother may have in receiving financial contributions from the father. This week, see how the law would work in a real situation. You may find that you or someone you know is going through the same struggle and could benefit from this advice.

Family lawyers in Brisbane

Family lawyers in Brisbane

An example of how s67B works

  • Baby A is due on 1 March 2018. The mother, Jane, goes on maternity leave on 1 January 2018. Jane can seek maintenance from Baby A’s father, John, from 1 January 2018 (2 months before A is due to be born) through to 31 May 2018 (3 months after A is born). If Jane’s doctor tells her (and confirms in writing) that working is causing undue strain on Baby A and that Jane needs to finish work on 1 December 2017, Jane can claim support from 1 December 2017 if she stops work on that day, even though this is more than 2 months before Baby A is due.
  • The court has found that Jane can claim costs from John such as:-
    • Rental expenses
    • Food bills
    • Telephone and internet bills
    • Car and Petrol costs
  • But that Jane can’t claim for costs (under s67B) such as:-
    • Entertainment expenses like going to the movies;
    • Baby clothes and accessories like dummies or floor mats;
    • Baby furniture like a cot.
  • The court won’t take into account that Jane is getting a $5,000 baby bonus from Centrelink, but will consider that she lives at home and her parents own her car as a possible financial resource.
  • The court will also consider that Baby A’s father, John, has recently lost his job and that it will take him some time to find a new one. They’ll also consider the fact that John has a 2-year-old son who lives with him 9 days a fortnight for whom he does not receive any child support.

To find out more about child support options or parenting arrangements, click here.

Please be advised that each circumstance will differ. Please contact our family lawyers in Brisbane for a free 15-minute telephone consultation if you think section 67B may apply to you.

Divorce Lawyers Brisbane

Practical Steps to Consider on Separation from our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Team

Separation is generally a very difficult time for both you and your former partner. It is better to be prepared to the extent possible. Read on to learn about some of our practical steps to consider on a separation, compiled by our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Team.

Divorce Lawyers Brisbane

Practical steps to consider post separation from our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Team

The following are items are a number of recommended steps for you to consider from our experienced Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Team. However, some of these steps may not be appropriate in your particular circumstances. We recommend that you take legal advice in regards to what is best for you.

  1. Keep a note of the date of separation and communicate that you are separated to your former partner: This step is always important; the date of separation bears upon when you may file an Application for Divorce or for de facto couples, the date by which you must if necessary file an application in Court seeking Orders relating to property or maintenance.
  2. Secure children’s passports and birth certificates:   This will give you peace of mind where there is a risk that your former partner may try to take the children out of the country.
  3. Remain in the marital home: You do not lose your rights to property settlement if you do leave the home. Practically speaking, you may need to leave the home if domestic violence is involved and your partner will not leave. However, if this is not a factor, it may be better for you to remain in the home, particularly if the children are living with you and this is less disruptive for them.
  4. Counselling: Consider counseling for both you and your children.
  5. Ensuring that you have funds: Consider securing a sum of money from your own sources or joint sources to meet likely initial expenses that you will have, for example, any accommodation costs and the cost of obtaining legal advice.
  6. Protect your finances: Where your salary is credited to an account to which your former partner has access, consider redirecting your salary to an account which only you can access. If there is any redraw facility on a joint loan account or a joint line of credit, dependent on your circumstances, consider notifying the Bank that you require that any further draws are only made with the prior written consent of you both. If you are the primary holder of a credit card and your former partner is the secondary holder, consider also drawing sufficient funds on your loan account or line of credit before requiring joint authorities to do this so that you can pay out any outstanding balance on the credit card. Dependent upon your circumstances, you may also wish to consider cancelling the secondary card. It will be important to ensure that any jointly held investments may not be sold except with joint authority.
  7. Changing title registrations: Consider whether the title registration of any jointly held real property should be changed from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common.
  8. Property held solely in the name of your former partner: There are measures which may be taken to protect your interests. You will generally wish to ensure that property is not sold or further encumbered before final agreement for division of property is reached. Contact our Divorce Lawyers Brisbane Team for advice regarding how this may be done.
  9. Changing passwords: You should also consider changing your internet banking passwords and your password for any investments held whether in your sole name or jointly (for example, unit trusts) or for access to information concerning your superannuation or insurance policies.
  10. Protect your data: Consider changing your password on your computer or other software and ensure that your documents are protected.
  11. Secure or take your important financial documents and medical records. Contact us for advice regards details of documents that you will need.
  12. Nominated beneficiaries: Consider any changes you wish to make to nominations made on your superannuation or insurance policies. You may have previously nominated your former partner as beneficiary of these policies in the event of your death.
  13. Obtain independent legal advice regarding family law matters: We recommend that this is done at an early stage. It will be important to ensure that you do not unwittingly prejudice your position. Our firm will try to settle client matters without going to Court. We do this through negotiation or attending mediation with you and the other party. Once there is agreement in principle, it is very important that that agreement is documented in a manner which is final and binding. This may be done by way of a Consent Order issued by the Court but without the need for you to attend at Court.
  14. Obtain other professional advice: Consider obtaining-
  15. financial advice from your accountant regarding tax obligations, including any outstanding tax obligations and any obligations that you may have as a director of any company that you and your former partner own or as a partner in any family business. Consider also obtaining financial planning advice, including regarding how it may be best for you to receive your property entitlement and how to then deal with those assets that you receive or retain.
  16. estate planning advice, including whether you should make another will (since separation does not revoke an existing will); make an Enduring Power of Attorney or revoke an existing one where your former partner is appointed attorney and will otherwise continue to have control over decisions regarding your health or financial affairs.
For more tips and advice regarding separation, click here. Or, contact our experienced divorce lawyers Brisbane team today for tailored legal advice.
Brisbane Family Lawyers

Can children choose where they live? Our Brisbane Family Lawyers explain.

Whether you’re a parent or a child in a parenting matter, you may be wondering, can a child choose where they live? It’s important to have an understanding of how the court will decide where a child lives and what factors they will take into consideration. Our Brisbane Family Lawyers explain what happens in the court process to determine this.

Brisbane Family Lawyers

Brisbane Family Lawyers

The Court must consider any views given by a child as to where he or she wishes to live. This is taken into account as well as other considerations so that the Court may determine what is in the best interests of the child. The Court must also consider others factors, such as the child’s maturity or level of understanding,  that the Court thinks relevant to determine what weight the Court should attach to any view given by a child. For example, the Court would take into account any evidence of a child having been influenced in his or her view by a particular parent or other family members. The Court takes a dim view of any attempt by a parent to influence a child to say that he or she wants to live with one parent or primarily with one parent in preference to another. Absent evidence of influence upon a child, the view then of a fourteen year old as to where he or she wants to live would generally be expected to carry more weight than a similar view expressed by a four year old. However, the view of even a mature older child may not be definitive of the matter. There are other considerations to also be taken into account which may also effect the outcome, for example, the views of each parent and the practical difficulty and expenses of a child spending time with a parent.

For more information on child custody, click here. Or, give our experienced Brisbane Family Lawyers a call today to receive tailored legal advice. We offer free 15 minute consultations over the phone to help answer some of your initial questions you may have regarding family law.