Surviving a divorce is a little like making it through a shipwreck – they’re often survivable, but it takes a little luck and some hard work to swim to shore. The following tips should help you navigate the shark infested waters as you head back to calmer seas.
Your Next Marriage
No, I’m not talking about who you date after the divorce is over, I’m talking about your family lawyer. This is the person who will calm your nerves, hold your hand through rough times, stand up for you and your interests, defend you, and generally be your guiding light for months. You’ll also likely pay them a tidy sum of money so it’s absolutely critical you find a match for your budget and for your personality. It’s like a marriage.
How do you find such a kindred soul? Interview, interview, interview. If you’re stressed out because you’ve been served with papers, or you want to file for divorce right away, the tendency is to go with the first family lawyer you meet. Don’t do that. Remember, you have to find a match. Are you comfortable with them? Do you like their personality? Are you a person who needs a quick response to questions? Did the lawyer (or their assistant) quickly return your phone call or email? What do other people say about them (on-line reviews of lawyers actually exist and they’re extremely helpful).
Under Australian law, The Family Court issues orders that govern arrangements made for children in the aftermath of divorce between the parents. Top family lawyers will explain that the primary objective of parenting orders is to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of the child. An individual is considered a child until the age of 18. Parenting orders usually involve equal share parenting directives whereby each parent will have an equal say in major issues impacting the child. Parenting orders are in place to ensure that parenting does not get adversely affected due to separation or divorce.
Separation is a very specific phenomenon under Australian law of domestic relations, because it has a complex and transitory nature, particularly due to its evidentiary significance in a gradually deteriorating marriage. On the other hand, separation is imbued with prominent emotions at varying stages of grief. Thus, separation in Australia is frequently connected with the below stages of grief:
Regulation of separation under Australian statutory and case law
Australian courts substantially extended the statutory dimensions of separation under Australian law. Thus, in Fields & Smith, the court ruled that it was just and equitable to make an order for property settlement. Also, the court verified the equality of contributions pre-separation by the parties and found that the assets of the parties did not alter post-separation due to the efforts of either party. In deciding the case, the court also took into consideration changes in the role of the wife as parent and homemaker post-separation and decided that the changes did not decrease her entitlement to an equal division of the property. In the final analysis, the court held that there should be equal distribution of the parties’ assets upon separation.
Cooperation can help reduce Legal Costs
Every divorce case is different and unique. Competent family lawyers can help resolve problems related to divorce proceedings. Some cases are easily settled while others take time and tend to become acrimonious. As a general rule of thumb, cooperation and collaboration play a crucial role in reducing legal costs and minimising valuable time spent haggling over funds, monies and property. The more time spent in court, the higher are the costs that both parties are likely to incur. Divorcing spouses must consider costs involved for filing various motions in Family Court, paying for mediation services as well for other legal services.
Unfortunately, many divorcing couples have a tendency to make decisions or communicate in a way that is driven by emotion and ego rather than calm rationale and logic. This sort of approach not only results in increased costs, stress and worry but also has an adverse effect on children (if any). Divorce can be an emotionally, legally and financially challenging experience and it’s a good idea to work towards resolution rather than litigation. Read on for a few important facts regrading the process of divorce in Australia:
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