Family Law Matters
What To Do First
Obtain legal advice before entering into any agreement
Separating from your partner can be one of the most difficult and stressful times of your life.
There are often many things that need to be dealt with straight away, such as your immediate financial needs, and arrangements for the care of your children. Your immediate focus might be on your safety, or the safety of your children.
There may then be matters such as the division of assets and liabilities that need to be dealt with as swiftly and as cost effectively as possible.
If you have already reached an agreement with your former partner as to parenting and/or property matters, then that agreement will need to be documented in a binding and enforceable way. Often, that will be by way of a Consent Order, or for financial matters a Binding Financial Agreement may be more appropriate for you.
There are very specific matters that should be taken into account in preparing the documents setting out an agreement, and we strongly suggest obtaining legal advice before entering into any agreement or signing any documents.
Your agreement might involve child support payments, and if so, a Child Support Agreement will need to be entered into. A Child Support Agreement is a very particular kind of document, and it is compulsory to obtain independent legal advice before signing such a document.
If you are unable to reach agreement with your former partner, there are a number of avenues to attempt to resolve a family law dispute, which do not always involve Court proceedings. Family Dispute Resolution procedures are an important part of this process. Indeed, in children’s matters you will be required to attend mediation or Family Dispute Resolution before commencing Court proceedings (with some exceptions).
Sometimes, it is appropriate to go to Court. If that is necessary our solicitors are well-equipped to provide you with the advice and advocacy you will need.
In Australia, you are entitled to a property settlement if you have been married or in a de facto (including same sex) relationship. You are also entitled to the Court’s assistance in determining parenting matters that cannot be resolved in by alternative dispute resolution processes.
The Family Law team at Butler McDermott Lawyers are dedicated to assisting you in all your family law matters. We are available to guide you through this difficult time, and assist you in finalising your matter in an appropriate way, as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.
Obtaining legal advice early on is always the best approach. Complications can arise the longer a matter remains unresolved. For financial matters, time limits may apply.
If you have a family law enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our office today for an appointment.