DIVORCE-BEFORE DIVORCE-SEPARATION-PROPERTY MATTERS-FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS-SPECIAL FAMILY LAWYERS-PENRITH-PARRAMATTA-SYDNEY
This article will outline what happens before your separation and before you make an application for any divorce. As Parramatta and Penrith’s leading family law firm, we are able to provide advice on any questions you may have relating to divorce and family law proceedings in New South Wales, Australia, and we frequently deal with matters internationally.
1. I HAVE DECIDED I WANT TO SEPARATE WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Often when clients consult us for an initial consultation with a specialised divorce and family lawyer at our Penrith, Parramatta or Richmond Offices they are looking at finding direction and advice on what to do next.
The first steps are that they contact our specialist family lawyer which is Rafton Family Lawyers team at Penrith, Parramatta or Richmond and they can discuss firstly what is involved in a formal separation and what the next steps are particularly in relation to property settlement and financial arrangements. In some instances this could relate to urgent advice regarding arranging finances during the initial period of separation. In some instances a specialist family lawyer may advise that divorce is not required and that in early stages of separation counselling may sometimes be recommended depending on the individual circumstances of the separation and divorce.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEPARATION AND DIVORCE?
This is a common question that we are asked during consultations. Under the Family Law Act, a separation occurs where one or both parties communicate to the other that the relationship (and/or marriage) is over. Separation often does not occur at exactly the same moment or time and each party can communicate this separately to the other.
Once separation occurs the parties are recommended to seek advice from a specialist family lawyer and our team at the Richmond office and our new office at 62 Warwick Street, Penrith as well as our team at Parramatta near the Parramatta Justice Precinct can provide advice and assistance.
Divorce is not a separation. An application for divorce can only be made after the parties have been separated for 12 months and has to be applied for through the Family Court as part of a formal divorce application. Divorce and separation whilst often occurring after the end of a relationship are two completely different matters.
3. CHILDREN’S ARRANGEMENTS IN DIVORCE AND SEPARATION
Often there are children involved when there is a decision to separate and our specialist family law team at Rafton Family Lawyers Penrith and Parramatta are able to assist to discuss any of the issues or needs for both the parties and the children.
Where children are involved and where its appropriate to do so, we often recommend that specialised family mediation and counselling be undertaken. The purpose of mediation is to hopefully reach an amicable resolution for arrangements for the parenting of the children and pertinent issues such as medical, health and education needs for the children after separation.
4. PROPERTY SETTLEMENT IN DIVORCE AND SEPARATION
In relation to property settlement there are often a number of factors that have to be taken into account and it can be quite stressful in the early stages.
Our specialist team of family lawyers will assist in looking at division of assets after separation by considering a number of issues including:
- Defining or working out what is the pool of assets. This would include assets and liabilities, both of the parties themselves and jointly.
- An assessment of the contributions of each of the parties which can include financial and non financial including home maker contributions.
- Looking at the future needs of the parties which is set out in a specific section of the Family Law Act.
- Looking at the practical effect of the proposed settlement and if its just and equitable for the parties.
5. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
We do recommend that you talk to a specialist family lawyer about divorce, separation and property settlement. Contact our team at Rafton Family Lawyers Penrith office for help and assistance in this area.