Unfortunately, when a relationship breaks down, in addition to the emotional and stressful feelings you encounter you still have to resolve your family law matters. Whether it is a parenting plan or property settlement, our job is to represent you and achieve the best possible outcomes for your rights. The breakdown of a relationship is indeed a difficult time. We aim for the most cost-efficient settlement without the need for court litigation. However, at times one party can be unreasonable and a court order application is inevitable. North Law offers a fixed cost for our standard non-complex binding financial agreement and application for consent orders.
When your marriage ends, you need to apply to the court for a dissolution of marriage (grant of divorce). What you need to know:
For property settlement, the starting point is the parties’ financial and non-financial contributions to the combined assets and financial resources prior to and throughout the relationship and post separation. Being the breadwinner, being the primary homemaker or receiving inheritance are some examples. The court will also consider each party’s future needs and the children’s arrangements.
What you need to know:
If you and your spouse/partner have come to an agreement:
You can document your property settlement in the form of a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders. A Binding Financial Agreement is a private agreement between both parties outlining property divisions. It has the risk of being challenged, because it does not involve the court’s interference. A Consent Order is the court’s orders made with the consent of both parties. It is final and binding and the most cost-effective way to finalise your property divisions. Note that with Binding Financial Agreements your spouse/partner must seek independent legal advice.
If you and your spouse/partner cannot agree:
Then you must seek court orders. This is when the court decides the divisions in your marital assets. The court can make adjustments when it is just and equitable in all circumstances. The court’s pre-action procedure process must be satisfied before an application can be lodged, meaning that both parties should enter mediation prior to or at least have exhausted all efforts to invite the other party to come to mediation.
Any questions? We offer a 15 minutes free initial telephone consultation. We offer a fixed fee for non-complex property settlements.
Parenting Plan and Parenting Orders
Sometimes parents misunderstand that they have equal rights to spend time with their children. The court perceives parenting orders differently. The child is the one who owns the right to spend time with and have a meaningful relationship with each parent. When deciding on a parenting plan after separation, parents must focus on what is in the the child’s interests and that includes the needs of the child. Parenting arrangements may include agreements such as who has the primary care for the child (where the child lives), how many days a week a child spends with a parent, the location and even the time of the day communication with the child takes place. ‘Taking turns’ for special occasions such as the child’s birthday, Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays should be factored in. You should also decide on long term arrangements such as schooling, the child’s medical needs, domestic or international travel.
If both parents can reach an agreement:
Then parents can formalise their parenting plan in the form of Consent Orders. We will make an application for Consent Orders on your behalf for the court’s approval. This is the most cost-effective way to have your parenting plans formalised in accordance with your family’s personal circumstances and at the same time ensuring they are binding and legally enforceable.
If both parents cannot reach an agreement:
Then you will have to make an application for parenting orders to the court. The court will make parenting orders based on what the court believes is in the child’s best interests and at times this may not be a suitable outcome for both parties. Note that before we can submit our initiating application, this is the same with property settlements, both parties must first follow the dispute resolution process or at least attempt to invite the other party to mediate.
What you need to remember:
If you have any questions? We offer a 15 minutes free initial telephone consultation. We offer fixed fees for non-complex children’s matters.