Family Law Blog

18Dec, 14
ten things to know about family law


The ten most common mistakes made by family law clients:

  1. Delay in obtaining legal advice if your partner relocates. The welfare of the children is paramount.  Don’t allow a parenting pattern to be established which the Court may be reluctant to alter.
  2. Negotiating children and property issues with your partner without knowledge of your full rights and obligations. Avail yourself of the service we provide for a 20 minute free legal advice to assist you to negotiate with a complete understanding of your financial settlement and your best outcome for parenting of the children.
  3. If you have engaged the services of a solicitor do not negotiate directly with your former partner without the benefit of advice from your family lawyer. You may cause more damage to your situation which could be hard to rectify.
  4. Don’t be self represented in Court proceedings. You may waste the Court’s time with irrelevant matters.  You may cause severe harm to your case without knowledge of  Court processes and the law involved.
  5. Don’t enter into financial agreements on property issues without having the agreement formalised by a Court consent order or a binding financial agreement. A written agreement is not binding and has little or no enforceability.  Seek legal advice from an accredited family law specialist before entering into consent orders or a financial agreement.  The costs of rectifying mistakes arising from unenforceable agreement are substantial.  A small cost for legal advice at the outset far outweighs the substantial costs which could be incurred.
  6. Don’t initiate legal proceedings (unless urgent) in regard to your children without first endeavouring to negotiate a parenting agreement by way of mediation. If the mediation fails obtain a section 60I certificate from the mediator.  The Court will not hear your application if you do not attend mediation and if you do not have the requisite certificate.
  7. If you wish to protect your assets prior to commencing your relationship or during your relationship make sure you do so by way of a binding financial agreement. Without protection of this agreement your partner will gain a financial interest in your estate as time goes by.  Obtain the services of an accredited family law specialist to ensure that the terms of your agreement are binding.  A simple written agreement between yourself and your partner without complying with the stringent rules laid down by the Family Law Act has no force or effect whatsoever.
  8. Lack of communication between yourself and your partner is one of the main reasons a relationship breaks down. Obtain the assistance of a competent counsellor to ensure an open communication with your partner before issues arise which may lead to a break down in your relationship with financial and parenting issues occurring.
  9. Don’t involve the children in any disputes you may have with your former partner because of the bitter feelings you may have towards that person. Don’t alienate the children’s affections.  The emotional effects on the children may be everlasting and may affect their ability in later life to enjoy a loving and caring relationship with another person.  The emotional damage to your children may last with them for their life time.
  10. Sort out the financial issues arising from any break down in your relationship as soon as possible. Be open in disclosing all relevant financial information and documentation.  As time goes by with the acquisition of other property it becomes difficult to reach a satisfactory resolution of the division of your assets.

There you have it! For any information specific to your information please contact us or call 1800 217 217 to speak to a qualified and experienced family lawyer.

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