What to Expect from a Family Lawyer
08 November 2013
A Family Lawyer will advise you as to his or her opinion as to where you stand when applying the applicable Family Law to your particular situation. However, a Family Lawyer will never be able to provide you with a definitive outcome in your case as the outcome of your case will depend on the following:
If your case is being decided by a Judge- the way in which the Judge exercises his/her discretion in applying the relevant Family Law. Different Judges will come to different conclusions on the same case, so it is important for your Family Lawyer to know the biases of the different Judges when advising you as to whether to settle or whether to go to a final hearing and let the Judge decide.
In some cases, there is a dispute about certain relevant facts. (For example, the value of assets). At the initial stages, a Family Lawyer may make assumptions that a client is providing accurate asset valuations and base his/her advice on those assumptions. Even if independent valuations are obtained, such valuations may differ.
In some cases, even if there is agreement from both parties as to the facts of the case, there will often be disagreement as to the way in which the Family Law should be applied to those facts. A good Family Lawyer will make sure that the facts being relied upon are accurate to ensure that his/her opinion is based on sound foundations.
Many Family Law Disputes in Melbourne are settled by negotiation and mediation. Sometimes a client will settle for less than he/she may realistically end up with if the case was decided by a Judge- there may be many reasons for this, such as: the legal expense of continuing court proceedings is not warranted having regard to the potential net benefit of a possible more favourable outcome; it is not worth the ongoing stress; it is better to compromise and agree so as to be able to maintain a workable on-going relationship with the other spouse when it comes to parenting the children.
So, the best which a Family Lawyer can do is take into account the divergent facts and the risks of litigation and provide you with a range of possible outcomes- The client can then decide whether to litigate in Court or to settle out of Court based on his/her personal tolerances to the uncertainties, stresses and costs of Family Law Court litigation.
Should I change Family Lawyers in my Family Law Court Case?
18 January 2019 -
Are you having doubts about whether you are being well-represented in your Family Law dispute?
Is now a good time to finalise a Family Law Property settlement?
19 December 2018 -
It is December 2018. After many years of rising property prices in Melbourne and the rest of Australia, property values have fallen. The Australian and US share markets are also down. Separating couples now have assets (including Superannuation) which are valued at significantly less than the valuation a year ago. However, their debt level would often be at the same level. The net result of this is that there is significantly less to divide up.
Can we agree on a Family Law settlement without going to Court?
25 October 2018 -
Can we agree on a Family Law settlement without going to Court? This is a question asked by many clients at Melbourne Family Lawyers. The answer is both yes and no.
Melbourne Family Lawyers Obtain Federal Circuit Court Injunction to Prevent Mother Taking Children from Melbourne to Western Australia
6 September 2018 -
This court case came about when one of clients Eddie (not his real name) found out that his ex-wife Roma (not her real name) was intending to take their two primary school age children to live in Western Australia. Eddie and Roma had been separated since 2010 and Roma had since re-married. Since separation, the children had primarily been living with Roma at her home in Melbourne.
Separation and Divorce for Retirees
31 July 2018 -
Retired Baby Boomers are separating and divorcing late in life. We are seeing more people getting to a point where they cannot put up with living with their long-standing spouse or partner any longer! Whilst life was good when one or both were working and bringing up the children, spending a lot more time together in retirement apparently can test even the most solid relationship!
Should I Separate Before my Rich Parent Dies to Preserve my Inheritance?
12 April 2018 -
If your marriage or relationship is on the rocks and you are agonising as to whether to separate from your spouse or partner, then here is some advice which may spur you on to make a decision one way or the other.
Recognition of Foreign Marriages and Same-Sex Divorces in Australia
9 March 2018 -
We are often asked about whether Marriages which originated outside Australia are recognised under the Family Law of Australia.
Melbourne Family Lawyers Win International Parenting Dispute for Mother in Family Court of Australia at Melbourne
31 October 2017 -
Alison Loach, a Senior Consultant with Melbourne Family Lawyers, advised a client that she had a strong case and that she should pursue the case all the way through to a final hearing before Justice Austin in the Family Court of Australia.
When Can I make a Claim for Property Settlement as a De Facto Partner?
18 July 2017 -
In Australia, the Family Law relating to De Facto partners is substantially the same as the law relating to people who are legally married. The Family Law Act covers married people and de facto couples, including those in homosexual relationships.
Defending an Intervention Order in Victoria
25 January 2017 -
An Intervention Order is a Court Order which is made by a Magistrate in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria against a person (the Respondent) who has committed family violence against a family member (the Aggrieved Family Member).
Can I apply for a Divorce if I am no longer living in Australia?
5 October 2016 -
Melbourne Family Lawyers represents many clients who do not live in Australia. If you are living overseas, we can still represent you and apply for a Divorce in Australia under certain circumstances.
When should I apply for a Family Law Property Settlement?
18 August 2016 -
The only legal rules about when you should apply for a Family Law property settlement are concerning how late you can apply. People in a De Facto relationship have up to two years after separation. Married people have up to one year following the Divorce. Contrary to a popular belief, you do not have to wait until you are divorced to have a property settlement.
Can I move with my child to live in a different suburb or outside of Melbourne without the other parent’s consent?
20 July 2016 -
Some of the most frequent questions asked by clients of Melbourne Family Lawyers are concerning the issue of whether the client is allowed to take a child to live somewhere else, be that within Australia or overseas.
Melbourne Family Court allows Mother and Child’s Relocation to USA
21 June 2016 -
In January 2015, our client, 30 year old USA citizen Miranda (not her real name) was referred to Melbourne Family Lawyers by United States Embassy staff in Melbourne, as her marriage to her 35 yo Australian Husband, Bruce (not his real name) had broken down. Miranda’s legal problem was that she wanted to return home to the United States, with her 3 year old daughter, but her Husband objected to such an arrangement.
When is Spousal Maintenance Payable?
31 August 2015 -
Spousal Maintenance (also called alimony in some countries) may be payable in Australia by one spouse (or de-facto partner) to the other under some circumstances pursuant to the provisions of the Family Law Act.
The Best Family Law Advice from Melbourne Family Lawyers
20 July 2015 -
At Melbourne Family Lawyers, we don’t offer a “free” first consultation and use it to market our services to you. The first meeting with one of our lawyers is scheduled for one hour because we know it will take a bit of time to listen to your story so that we can understand your situation and what is important to you and what you would like to achieve.
When should I apply for a Divorce?
22 April 2015 -
A Divorce Order provides legal recognition of the fact that that you are no longer married. Upon a Divorce Order becoming final, you are legally free to re-marry should you wish to do so. In order to apply for a Divorce, you must firstly be separated for at least one year.
Is my Spouse entitled to a share of my Superannuation if I separate?
20 January 2015 -
In a Family Law Property Settlement, Superannuation is always taken into account when considering a division of property between spouses (including de facto or same-sex partners). These days, most people have Superannuation entitlements. Whilst those Superannuation entitlements may not be readily accessible now if you are below retirement age, they will make a difference to your financial situation when you do retire.
If I win Tatts Lotto, do I have to share the winnings with my ex spouse?
10 December 2014 -
This question sometimes arises in family law property settlement cases- and the answer will depend on the exact circumstances. As is usual in family law cases, there are many possible scenarios and many different possible results. Let’s consider a few examples.
Beware of Family Lawyers offering Free Initial Consultations
26 November 2014 -
Have you come across the recent advertising from Family Lawyers offering “free initial consultations”? Have you stopped to think why those lawyers are doing that?
Do I get to keep my inheritance in a Family Law Property Settlement?
30 October 2014 -
It is important to remember that every Family Law Property Settlement case is different and will be decided in accordance with the guiding principles in the Family Law Act and the case law arising from past decisions of the Family Law Courts. This article summarises some of those guiding principles.
Why Mediation can be better than going to Court
25 August 2014 -
Mediation (also referred to as Family Dispute Resolution) is a process (outside of the Court Litigation process) in which an independent Mediator helps people affected by separation or divorce to resolve some or all of their disputes with each other. It is one of the ways in which an “out of court settlement” can be achieved even in difficult, complex or emotionally charged cases.
The Question: How much overnight time should a child spend with the other parent?
30 June 2014 -
This is a question clients often posed to Family Lawyers and Family Law Court judges. Whilst each parent may have a different personal (often rigid) opinion, what do the experts have to say about this?
How much overnight time should a child spend with the other parent?
23 June 2014 -
It used to be the case that “expert opinion” was that children under three were considered to have a primary attachment with their primary carer (often the mother) and it was best for them to spend most of their time with the parent with whom they had the primary attachment. The other parent was encouraged to have regular but frequent contact of a few hours once or twice a week. Amendments to the Family Law Act in 2006 were enacted to promote the following objectives to guarantee that the best interests of children are met.
Winning International Child Custody Cases
8 May 2014 -
At Melbourne Family Lawyers, we like to win the Court Cases which cannot be settled out of Court! This year we have had great success in running (and winning) two cases in the Federal Circuit Court involving young mothers wanting to return to their overseas country of origin with their young children. These cases needed to be decided by a Judge as the children’s parents could not come to an agreement as to with whom, or where, the child should live.
Achieving a Family Law Property Settlement with a “Bully” Spouse
27 February 2014 -
Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person- and this is often a problem in marriage or relationship breakdown situations.
How to Achieve a Fair Family Law Property Settlement?
6 January 2014 -
Achieving a fair Family Law Property Settlement is the aim of most people who end up separating, but what is fair? It is very difficult for a person to work out what is fair when going through the emotional turmoil of a separation. An experienced Family Lawyer can help you.
Choosing the best Family Lawyers – Is it worth travelling to Melbourne?
26 November 2013 -
Many people believe that it is not worth the hassle of coming into Melbourne to get advice from a Specialist Family Lawyer. There are good reasons why Melbourne Family Lawyers is located in William Street Melbourne (adjacent to the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia).
Defending a Family Law Property Settlement Case in Melbourne Family Law Courts
14 October 2013 -
If you receive an Initiating Application which is to be heard in the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, you are entitled to put your position to the Court by filing a Response together with other court documents required under the Family Law Rules. Those other documents may include sworn Affidavits and/or a Financial Statement (for property settlement or maintenance cases).
How do I settle my Family Law Custody Dispute in Melbourne if I am overseas or interstate?
22 July 2013 -
The Family Law Courts in Melbourne (being the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia) have jurisdiction to determine a Family Law dispute if at least one of the parties to the dispute is either.
How do you Change existing Child Custody and Contact Orders (Parenting Orders) in Australia?
25 June 2013 -
As children grow older and relationships change, a previously made Court Order concerning the arrangements for the care of a child or children may no longer be appropriate. However, the Court Order remains in force until one (or both) of the parties to the court order initiate legal action to legally change it. If both agree, whilst it is possible to informally change the ongoing care arrangements for children without changing the court orders, it may lead to problems should someone later change his/her mind. It is usually better to legally formalise child arrangements with court orders.
Family Violence Safety Notices and Intervention Orders under the Family Violence Protection Act Victoria
23 May 2013 -
In Victoria, legal protection is available for family members and their associates who need protection from a family member who is subjecting them to family violence. Family violence has a broad legal definition which includes abuse which is physical, sexual, emotional, threatening, economically abusive, or, in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for his/her safety.
Which Family Law Court in Melbourne?
8 April 2013 -
Clients are sometimes confused about which Family Law Court is appropriate to hear their case in Melbourne. This is understandable as there are three separate courts on the same street in Melbourne which have jurisdiction on Family Law related issues.
How long does it take to get a Divorce in Melbourne?
1 April 2013 -
Applying for a Divorce in Melbourne is a fairly quick process and, if handled efficiently, can be completed within three or so months of filing your Divorce Application with the Court in Melbourne. There are certain requirements before you are legally allowed to file your Divorce Application, these are:
Achieving a Fair Family Law Settlement for De Facto and Same Sex Couples in Victoria
15 March 2013 -
The Family Law in Victoria is now almost exclusively governed by the Family Law Act (Commonwealth) whether you are married, or in a de facto or same sex relationship. The State of Victoria previously had the power to make laws concerning couples who were not married, but referred those powers to the Commonwealth Government in 2009.
Can I move out of Victoria without a Family Law Court Order?
1 March 2013 -
Whether you are allowed to move out of your current home to a new place depends on a number of factors.
Can I apply for a Divorce in Australia if I was married overseas?
1 February 2013 -
An Australian Court has the jurisdiction to grant a Divorce if you were married outside of Australia, as long as at least one of the following pre-conditions apply:
Finding the Best Family Law Firm in Melbourne
15 January 2013 -
So your spouse has just announced, "It's over!" and you need to find a law firm to help guide you through one of the most stressful situations you are going to face. Where do you start? Do you go back to your local conveyancing law firm who looked after the purchase of your home?
Why are there more Intervention Orders in the Melbourne Magistrates Court?
14 December 2012 -
Over the past years, there has been a great increase in the number of Court Applications made to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for the granting of Intervention Orders under Victoria’s Family Violence legislation. There may be a number of reasons for this.
Social Networks - a Divorce Lawyer’s Nightmare or Dream- depending whose side you are on!
11 April 2012 -
Watch Out- Social Networks- A Divorce Lawyers Nightmare (or Dream) What you say on FaceBook or Twitter may well end up as evidence in the Family Law Courts!
12 March 2012 -
Section 61DA of the Family Law Act requires a Court, when making a parenting order in relation to a child, to apply a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child's parents to have equal shared parenting responsibility for the child.
Collaborative Family Lawyers - What Women (and Men) Want!
10 August 2011 -
Marriage is a strange phenomenon that happens to human beings. And the best part is, both the unmarried and the married are unhappy, though for radically opposite reasons, one for not being married, and the other for being married.
Finding out with Family Law: Parentage Tests
14 January 2011 -
Parentage tests determining the parent of the child may be needed for Family Law Lawyer matters such as child support payments, custody, access, inheritance and adoption. But with these matters, more matters arise including questions about processes and legal requirements.
Family Court Stops Mother Taking Children Overseas to live
30 July 2010 -
In the case of Cowley and Mendoza decided in the Family Court of Australia in July 2010, a mother of two young children aged 3 and 5 was refused permission to take those children back to her home-land of Brazil. The father was an Australian and he had met the mother whilst on a back-packing holiday.
It's Not Just a "New Mistress Law": Family Law Act Now Applies to De Facto Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships
15 April 2009 -
On 1 March 2009, new Commonwealth laws for spousal maintenance and the division of property for people in de facto relationships came into force. The Commonwealth Family Law Act 1975 now applies to both married and de facto couples as well as same-sex couples. Previously, de-facto relationships were covered by State Laws and disputes between de-facto couples were determined by State Courts such as the Supreme Court and County Court- Such disputes are now within the jurisdiction of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court, as are disputes concerning children of all relationships.
Family Court Pre Action Procedures
9 March 2009 -
Family Law Disclosure Rules
22 January 2009 -
A direct extract from Family Law Rules- Parts 13.1 and 13.2
Talk to us now for advice about your situation by phoning (+61) 03 9670 9677