Divorce and Separation Advice

  • Article
  • 30 Jun 2020
  • Silvio Auditore
  • Divorce

When a relationship ends it can be a stressful and traumatic experience, no matter whose fault it is, and which person decides that it is over. Whilst friends and family can provide some much-needed emotional support, be careful about relying their advice as to what you should be doing in relation to separating. The Family Law Act and the Family Violence Protection Act (Victoria) applies to everyone whether you are in a legal marriage, or a de-facto relationship (including a same-sex relationship).  Everyone’s personal situation is different and only a Family Lawyer can provide the expert advice which applies to your particular separation.

When should I get legal advice?

Many people avoid confronting their situation and make hasty, uninformed decisions, which can be to their ultimate detriment, when it comes to separating. For example, if a person decides to leave the family home and rent accommodation before a property settlement is legally finalised, he/she may endure financial hardship for many months, or even years, if all of the family’s capital is locked up in the family home and/or Superannuation. Sometimes, it is necessary for one party to move out for reasons of domestic violence, or in order to avoid an overload of emotional distress.  The difficult decision in such circumstances may be deciding which person moves out and which parent has the children living with him/her.

The decisions regarding parenting arrangements for children are often contentious and it is important for parents to receive guidance before agreeing to parenting arrangements.  Both a Family Lawyer and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner should be consulted to assist you in deciding on Parenting arrangements before you commit to anything.  Parenting arrangements can be documented by way of either Court Orders or a Parenting Plan. It will depend on a number of factors (e.g. the ages of the children, current accommodation availability and whether there are likely to be changes to arrangements) as to whether Court Orders or a Parenting Plan is preferable in your particular circumstances.

We, at Melbourne Family Lawyers, always recommend that you get advice early- even before you separate- so that you are armed with full knowledge of your legal rights and have had the benefit of us guiding you with the best available pragmatic Family Law advice in making the right decisions for your future and that of your children.

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