1. When can I get divorced?
You can apply for a divorce order in the Federal Circuit Court the day after 12 months separation has elapsed.
2. Who is responsible for the financial support of my children?
Both parents share the responsibility for the financial support of their children until they turn 18. A good way to achieve this is for you and your spouse/partner to agree on an appropriate level of child support in your circumstances. You can enter into a binding financial agreement about child support, health insurance and school fees and other child related expenses.
3. Can my spouse’s bankruptcy affect my property settlement?
Yes most definitely. To minimise the effect of a bankruptcy it is wise to visit your family lawyer early on.
4. I don’t want to go to Court about my family issues, what can I do?
Many people prefer to resolve their family law issues outside a court and turn to alternative dispute resolution methods like: Collaborative Family Law practice, going to see a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner to negotiate a parenting plan or parenting orders, having a settlement conference with the other person and their lawyer, or going to mediation or arbitration instead.
5. Is my informal agreement in regard to property division enough or do I need a lawyer?
It is great that you have reached an informal agreement on this important issue, the next step is to visit your family lawyer so that your agreement can be drafted into consent orders which will give the document legal effect after being lodged and stamped by the court.
6. Will my 12 year old’s views be taken into account by the court as he does not want to live week about with his father/mother?
One way the court finds out about a child’s views is through an Independent Children’s Lawyer as an advocate to represent your child’s interests if you are in court. The court will consider any views and any factors such as the child’s maturity and level of understanding that it thinks are relevant to the weight it should give to the child’s views.
7. How is a child’s best interests determined?
By considering what are known as the primary considerations and the additional considerations. These are expounded in the Family Law Act 1975. You can ask your family lawyer about them.
8. Is my superannuation taken into account in a property settlement?
Generally where the relationship or marriage is 10+ years a splitting order can be drafted to allow your spouse/partner to have a percentage of your superannuation. If the marriage or relationship is less than 2 years superannuation will be retained by you.
9. Can the court make an order restraining a parent from leaving Australia?
Yes in certain circumstances the court has jurisdiction to do that and can also request the Australian Federal Police to place that person on the Watch List. In a recent case, Zanda & Zanda  FCCA 1326 the Federal Circuit Court Judge considered s114(3) of the the Family Law Act and several authorities holding that the Court did have such jurisdiction.
10. How do I know that I am in a de facto relationship?
There are a number of statutory requirements to be shown by a person seeking to prove that they are in a de facto relationship. Not all or the requirements need to be shown, for example, the Court will consider such things as the length of the relationship even if it is an on again and off again relationship, whether or not there are joint finances or bank accounts; whether there is a sexual relationship, are you known to the public as a de facto couple, do you have a common residence or just spend time at each other’s houses and holidays together, do you look after the other person’s child or children as if they were part of your family, have you had an informal or mock wedding with friends and relatives, did you stop claiming the single parent benefit when you decided to commit yourself to your partner and do you perhaps have a child or children together.
These are only some of the factors the Court considers but it would not be fatal to say, not have a common residence. If you unsure as to your status following the breakdown of your relationship, please call us.