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Separation and/or Divorce - When do you need a lawyer?

Separation and/or Divorce is extremely difficult, especially when there are children involved.

Depending on the nature of the separation, you may or may not need a lawyer to assist you and guide you through the process.

Family law is governed by the following rules and legislation:

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Ardent Lawyers can assist you with the following matters:

Parenting Plan

We can meet with you and help you set the terms of the parenting plan you wish to make with your ex-partner. This plan may or may not be agreed to. The law provides that before any litigation can be commenced in Court, a mediation must take place between the parties to see whether the dispute can be resolved informally. If the dispute cannot be resolved informally, we can assist you to prepare the relevant documents and act on your behalf in litigation for parenting orders to be made by the Court. Most often, a dispute which can not readily be settled between the parties early on is resolved prior to a determination by the Court.

Financial Agreement

We can work with you to devise the financial agreement you wish to have with your ex-partner regarding any assets, finances and liabilities you share. A financial agreement does not necessarily mean that things are split 50/50. Often there are things that the parties can agree to, leaving the dispute to only certain specific items which are left to be resolved. It may be that a financial agreement has been agreed to by the parties and a lawyer is required to "set the agreement into stone". A lawyer must ensure that his or her client has received advice about any financial agreement prior to filing the financial agreement with a Court. Often a party is under pressure or distress when an agreement is "agreed" to and may or may not realise the consequences, for example, a significant asset has been undervalued. It is important to seek the advice of a lawyer prior to entering into a financial agreement with your ex-partner. If an agreement cannot be made between the parties, litigation can commence after a mediation certificate has been issued.

Child Support

Parties can either agree to have child support assessed by the Government, or make a binding child support agreement about the amount to be paid, to whom and when. Child support is usually dealt with by the Child Support Agency, where an application and calculations can be made online. Child Support can also be dealt with in a Family Court. If one of the parties seeks to change the amount to be paid (in accordance with the Government assessment) a departure application needs to be made. There are 11 different grounds that can be made to seek an order for departure. Ardent Lawyers can assist you through the process of child support, including making a binding child support agreement with your ex-partner.

Divorce

In order to end a marriage, usually a Divorce needs to be filed and granted by the Court. Divorce applications can be made by either one party or both parties by consent. If one party does not agree to the Divorce, a divorce hearing may be held and you may be required to attend. Divorce applications are now filed online. A Divorce application is separate from any other orders you may need to file, including parenting orders or financial agreements. Ardent Lawyers can assist you to file an online application for Divorce, whether it be by consent or otherwise. If the Divorce is applied for by consent, it is unlikely that you will need to attend a Court or Hearing as the Divorce will be granted without the requirement to attend Court.

If you require legal assistance or have a family law question, contact our law firm on (02) 4444 6808 or contact@ardentlawyers.com.au. The discussion will be kept strictly confidential.