When a relationship breaks down it is normally a time of severe emotional turmoil, resentment and sometimes anger. Many people will need to assistance of experienced family lawyers in Sydney in order to advise them during the legal fallout of an incredibly personal life event.
Regardless of the circumstances of the relationship breakdown, it can often lead to very complicated legal matters that require professional family lawyers in Sydney to help people navigate. These issues are even more complex when both parties have split under acrimonious circumstances that can cloud their proper judgment.
These issues are preferably dealt with out of court in the form of a civil settlement, and this method is preferred by the Australian legal system. Whatever path you take, you will need some help along the way.
Let’s take a look at how the right Sydney family lawyers can assist you following a relationship breakdown.
When a marriage ends, this is recognized in the eyes of the state via a legal annulment, also known as a divorce. In Australia, parties need to be separated for a minimum of 12 months before an annulment can be legally granted.
If a separating couple wants to satisfy this requirement but remains living under the same roof, they must prove ‘separation under one roof’. This requires the gathering of additional evidence that family lawyers in Sydney can advise you on.
Examples of this kind of evidence are proof of a change is sleeping arrangements and statements from witnesses who can confirm that you and your former partner have discontinued the relationship. In order to grant the divorce, the court system must be satisfied that the couple is no longer functionally in a relationship and that there is no plausible chance of reconciliation.
Division of assets
The division of marital assets, also known as property settlement, is the process by which negotiating parties or the courts divvy up and grant the financial value of the relationship between the separating parties. This process has been popularised in the media which has let to many misunderstanding its rules, demonstrating the importance of people hiring family lawyers in Sydney should they face this issue.
As mentioned earlier, the court system prefers that issues like property settlement are dealt with via negotiation between disputing parties. The best family lawyers in Sydney will often be experienced mediators who have accreditations in ADR (alternate dispute resolution).
Having an experienced family lawyer in Sydney on your side during property settlement negotiations is incredibly important in reaching a satisfactory deal. If a deal cannot be reached, usually because the other party has their own solicitor, then the matter will be arbitrated by a judge in court.
This is where family lawyers in Sydney use their litigation expertise to argue as to why their client requires a certain portion of the marital estate. A common argument is that because a spouse (normally the wife) has given up their professional career to raise children they need a greater portion of the estate than the other spouse (normally the husband) who can still earn an income.
Child custody hearings
If parents who are separating cannot negotiate an appropriate arrangement for the care of children, then the matter will need to be arbitrated in court. In particularly acrimonious cases either party may be trying to deny custodial or visitation rights from their former partner.
In these situations, family lawyers in Sydney should be solicited in order to represent you in custodial hearings. They will understand the types of evidence that are admissible in order to prove that you should be the primary caregiver for the children and why your former partner shouldn’t be.