1. Assets before marriage are protected
Assets acquired pre-relationship / marriage are still looked at by the Family Court along with gifts and inheritances. It does not matter which partner paid for what asset or where the money came from. However there is what is known as an erosion principle, meaning over time the value of pre-marital assets are reduced. This can be a complicated area with the court also looking at the effect of the asset on the marriage i.e an investment property returning profit during the marriage for both parties.
2. Assets are split 50/50 during divorce proceedings
Family law would be far less complicated if assets were divided at 50/50 however automatic entitlement is a myth. No two cases are ever the same when splitting assets and there is a high level of skill and knowledge required when acting in these types of matters. When splitting assets, Courts consider factors such as the future needs of each party as well as an overall view of what is fair and equitable.
3. If wasn’t married in Australia so can’t get divorced here
Overseas Elvis, Islamic and dinosaur inspired weddings are all valid in Australia. As long as your wedding was recognised under the law of the country you were married in and the marriage would have been recognised as valid under Australian law if the marriage had taken place in Australia, you will be ok. You will need to provide documentation/evidence of your overseas marriage so as long as you satisfy the above, you are ok to get divorced here. Ensuring you have these documents available will also ensure the divorce cost is minimised.
4. Child custody is a 50/50 arrangement
There is an assumption that the starting point for child custody is a 50/50 split between parents. However shared care can be impractical and sometimes impossible. The Family Court decides custody by considering what is in the best interests of the child (not the parent), with each case determined on its facts. For example one parent might be working full time and live in another State making a 50/50 arrangement impractical for the child. If there has been family violence or sexual abuse in the relationship, a parent can lose their custody all together.
5. Courts look into the reason why a divorce has ended
Australia has a principle of no fault divorce. This means Courts are not interested which spouse was at fault in terms of a marriage breakdown when granting a divorce. An experienced Divorce Lawyer should be able to talk and walk you through the divorce process ensuring the reason is not brought up.
Principal James Maspero has been a Family Law Lawyer for 27 years and has the experience you need and results you want. Contact James today for a free consultation to understand your case on 02 8052 3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Jeremy Maspero