There are always lots of family law myths floating around out there and we often come across clients who get caught up believing or not believing them.
As the law changes regularly, it is easy to get confused especially when discussing your case with family and friends (which you shouldn’t be doing) who may have had a similar experience some time ago not realising the law has changed!
Here are four family law questions received last month from of our clients:
1.) Do I need to be divorced before commencing a property settlement?
There is no legal requirement in Australia for you to be separated or divorced in order to commence, continue or finalise a property settlement with your estranged partner. However, there are many dangers in delaying a property settlement with your estranged partner, such as changes in property prices, assets and your needs and wants for the future. Make sure you start your property settlement as soon as possible following separation or divorce.
2.) Does the child always end up living with the mother?
This is a common misunderstanding and parents can live with the Mother or the Father. There is no presumption a child should live with one parent versus the other. Every child has a right to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents and court will always look first at what is best for the child. It is quite common for children to live with their Father full time.
3.) Am I entitled to move because my partner was unfaithful?
Australia has a no-fault divorce system. This means that it is irrelevant what your estranged partner did (and with who) and proof is not needed or able to be taken into consideration during family law proceedings.
4.) Can I apply for a divorce even if we are still living under the same roof?
Divorce can still take place even if you are living in the same place as your estranged partner. It is very common (especially with Sydney house prices) for former partners to continue living together under the same roof for financial and convenience reasons. There is a slight complication when living under the same roof in that you need to provide evidence that you are separated. This can be done through a variety of ways such as obtaining affidavits from family and friends who can support what you are saying.
Do you have a family law question or myth you would like answered? With 30+ years experience and counting – call us anytime on 02 8052 3322 or contact us for a confidential discussion – we are always happy to help you.