Did You Know? Frequently Asked Questions – Family Law

We are often asked questions regarding marriage and relationship breakdown and divorce.  We have put together a list of FAQ”s to provide some initial guidance:

My ex is not paying child support, what can I do?

If your former spouse fails to pay child support as required, you may be able to stop him / her from leaving the country until the child support debt is paid in full.

My ex is disobeying court orders about access to the children?

If your former spouse disobeys a court order permitting you to see your children, you may in some circumstances be able apply to have a change of the children’s living arrangements.

My ex was the main income earner during the relationship, and I looked after the children. What are my rights with respect to property?

A judge may consider your contribution as a caregiver and homemaker is equal to the financial contributions of the primary income earner during the relationship and divide your matrimonial property accordingly.

my ex partner earns more money than me. Is this taken into account in dividing assets?

A judge will take into account the earning potential of each of you and your former partner.  A greater share of the assets may be awarded to you’re a party if his / her income earning potential is less than the others.

I am concerned my ex takes drugs or drinks whilst looking after the children?

You can obtain a court order to stop your former spouse drinking or taking drugs whilst the children are in his or her care.

Can I access my ex’s super after separation?

Superannuation is regarded as property of a marriage or de facto relationship. A portion a  party’s superannuation can be split  from his  or her fund to yours after separation to top up the other’s party’s superannuation where it is reasonable to do so as part of property settlement. Any split superannuation is still subject to the normal aged access restrictions.

My ex and I can’t agree what our assets are worth?

If you can’t agree what your assets are worth, then a judge may make an order that a valuation of the assets is prepared by a licensed valuer at shared expense.

I can’t support myself financially after the separation – am I entitled to maintenance?

A judge may make an order that your former spouse pays you spousal maintenance if you are unable to support yourself after separation.

Can I sell or mortgage my property and assets whilst my property settlement is not yet finalised?

If the final agreement to property settlement has not been reached, unless agreed between you, a judge may make an order restraining you from selling, mortgaging or encumbering your assets until settlement orders are finalised.

How long might it take to reach a trial in the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court in relation to property settlement matters?

Except in exceptional circumstances, it will likely take at least 12 months to get to a trial in court. This delay and expense is often an incentive for parties to exhaust all possibilities of reaching a settlement by agreement out of court.

Is my former spouse entitled to any of my business assets?

All assets of the marriage or relationship, regardless of which of your names they are owned in including business assets such as companies and trusts can be considered to be matrimonial property. The court can make orders as to division of all such assets and orders as to who is to keep operating businesses. In some cases business can be ordered to be sold.

Can I move interstate or overseas with the children after a separation or divorce?

If agreed yes. However a judge may prevent you from moving interstate or overseas with the children if the other parent does not agree or it is not considered to be in the children’s best interests.

These are only a few issues and each case is different.

Contact Tim Donlanor Carrie- Anne Eames today.