WHAT IS “FAM­ILY LAW”?

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S -

In­tro­duc­tion In sim­ple terms, the con­cept of fam­ily law cov­ers di­vorce, ar­range­ments for chil­dren’s care and prop­erty set­tle­ment in both mar­i­tal and de facto re­la­tion­ship break­downs. It also looks at child sup­port and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. It is also the ne­go­ti­a­tion of pre-nup­tial and co­hab­i­ta­tion agree­ments. Chil­dren The best in­ter­ests of the child is the guid­ing prin­ci­ple un­der the Fam­ily Law Act. This is worked out by ref­er­ence to the child’s wishes, re­la­tion­ship with each par­ent, ma­tu­rity of the child, the ca­pac­ity of the par­ents to pro­vide for the child emo­tion­ally, phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially, and the need to pro­tect the child from phys­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal harm to­gether with the dif­fi­culty and ex­pense of con­tact. Each case is dif­fer­ent. What works for one case may not work for yours. There are no pre­sump­tions that one par­ent is bet­ter than the other or that time spent by the par­ents with the child should be equal. Prop­erty Set­tle­ment The ob­jec­tive of prop­erty set­tle­ment is to iden­tify and value the prop­erty pool, ex­am­ine the fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions made by each party, con­sider any needs or other re­quire­ments they may have and then to try and de­ter­mine what a just and eq­ui­table ar­range­ment is. Like chil­dren’s mat­ters, prop­erty set­tle­ments are ap­proached case-by-case and each is in­di­vid­ual. In work­ing out the prop­erty pool, we need to know what in­ter­ests you have in res­i­den­tial and in­vest­ment prop­erty, mo­tor ve­hi­cles, bank ac­counts, in­vest­ments, shares, fur­ni­ture, col­lectibles and an­tiques, busi­nesses and com­pa­nies, trust dis­tri­bu­tions or con­trol, any­thing of mone­tary value as well as mort­gages, loans, credit card debts and other li­a­bil­i­ties. When do I make my Ap­pli­ca­tion? If you are sep­a­rated and not yet ap­plied for, or been granted, a di­vorce there is no time limit. If you have been granted a di­vorce, ap­pli­ca­tion needs to be made within 12 months of the date of the di­vorce. Out­side that time, you need the per­mis­sion of the Court to make the ap­pli­ca­tion. If your de facto re­la­tion­ship has ended, you need to com­mence pro­ceed­ings within 2 years of the date of sep­a­ra­tion.

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