Separation and divorce in Australia: what’s the difference?

There is a misconception that a divorce will also resolve your property settlement with your ex-partner: It will not. Obtaining a divorce order will not give you finality in your financial relationship with each other.

Divorce in Australia

For divorce in Australia, parties must complete a divorce application and file it with the court.  The court will consider this material at a hearing, the date of which is set down when you file the application (usually 3 or so months after filing).  If a divorce order is granted, this will provide you with a legal separation, however it will not automatically alter your property interests under family law.

To be eligible to apply for a divorce, you must have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months.  There can be circumstances where parties may have separated but they remain living together under the same roof for a period time or have had short periods of reconciliation and then separated again on a final basis.  You may still be eligible to make a divorce application in these situations.  You should speak to a lawyer to discuss your particular circumstances and confirm your eligibility and the court’s requirements.

Options for finalising a property settlement

Separate to a divorce, a property settlement will provide you with an alteration of property interests (for example, determining who will keep the house, or whether it needs to be sold; who will be responsible for the credit card liabilities; how superannuation will be split between you etc).  The process for finalising a property settlement will depend on whether the parties have agreed or can come to an agreement regarding how their property interests should be divided.

If both parties agree

If a separated couple agrees to alter their property interests and the terms of that property settlement, they can have a legally binding and enforceable agreement by:

  1. Entering into a binding financial agreement; or
  2. Applying to the court for consent orders.

Using either option, or in some cases both options, your lawyer will need to take your detailed instructions in relation to the property that you own (including assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources), the contributions made by both parties throughout the relationship and any factors which may impact on the parties moving forward (such as age, health, income disparity, care of children etc). They will assess your entitlement and confirm whether your agreement is in line with what the courts would consider is just and equitable. They will then draft the required documents for you to affect the property settlement. There will be different processes from this point depending on which option you choose: binding financial agreement or consent orders.

If both parties cannot agree

Mediation is a process whereby the parties attend upon a mediator, with or without their solicitors present, to attempt to come to an agreement about the division of their property interests. The mediator should assist the parties to keep the conversation to relevant information and work with you to generate options for terms of settlement which are acceptable for both of you.  If an agreement is reached at mediation, you can approach a lawyer to draft the relevant documents and finalise the property settlement.

Court proceedings are started as a last resort if the parties cannot agree on how to divide their property interests. Proceedings are not usually commenced without attempts to resolve the matter by way of negotiation or alternative dispute resolution as they can be costly and emotionally taxing on all parties involved.

A formalised property settlement will usually be required

It is important to finalise your financial relationship with your ex-partner.  An informal agreement, even if it is in writing, may not be binding and one of the parties may be able to make an application to the court seeking an arrangement that is different to the agreement made between you (provided they apply within the relevant time limit).  Therefore, having your agreement formalised through a binding financial agreement or consent orders is necessary to protect yourself moving forward.  A lawyer can assist you with this and guide you through this process.

Time limitation for property settlement – married couples

There is a 12-month time limitation for a married couple to apply to the court for a property settlement or for spousal maintenance after a divorce order takes effect.  Whilst the court can grant leave to apply outside of this time limit, it can be a difficult and costly process and success is not guaranteed.

In some cases, we recommend that parties enter into substantial negotiations before divorcing which often results in a resolved property settlement before an application for divorce is even made or a divorce order is granted.

What if we weren’t married?

Former de facto couples are substantially afforded the same rights under family law legislation to a property settlement as married couples.  The time limitation is different however for de facto couples, whereby they have 2 years from the date of separation to make an application to the court for property settlement or maintenance.  Like married couples, the court can grant leave to apply outside of this time limit but, again, this can be a difficult process and success is not guaranteed.

Talk to an expert

Contact Daykin Family Law to discuss your options with a reduced fixed fee initial consultation with our Accredited Family Law Specialist & Director, Shannon Daykin.  Let us help you navigate separation, divorce and the property settlement process in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Child support basics: What is it & what are my options?

What is child support?

Child support is a payment made by one or both parents to the other to assist in the cost of looking after children until they reach the age of 18 or complete high school.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) utilises a formula to calculate how much child support you should pay or receive.  This is worked out based on:

–        How many children you each have;

–        How old the children are;

–        How much money you need to support yourself;

–        The income of the parents; and

–        The percentage of care each parent has for the children.

The cost of the child is based on the research about how much parents spend to raise a child in Australia.  These figures are updated each year to ensure they stay current. These amounts are also different for different people as the research has established that people that earn different incomes spend different amounts on their children.

This is a complex formula that leads to much confusion.  The DHS has provided a child support estimator online to assist parents with this process.

How is child support paid?

You can choose to manage the payment of child support between yourselves.  This does not involve the DHS at all.  Parents who choose this option decide how much and how often child support is paid.  This can affect your Family Tax Benefit if you receive any.  This can also be risky as the DHS cannot enforce payment of an amount you have agreed to with the other parent.

The next option is private collection. To do this, you can ask the DHS to undertake an assessment for you. This can also be utilised if you have registered a child support agreement with DHS.  This calculates the amount of child support that one parent needs to pay the other.  A private collection arrangement would mean you and the other parent decide when and how this is paid.

The DHS would not become involved in this type of arrangement unless you asked them to be.  If a parent falls behind in their payments, the agency can collect up to three months of arrears or nine months in extreme circumstances.  This system works well for parents who are amicable.

If parents are unable to communicate, if there are issues with reliability in payment or if there are domestic violence issues, you can ask the DHS to collect on your behalf.  This is called Child Support Collect.  DHS can collect if a child support assessment has been made, if they have accepted a child support agreement or if there is a registered court order for child support.

For Child Support Collect, DHS collects the money from the paying parent and pays it to the receiving parent.  The dates of these payments are set by DHS.  If a parent fails to make payments, the DHS can take enforcement action including deducting money from a paying parent’s pay, intercepting tax returns and/or bank account deductions.

It is important that both parents continue to update the DHS regarding their circumstances to ensure that over or under payments are avoided and issues of debt recovery do not occur.

What if I want something specific in place for child support between the other parent and I?

You can enter into a private child support agreement with the other parent and this can be made binding and enforceable.

You may agree to cash payments, non-cash items such as health insurance or school fees, or a combination of these.  These arrangements can be formalised by a Limited Child Support Agreement, which can have a limited life span, or a Binding Child Support Agreement which can remain in place for longer.  Both parties need to have legal advice for a Binding Child Support Agreement.

If you would like to consider one of these options, we can provide you with the necessary advice.  Many people negotiate property settlement, spousal maintenance and/or child support agreements at the same time.

Here are some examples of how a simultaneous settlement could work:

  • The child support recipient parent agreeing to take less property from property settlement if all expenses are paid for the children until they turn 18 or finish high school, such as private health fees and associated costs and all health related costs.
  • The child support recipient parent agreeing to take more property from property settlement than they might otherwise be entitled to, on the basis that they be paid no or relatively low child support in the future.
  • The child support recipient parent agreeing to a settlement where they are paid certain child support (periodic amounts every week plus school fees and health costs paid for by the other parent), certain periodic spousal maintenance payments for a period of time and an agreed percentage of property.

The above arrangements can be negotiated and, once agreement is reached, drafted into binding and enforceable agreements by Daykin Family Law.

What if we do not agree with how much child support is being paid?

Parents often disagree with the estimation for child support.  This can be as a result of not agreeing about the arrangements for time children spend with each parent or disputes about income.  You can apply to DHS to have the assessment changed.  If you still do not agree with the decision, there are other avenues you can take, and we suggest you seek legal advice from us about these issues.

I have a plan for what child support I would like for my children. What’s my first step?

The first step is to make an appointment for an initial consultation with us to discuss your options, your proposals and how your goals can be achieved in the most cost effective and amicable way.   Daykin Family Law are experts in the Brisbane family law field and can assist you to resolve your issues so you can move on with your life sooner. Contact us today to discuss your situation and the options that can be specifically tailored for you.

How can I stop the looming clouds of separation impacting on my business?

One of the first questions we are often asked by our business owner clients is what impact a separation is going to have. You spend years building an empire, whether it be large or small, and you are understandably anxious about how separation will effect what you’ve built and what the future holds.

The first step is to ensure that there can be no immediate impact on the running of your business. Any fallout from the inter-personal relationship with your former partner or spouse must be managed so that it does not impede its operational running or damage its reputation. We assess the risks with you as some urgent matters may need to be attended to, particularly if your ex has access to business accounts, important documents or the premises or staff generally.

In more severe cases where attempts to curtail damaging behaviour have been exhausted, or urgent and swift action is required, there a range of remedies available from the court. This can include restraining a person from taking certain steps which may cause loss to you or the business. In our experience, a firm approach from the start can assist in resolving such issues quickly without litigation. However, where harm to business operations is imminent, an application may need to be filed with the court without delay to protect your business and assets.

Once any urgent issues are identified and dealt with, attention can be focussed on crafting a settlement to finalise the financial aspects of your separation. Settling matters early can save on legal costs and the emotional strain associated with protracted negotiations or litigation.

An initial step towards this finality is making disclosure of your financial circumstances. In our experience, the quickest way to create tension, distrust and a sharp escalation in fees is to be opaque in the way someone discharges their duty to make full and frank disclosure. If an opposing lawyer deems that the other party is refusing to make disclosure or is not being forthcoming with the documents needed to advise their client, chances are they are advising on their end to file proceedings in the court to obtain an order for disclosure. This should be avoided as there are lengthy queues in the court and litigation can be costly. We will guide you on the necessary documents to disclose having regard to the nature of your entities and extent of your assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources.

It is often a good idea to involve your trusted accountant at an early stage if they were not already involved from the outset. We have had many initial meetings with clients and their financial advisors to gain clarity at the first meeting about what clients want to achieve and how value can be added to their affairs through restructuring as part of the family law process. It is also important to be across any potential taxation consequences of a proposed settlement, Division 7A issues, the structure itself (including trusts interests of the parties and associated issues), future asset protection and other such important matters.

In some cases, the accountant is also trusted by the former spouse or partner and can play a positive role in achieving a settlement sooner, such as facilitating the efficient exchange of disclosure and even in reaching agreement on a value for a business to avoid the cost of an independent valuation as part of the family law process.

Coupling anxiety about what the future holds for your business with the emotional stress of a relationship breakdown itself can take a significant toll. We take a no-nonsense and pragmatic approach to advising our clients, guiding them on the path that will best achieve their goals, protect their interests and allow them to get on with the important job of running their business or home or whatever else should be taking priority. Contact us today for a reduced fixed fee initial consultation with Shannon Daykin, an Accredited Family Law Specialist, to discuss your business, protecting your interests and how we can assist in resolving your property settlement as efficiently as possible.

Not all family law matters are created equally

When you sit down with your family lawyer at the first consultation, we are doing many things:

• Gathering relevant facts
• Discerning instructions
• Identifying issues
• Applying the law
• Reality testing your instructions

And something also vitally important. Forming a case strategy.

In many matters that we deal with every day, there are elements of complexity but usually none so insurmountable that litigation in the Courts is the only answer from the outset. The queues in the Courts are long, often taking litigants a number of years to get through the system and to the point where they receive a judgment.

In resolution-focussed matters, we devise a pathway to get you from A, where you are now, to B, where you want to be. As part of that, we’ll tell you the most cost-effective way to get there and the issues that can lead to more fees.

We then apply the necessary tools from our experience and expertise to work towards the end game as efficiently as possible. When dividing assets after the breakdown of a relationship for example, there are steps to follow to get you where you want to go. This starts with working out the joint assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources, and the documents we need to fill in the blanks so there are no ugly surprises later.

Once we have a clear picture, we can then advise you on your range of entitlement if the matter was to go to Court, so you can make informed decisions on making or receiving offers. Once an agreement is struck, we can draw up the necessary documents recording the agreement within a matter of days.
When there is a willing party and/or a like-minded lawyer on the other side, this process can take place relatively quickly with little fuss. The less time us lawyers are involved, the more money you keep in your back pocket and can move forward onto the new chapter knowing this one is firmly closed.

If this is the way you want to resolve your family law matter, then us lawyers need to act accordingly at every step. Bringing an aggressive approach from the start and raising hot buttons in letters back and forth with no real net effect is not the way to get you there. These actions can damage any goodwill in the negotiation process and lead to an unnecessary increase in fees and more time delaying a settlement. It can also lead to a steep demise in the co-parenting relationship where children are involved which can have devastating consequences for all family members.

Doing what we do for as long as we have, we know the hills to fight for and those to take the path of least resistance on for each and every matter. We get to know our clients and what is important to them and discuss with them their options and how a particular course of action might play out. It would be difficult to understand how any client could give instructions on major issues to their lawyer without having this guidance.

Road blocks do arise in family law matters, but they need to be dealt with quickly. A proactive approach can often mean the difference between an issue snowballing and increasing the costs for both people involved, or being dealt with quickly so it doesn’t have a ripple effect to whatever else you are trying to achieve. An expert hand can make all the difference.

Sometimes, a firm approach or litigation is needed when all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted. This is not open slather however and lawyers are charged with the task of progressing matters towards finality and narrowing issues wherever possible. Having read the comments of some Judges in recent family law court matters about the damaging and litigious approach taken by some law firms south of the border, it’s a stark reminder of the role us lawyers play.

Finding the right approach for you is paramount to resolving your family law issues sooner. If you feel that the approach taken by your current family lawyer is not quite right, talk to us. We will give you an honest appraisal on the current status of your matter and recommendations on how you could achieve your goals. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable, consulting with a lawyer with a different skill set or who assesses your matter as needing different action or focus.

Shannon Daykin is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and collaboratively trained lawyer in Brisbane practising in all areas of family law. Shannon was recognised in the 2018 Doyle’s Guide listing of leading Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers practising within the areas of family law, matrimonial, parenting, property and spousal maintenance matters in the Queensland legal market as a solicitor who has been identified by her peers for her expertise and abilities in these areas. Daykin Family Law offers a reduced fixed fee initial consultation in person at one of our three convenient locations across Brisbane or by phone. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.

What about the fur babies?

Relationship breakdowns are one of the hardest things any person can go through.  We know that this can be even more challenging when there are children involved.  But little focus is often given to the family’s animals and where they fit in from the outset.  For many, “fur babies”/the family’s pets are like children.

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court however does not see it this way. The Family Law Act (1975) Cth does not make specific reference to pets and they are essentially treated in family law as assets to be adjusted between the parties.  So, just like the car or the caravan, the pets are often allocated to one party or the other.

This also means that the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court cannot determine the shared custody arrangements for your beloved furry friends.  While some fur parents are choosing to enter into agreements just like a parenting plan for children, or record an agreement by way of a Notation to proposed orders, the Court has no power to enforce these ongoing arrangements.

If a pet is an asset, what is the value?  For some, the answer is: priceless!  For the Court, this is not so clear.  The value of an animal is what the market dictates, so the market value.  Generally, a nominal value is attributed to pets unless they are show dogs or pedigree animals.

What if you can’t decide on who is to keep your pet?  It’s similar to how a determination is made by the Court about who keeps any other asset.  The Court will consider who the animal is registered to, who takes primary responsibility for the animal and where the pet can be appropriately housed.  Past case law tells us that any attachments by a child of the relationship to a pet may be a weighty factor.

Some overseas jurisdictions have moved towards shared care arrangements for pets but, as yet, the Australian Legal system is yet to catch up.

Contact Daykin Family Law today to talk about how we can help you separate amicably and reach an early agreement without running up unnecessary costs.

First published 17 November 2017

Being a Grandparent in the 21st century

In modern society, families are increasingly reliant on the significant care and support that grandparents provide to their grandchildren to allow parents to work and provide for their own family.  While it’s hoped that a separation will not affect grandparent’s relationships with their grandchildren, this is quite often not the case.

Have you been stopped from or limited in the time you can spend with your grandchildren? Including after a separation or divorce?  As a grandparent, you have options to assist you to preserve your grandchildren’s relationship with you.

The Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 gives the Court power to make parenting orders for children that relate to other people, not just parents.  In fact, grandparents are specifically listed in the legislation along with parents as people who may apply to the Court for parenting orders.

As with all parenting matters before the Court, the Judge must regard the child’s best interests as the paramount consideration when making decisions.  This includes a number of factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • the nature of your relationship with the child/ren’s parents. Both with your own child and the other parent and the ongoing effect of such time on the relationship;
  • what time you have spent with the child/ren to date, and the nature of your relationship with them;
  • the child/ren’s wishes;
  • any other factor the court deems relevant.

In circumstances where neither parent may be suitable to care for the child, or where as a grandparent you have been the child’s primary carer, the Court enables you to make an application for them to live with you or to spend substantial and significant time with you.  It is important that if you feel these circumstances apply to you that you seek legal advice prior to making an application with the Court.

Of course, Court should be the last resort.  It is one of the many reasons that the law requires parties to attend mediation proper to commencing court proceedings, unless there is urgency or has been family violence.  While mediation does not guarantee that you will reach agreement as to what time you can spend with your grandchildren, it can be step in the right direction in a lot of cases.

For complex family relationships, there are also family counsellors and other services available that may be able to assist you to discuss with your family the time your grandchildren can spend with you without adding further conflict.

For advice tailored to your specific circumstances, contact us today to discuss your options.

First published 19 October 2017

Love & assets: What is a Pre-Nup? Do I need to be engaged to protect myself?

Whether it’s on an American TV sitcom, or in a Kanye West song, we’ve all heard the term “Pre-nup”.  But what does this mean?  And how do they work in Australia?  Can they be used outside of contemplating a walk down the aisle?

On this side of the globe, we have Financial Agreements.  This is a contract between two or more parties that can be entered into before, during or after a relationship.

We will focus on these “pre-nup” or “pre-nuptial” Financial Agreements.  These are highly technical agreements made by parties before marriage under Section 90B of the Family Law Act 1975.  The agreement can cover how any or all property and financial resources of the parties will be dealt with in the event of a separation.  It can also cover what spousal maintenance, if any, will be paid between the parties.  Other ancillary matters can also be included.

Importantly, Financial Agreements are being used more and more to protect assets that one person brings into a relationship, or the assets that one person will receive during their relationship at some point in time from family or some other source.  This allows assets to be preserved for children of a previous marriage, as an example, children that are yet to be born or even extended family members.

The possibilities are near endless.  There can be an entire quarantine of property or financial resources, or one party can acquire an incremental interest over time in the other person’s property, to adjust for the passage of time or even the pitter patter of tiny feet.  Financial Agreements can be reviewed at an agreed time in the future, and they can even have an end date if this is what the parties agree on and want.

These agreements are not just for people contemplating marriage.  There are different circumstances where couples can enter into this type of agreement, including:

  • The couple is going to live together but there is no plan to get married
  • The couple is going to live together and they do plan to marry, but have not decided when they will get married
  • The couple is already living together
  • The couple is already married

The Family Law Act 1975 outlines specific requirements that must be met to ensure that the agreement is binding and enforceable.

One of the requirements under the Act for a financial agreement to be binding is that both parties must be given independent legal advice before the agreement is signed.  This is about the effect of the agreement on the party’s rights, and the advantages and disadvantages to that party of making the agreement.  The lawyers need to sign certificates to this effect.

Both parties must engage their own lawyers.  A common lawyer cannot be engaged by both parties for the purposes of a Financial Agreement, even if both parties are completely in agreement about the terms and what is to happen.

The law surrounding Financial Agreements is in an almost constant state of change in Australia.  The legal fraternity is currently awaiting the outcome of a High Court case involving the issue of duress when parties sign these types of agreements.  It is vitally important to ensure that the lawyer you engage has a high level of knowledge around the technical and practical aspects of this area of family law. 

These are sensitive issues, with people’s relationships continuing to hopefully grow and flourish while we negotiate and draw these agreements up.  Often there are many people involved and invested in the process on the outer edges, such as business partners, adult children and extended family members.  As a result, these matters need to be handled with care by the lawyers concerned to promote harmony where possible, and avoid unnecessary conflict which could harm the relationship.

We work with a range of lawyers who we recommend to our clients’ partner or fiancés, who share our pragmatic approach and are highly competent in this area. 

Talk to us today if you are considering an agreement for your relationship,  no matter what stage it is at.  We can discuss with you the many varied options for how such an agreement can work for you and achieve the level of asset protection you desire.

First published 15 September 2017

Clearing away the looming clouds of uncertainty: Finalising your past to secure your future

When a couple separates, it can be all too tempting to just make a quick and informal agreement about property to move forward as early as possible, away from the anguish surrounding the relationship breakdown.

What many people don’t know is that informal agreements dividing assets are not necessarily enforceable.  When there is no enforceable agreement recording how property is to be dealt with at the end of a marriage or de facto relationship, the door remains wide open for the other person to have “another bite at the cherry”.  That means that either party to the broken-down marriage or de facto relationship can make an application to the Court for property orders in the absence of court orders or a binding financial agreement.

It can be particularly risky or complicated in circumstances where one person moves onwards and upwards, continues to accrue assets or grow their own property after separation, or even mixes their finances with a new partner.  This is because all property is included in the “pool” available for adjustment as at the time of trial or agreement.  Whilst you may be able to argue you should keep all or the lion’s share of a particular asset due to your contributions to it after separation, there is no hard and fast rule and your assets may well be vulnerable.  Many factors will be taken into account by the Court, however post-separation earnings and accrued assets are not necessarily safe from the reach of the other person.

Married people have up until 12 months after a divorce order takes effect to make an application to the Court for property settlement and/or spousal maintenance.  The time limit for people to file an application for property settlement or maintenance after a de facto relationship ends is 2 years after the date of separation.  Even after these time limits, an application can be made to Court on certain grounds to proceed with an application even when it is out of time.

Finality with financial affairs after separation is important to allow you to make decisions with certainty that will benefit you and those you care about moving forward.  Recording a binding and enforceable property settlement can assist with this finality, to ensure that what you keep remains yours and you are free from any claim for property in the future.  There are a couple of ways to record an agreement, with the most cost effective often being an application for consent orders through the Court.  Neither party will need to attend Court as the application is considered in-house, unless the Court considers the agreement reached is unjust or inequitable to one party.

There are also ways to limit your spouse from making an application against you in the future for spouse maintenance, with the same options applying to de facto couples after separation.

We have helped many clients record their property settlement agreements cost effectively and efficiently.  Usually, we can draft all of the documents you need within a matter of days if we have all of the relevant information and an agreement has been reached.  Contact us today to discuss how we can help you move forward with finality.

First published 24 August 2017

Mapping your path after separation

Whether it has been your decision or the decision made by your partner, the road stretches out at the time of separation and forks off in several directions.

Emotions can run at an all-time high and this can sometimes cloud those first crucial decisions that are made.  In more severe cases, people make decisions which can have a long-term impact on their children, their ex, their broader family and how their lives will unfold from there.  Decisions where there were better alternatives, and negative outcomes that could have been avoided.  That’s where family lawyers can do their best work, preventing potential disasters.

Engaging a good family lawyer at the time of separation can save you a lot of time, expense and pain later by accessing advice you can rely on from day one that sets you up for success.  A person’s separation can involve many elements, such as parenting, child support, spousal maintenance, property settlement and domestic violence.  There might be more urgent issues that need to be dealt with right away, with others that can be left to a later time once some of the dust has settled.  Us family lawyers give advice based not only on legislation and rules, but our experience in the courts knowing how Judges and Magistrates are likely to view the things that people do and do not do when they separate, and how a particular issue might be dealt with.

With this knowledge and experience, the first meeting with your family lawyer should cover how to:

·         minimise conflict

·         promote your children’s best interests

·         protect your assets

·         preserve your rights

·         ensure that you can provide for yourself and/or your children

·         avoid joining the many, many people queued in the court system waiting for decisions to be made about their property and family

·         save costs

Armed with this advice and information, you can make solid decisions on which path to take.  Straight after separation, many people do not need anything drastic to change.  There are certain steps to follow to work through a property settlement and/or an agreed parenting arrangement.  While those occur, agreements can be reached along the way to keep joint expenses paid such as the mortgage, utilities, school fees and those related to the running of the home.  Ideally, the exchange of documents can take place relatively early so that offers can be made and a binding agreement drawn up once consent is reached.

Some matters though can escalate quickly, landing people in court with legal costs increasing sharply.  In many cases, there are alternatives to instituting court proceedings.  This can involve raising any urgent or concerning issues as they arise, setting out a pathway to resolve those issues and following through to ensure those issues do not arise again.  This is where pragmatic advice is particularly useful.  Talking through the issues with you, how things might play out and how this might impact on you is an important part of what we do.  We call it reality testing and it is vital.

The involvement of a family lawyer is ideally only a brief part of your story.  We should not be the stars of your show.  You should be front and centre, making your own decisions and forging your new path.  Talk to us today about how we can help you find the right path to suit your circumstances and your family after separation.

First published 9 July 2017