Separation Lawyers Melbourne

Separation Lawyers

Advice for married couples, de facto and same-sex partners who have separated or are thinking about separating.

Separating is a stressful, complicated experience for most people. There’s a lot to organise when separating from your partner from living arrangements to dividing finances, and interim parenting arrangements for your children.

Gaining Legal Advice From a Family Lawyer

Whether you’re married, in a de facto or same-sex relationship, it’s important to seek legal advice about the separation process from a specialist Melbourne family lawyer.

Gaining advice before you separate can increase your options now and in the future and provide for a better outcome. Even if you are just thinking about separating, it’s worth having a chat with us to get the information you need to make informed decisions.

What many people don’t realise is the actions they take in the early days of separation, or shortly before separation, can set a precedent and impact them long-term. We can advise you on living and parenting arrangements, what to expect during separation, and how to make the process as smooth as possible. Early advice provides you with the most options and often a better outcome.

If you have already separated, we can advise you on your options. We can run mediation sessions, negotiate with the other party for a cost-effective separation and represent you in court, if required.

We understand that separation is a very difficult and stressful time, which is why we work tirelessly to support you and ensure the best outcome.

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    Separation vs Divorce

    When it comes to family law matters, separation and divorce have legal similarities. Separation occurs when one party communicates to the other party that they want to end the relationship. This applies to both de facto relationships and married relationships.

    If you are considering separation vs divorce, our Melbourne separation lawyers can help you to understand the entire process and make proper arrangements in the instance of a relationship breakdown.

    How Can a Family Law Firm Help?

    Our team of Melbourne family lawyers, accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria, have extensive experience in family matters with family businesses and complex asset pools.

    If you have separated from your marriage and are not ready to divorce, we can help with creating a separation agreement also known as a Binding Financial Agreement to protect you financially. A separation agreement protects you from future disputes and unforeseen property or asset-liability issues.

    It’s essential to gain legal advice from experienced family lawyers so you can make informed choices around your separation. We understand that lengthy court proceedings at Family Court can be expensive, so we will strive to achieve outcomes that are efficient and dignified.

    Personal Advice On Family Law Matters

    You may have collected information and had advice from family and friends, but everyone’s situation is different. The right legal advice from a family law firm can provide valuable information so you know your rights and entitlements and help you make decisions on legal issues surrounding separation.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Qualifies as Legal Separation in Australia?

    Under the Family Law Act, separation occurs when one party communicates to the other party that they no longer wish to remain in the relationship. This can occur in the context of both marriages and de facto relationships.

    Why Does the Date I Separated From Someone Matter?

    The date that you separated is important for divorce applications and financial settlement claims. This is because there are time waiting periods or time limits that apply to these applications.

    To file a divorce application in Australia, a couple must be separated for at least 12 months. Once a Divorce Order has been made, parties have a period of 12 months from the date of the order to bring an application for a property settlement.

    De facto couples have two years from the date of separation to make a property settlement or spousal maintenance claim.

    Can My Partner & I Be Separated But Still Live Together?

    Yes – this is called ‘separation under the one roof’. In some cases, parties may continue to live in the same house for many reasons, including financial limitations.

    Family law recognises parties as being separated if they no longer live together as a couple, i.e they no longer share a bed nor socialise together as a couple.

    My Partner & I Have Separated - What Happens to Our Children?

    Legal matters relating to children are a complex area of family law.

    Following a separation, arrangements will need to be made if there are children involved. Our Melbourne family lawyers will ask all the right questions to find out what you want in terms of parenting arrangements such as:

    • Who will the children live with most of the time?
    • How will financial support/child support be provided?
    • How will education needs be met?
    • How will health care needs be met?

    From here, we can help you to formalise a parenting plan into formal Court Orders. And in the case that arrangements cannot be achieved, we can represent you in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Law Court.

    My Partner & I Have Separated - Do We Need To Get Divorced?

    If you have separated from marriage, divorce is an option but is not required.

    Divorce is the process of legally ending a marriage, whereas separation does not require any legal process. Divorce legally separates you from your partner financially and you need to know what this means for your financial situation and your living arrangements.

    Some separated couples may try to reconcile their relationship via family counselling before choosing to get divorced. There are many reasons that separated couples may choose to remain separated and not get divorced.

    If you do choose to get divorced, our Melbourne divorce lawyers will guide you through the divorce process and ensure you receive a fair and successful outcome. This includes the formal termination of the marriage and the resolution of property matters and children’s matters.

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