Divorce & Family Law

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How We Help Our Family Law Clients

Divorce

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast are experienced Family Lawyers on the Gold Coast who can help you to apply or respond to a Divorce Application.

We understand that this may be a difficult time in your life and that you want your divorce to be completed expeditiously and with little hassle. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can help ensure your divorce progresses smoothly.


Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

When can I apply for a Divorce?

The parties to a marriage must be separated for a period of twelve (12) months before they can apply for a divorce. There must also be no prospect of the parties reconciling. There is however, no time limit for seeking an order to divide marital property or to seek orders involving children of the marriage. Click on the Family Law Property link or the Family Law Children link for more information on those topics.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Do I have to appear in Court?

Your application for Divorce will be filed in the Federal Circuit Court (formally the Federal Magistrates Court). You will be required to appear before the Court in matters involving children under 18 years of age. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can represent you in any matter before the Court.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Will the Court blame me or my spouse for the separation?

In Australia we have a no fault system. This means that no blame will be placed on either party at the time a Divorce Order is made.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Do I have to wait until I am divorced before we split the property or make formal arrangements for our children?

No. Matters involving the division of property and formal arrangements for children of the marriage can be dealt with at any time. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you with these matters. Please click on the Family Law Property link or the Family Law Children link for more information.

If you have not legally divided your property (through the appropriate court order or binding financial agreement) at the time of your divorce you should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast as time limits apply in relation to the division of your marital assets.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


The Application was filed in Brisbane can Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast still assist me in the matter?

Yes. The lawyers at Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast frequently appear before the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane and Southport.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.

Property / Financial Matters

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast has the experience to assist you in finalising the division of assets after you separate from your partner (including same sex) or spouse.

It can be difficult to work out your entitlements to property and other assets after separation. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can provide guidance to you on what you may be entitled to and can help you navigate the best way to achieve this.


Frequently Asked Questions About Dividing Property and Other Assets After Separation

How long do I have to wait to finalise property matters after separation?

Property division can be finalised at any time after separation. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you to negotiate with your former partner and /or make the necessary applications before the Court.

It is however, important to realise that time limits do exist for finalising property divisions. For example:

  • Property matters must be finalised within 12 months of a divorce application being finalised.
  • Property matters must be finalised within 2 years after separation for defacto couples.

If you do not comply with those time limits you may lose your entitlements. Accordingly, it is important that you contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Do I have to appear in Court?

Not all matters involving property division need to go to Court. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast have the experience to mediate and negotiate property matters to assist you in finalising property division without the need to go to court. Please view our Agreements link for more information.

However, some matters unfortunately can not be finalised without the Court’s assistance. In these more complicated matters, Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can represent you to ensure your interests are protected.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Some of the Property or Other Assets are in my partner’s name only. Does this mean I am not entitled to those assets?

No. When determining what assets to divide, all assets that either party has an interest in may be included. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in working out your entitlements to assets that may not be in your name.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


What Property or Assets Will the Court Consider When Dividing Assets?

The types of property that can be divided include:

  • Real Property such as houses, units, land, commercial property etc.
  • Interests in businesses or companies
  • Shares
  • Superannuation
  • Furniture and contents
  • Jewellery
  • Cars, boats, caravans, etc
  • Cash

It does not matter if the above property is owned by only one partner it may still be included in the division of assets.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you to work out what assets will be included.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


My partner has filed an application before the Court, what do I do now?

It will be necessary for you to respond to the Application. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you with this.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


My partner refuses to give me details of all the assets or property. What can I do?

The Family Law Act requires that both parties provide full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances to the other party. A court can compel either party to comply with this requirement.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


How much will I get?

There is no precise formula for calculating what parties will retain in a property settlement. Instead the Court considers a range of factors, including:

  • The value of the assets. It may be necessary for valuations to be obtained to determine this.
  • The contributions made by each party before, after and during the relationship. This includes financial contributions but also non-financial contributions such as caring for the home or family.
  • The needs of the parties. For example, considering their health, earning capacity, children they care for etc.
  • Whether a particular settlement is fair and reasonable.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast has the experience to provide you with a range of appropriate outcomes based on the facts that the Court would consider.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.

Children / Parenting Matters

Working out what will happen with the children of a relationship after separation can be tricky. Everyone wants what is best for their children and to make sure they are happy, safe and cared for.

The Court’s paramount consideration when making an order in relation to children of a relationship is the "best interests of the child".


Alternative Dispute Resolution Process

The Court understands that, in most cases, parents know what is in the best interests of their children and so in 2007 it became mandatory for parents to attempt to mediate (or reach an agreement) through an approved Dispute Resolution Practitioner in matters involving children.

There are some exceptions to this requirement including where there is family violence or the matter is urgent.

It is a good idea for parties to be legally represented during this Dispute Resolution process to ensure the needs of the children are fully met. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can discuss with you your expectations and what to expect during this process.

If parties are able to reach an agreement in relation to their children then Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in finalising that agreement. Please see the Family Law – Agreements / Settling out of Court link for more information.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


Going to Court

When parties do not reach an agreement or the matter is urgent or involves family violence it may be necessary for the parties to seek the Court’s assistance. Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast has experience representing clients in both the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court. We understand that this can be a difficult time and we will work with you to ensure you understand and are part of the process.


Frequently Asked Questions About Children and Parenting Matters

My ex-partner has stopped me seeing our children. What can I do?

Children have a right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. The exception being where it is not in the child’s best interest. This may include circumstances where there is family violence or a risk of harm to a child.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in matters involving children disputes, including assisting to reach an agreement or seek orders from the Court to live with or spend time with your children.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.


My ex-partner and I have reached an agreement in relation to our children. Do we still need to go to Court?

No. If both parents have reached an agreement in relation to their children you will not be required to go to Court unless the agreement is not in the best interests of the children. However, Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast recommends that you formalise any agreement.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you to formalise your agreement. Please view the Family Law – Agreements / Settling out of Court link for more information.

This information is general information and is to be used as a guide only. You should contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast for proper advice.

Child Support / Maintenance

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can provide you with advice in relation to Child Support payments and Spousal Maintenance entitlements.

Contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast today to arrange an appointment.


Defacto Matters

The Family Law Act now recognises de facto couples, including same sex couples. This means that the Family Courts can determine matters involving the division of property between separated de facto couples.

A de facto relationship exists where:

  • Parties have lived together in a domestic relationship for at least 2 years.
  • There is a child of the de facto relationship.
  • A party has made substantial financial or non-financial contributions towards property. This will include as homemaker or parent.
  • The relationship has been registered.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in determining your entitlements to property. Contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast today to arrange an appointment.


Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence includes:

  • Physical and verbal abuse.
  • Psychological abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Social abuse.
  • Financial abuse.
  • Deliberately damaging a person’s property.
  • Threatening to injure a person or damage their property.

If you are the victim of Domestic Violence, Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you to obtain a Protection Order against the perpetrator to ensure your safety.

If you have been served with a Protection Order application and you do not believe the circumstances warrant such an order then Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in defending such an application.

Contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast today to discuss your options.


DOCS / Child Safety

If you are involved in a matter with the Department of Child Safety Services, Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast today to discuss your options.


Agreements / Settling out of Court

With the help of experienced Dispute Resolution Practitioners or mediators, many Family Law matters do not end up in Court.

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast can assist you in negotiating, preparing and finalising agreements, including Financial Agreements, Parenting Agreements, Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

Contact Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast today to arrange a consultation.


Trust Our Experienced Family Law Experts

Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast will be with you every step of the way in your Family Law Matter. We pride ourselves in providing quality and cost effective family law advice.

We have extensive experience in all Family Law matters and we provide advice that you will understand but that will protect you into the future.

Operating since 2003, Smithson Lawyers Gold Coast is an established local Gold Coast firm. Our firm has continued largely because of referrals from clients who have previously used us.

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Separating and Dividing Assets - Things You Should be Doing Now

How to Make Separation Easy With Family Dispute Resolution

Divorce - How To Apply for A Divorce in Australia

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Marriage Over - How Will My Property Get Divided?

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The Effects of Separation on Children

Domestic Violence - Enough Already!