Family law is an umbrella term that refers to areas of law that deal with domestic relations. Issues and disputes that arise in marriages, civil unions and other domestic partnerships represent the bulk of family law matters. They often involve divorce, property settlement, child custody, and more. These can be complicated and messy situations which require family lawyers who are experienced, knowledgeable, compassionate and communicative to achieve fair if not amicable resolutions. This article explores three major areas of family law, including divorce, parenting and property division.
Separation and Divorce
Sadly, not all marriages and domestic partnerships last a lifetime. Sometimes, the parties involved experience irreconcilable difference and choose to terminate their relationship. This is often a less than amicable situation, causing financial and custodial disputes that need to be resolved. Family lawyers are trained and qualified to assist you with these issues, facilitating amicable discussions, negotiations and resolutions with the hope of avoiding court. While litigation can be unavoidable at times, family lawyers will do what they can to advocate on the behalf of each party. They can provide expert assistance navigating the divorce process to get it finalised as soon as possible, settling financial matters by advising you on what your entitlements might be, and applying for intervention orders if there are concerns about your safety and you require protection.
Parenting and Children
When parents decide to go their separate ways, their children are often in the crosshairs. The biggest issue usually involves who gets custody and how much time each parents gets. This can be extremely heated and toxic, causing distress and other impacts on the children caught in the middle. Family lawyers will facilitate discussions and negotiate agreements between parents, putting the interests and welfare of the children above every other priority. They’ll be able to work out details about where and with whom each child primarily lives and how much time each parent spends with them, as well as drafting out detailed timetables for parents to follow to create consistency. They can also handle urgent court applications for child recovery orders. An empathetic approach to these issues often ensures a swifter and more amicable resolution for all parties involved.
There are times when two people who have decided to separate can agree on the division of financial and property-related assets on their own. However, most of the time communication has broken down to the point that family lawyers are required to step in and negotiate on their behalf. They can work out the value of the asset pool, determine the contributions of each party to that pool over the years, adjust based on future needs, and provide advice on equitable entitlements. The goal is to achieve an amicable result without the need to go to court. Family lawyers can also assist clients with binding financial agreements, consent orders, spousal maintenance, and business or complex assets. This can be a challenging process which lawyers can help clients navigate.