Family Lawyers in NSW can provide valuable assistance and guidance in various legal matters related to families. They possess expertise in areas such as divorce, child custody, property settlements, and spousal support. These professionals are equipped to navigate complex legal processes, offer advice, and represent clients in court proceedings, ensuring the best possible outcomes for their clients.
Find out more about the role of a family lawyer, how they can help you, what services they provide and when you might need their help.
There are times in our lives when we may need the help of a family lawyer. Whether it be to help navigate a path through a divorce or separation, assistance with property and financial matters, or negotiating agreements for the care of a child. Let’s take a closer look at how family lawyers can help.
What Is A Family Lawyer?
Family lawyers have extensive experience and specialize in resolving and negotiating all matters related to family law. They provide expert legal advice to help resolve complex and sensitive family matters such as property settlement and parenting agreements to assist their clients in resolving their divorce or separation. Some family lawyers specialize in divorce and separation, they also cover a broad range of other legal matters. The services family law firms offer are extensive.
Family lawyers deal with clients when they are highly emotional, vulnerable, and sometimes bitter and angry. To deal with such an intensity of emotions and clientele takes a very specialized skill set. The best family lawyers can defuse a volatile situation with professionalism and sensitivity.
What Services Do Family Lawyers Provide?
- Divorce or Separation
- Child Custody Issues
- Consent Orders
- Parenting Issues
- Property Settlement
- Financial Issues
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Family Provision
- Spouse Maintenance
- Domestic Violence
- Dispute Resolution
- Wills and Deceased Estates
- Powers Of Attorney
- DeFacto Relationships
Divorce or Separation
Dealing with a relationship breakdown can be an extremely stressful and emotionally challenging time for any couple, particularly if children are involved. It is not always possible under these circumstances for a couple to agree, and quite often, problems arise after separation.
To be eligible for a divorce, you must show that your marriage has broken down and has no chance of reconciliation and that you have separated from your spouse or partner for at least 12 months.
Moving from your home, changes to your financial circumstances and new parenting arrangements for your children can be overwhelming. Luckily, divorce lawyers deal exclusively with these family law matters, and their team can help you get back on track.
A divorce lawyer can help make sure that their clients are aware of their entitlements. Many people who do not use legal representation often settle for less because they feel defeated, powerless and unsure. A law firm will assist with their client’s financial and property disputes and provide straightforward advice.
Child Custody And Consent Orders
A traumatic aspect of a divorce or separation is the impact that it can have on children, particularly if the relationship between parents becomes bitter and angry. No one wants to be in that situation. Luckily, a team of family law specialists can help restore harmony by providing a pathway to assist parents in caring for their child going into the future. A consent order is a document that focuses on the needs of the child. Divorce lawyers will carefully consider all relevant factors, including emotional and psychological needs, family dynamics, and practicalities involved.
Separated couples need to agree on how their child should divide their time and their living arrangements. Making a consent order is helpful because it makes sure that your agreement is legally binding, can be enforced, and can not be defaulted or changed without agreement and consultation from both parties.
The two primary considerations that family lawyers face when dealing with child custody are; the ability for the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, and the need to protect the child from psychological or physical harm. The court will take into consideration these factors when deciding the custody of the child. Ideally, the parents will agree on terms written in a parenting order. Otherwise, a hearing will occur, and the court will decide. Family law disputes can be long, drawn-out affairs.
Parenting issues are a big part of family law, and it can be a particularly stressful and emotional time for all concerned. Family law firms offer counseling and mediation services to help parents to reach an agreement about suitable arrangements for their child and to minimize the effect of separation. The couple is legally required to attend family dispute resolution sessions before filling in an application seeking parenting orders with the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia.
Alternatively, they can create a parenting plan, which is an unenforceable written record. This can be risky, as parents are not legally required to abide by their previously agreed conditions.
Lawyers who specialize in family law are experienced and can offer advice that will be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Mediation occurs between two parties to assist them in engaging in effective dispute resolution through consultation and discussion. Family lawyers can assist with negotiating property and parenting matters until an agreeable negotiated settlement is reached. Mediation can be an essential family law matter because it can be a cost-effective way for clients to get resolutions without the need to proceed to Federal Circuit Court and litigation. The mediator will address issues that are in dispute and will assist in resolving these issues. Mediation is also helpful in handling immediate matters such as spousal maintenance, child support, and interim property settlement. The client’s lawyers can formalize the agreement by drafting a legally binding settlement document.
Family lawyers deal with dispute resolution regularly. It is a crucial part of family law as it paves the way for negotiations to occur and for their clients to move forward.
A family lawyer can act as an intermediary in a dispute consultation by directly negotiating, engaging in settlement negotiations, and participating in mediation or informal settlement discussions. Face-to-face round table conferencing with family solicitors and clients can be an effective way to resolve matters. Lawyers can also communicate via written correspondence or meetings with the other party or their solicitor. This can be beneficial, mainly when direct negotiations are not possible between clients due to emotional stress or discomfort. Family lawyers can help to expedite a resolution.
In the event of a divorce, you will need to divide your family assets. This can include such items as the marital home, cars, furniture, investments, and superannuation. It can be an extremely stressful time.
Family law experts can help advise their clients about their entitlements and help to determine a suitable division of marital assets. Lawyers will identify, value, and list all property, liabilities, and resources from the marriage and decide how to divide the assets in a fair and equitable manner. Future earning capacity, commitments, responsibilities, personal contributions and adjustments will be considered. Most family lawyers will try to encourage their clients to agree on an equitable split of assets without the need to go to court, as it can be a very time-consuming, expensive, and stressful experience.
Property matters need to be managed carefully. Using a law firm familiar with these areas of property law will result in a positive outcome.
Several financial matters will arise after the breakdown of a marriage. A family lawyer can help their clients with the division of assets, spousal payments, child support, superannuation split orders, and other financial affairs. Family lawyers can create a formal consent order that will bind the parties’ financial agreement.
A binding financial agreement is like a contract that can be created at any time during your relationship. The benefits of having a document include: avoiding court proceedings to divide your assets, reduce conflict, and save money on court fees.
After a separation or divorce, when someone pays money to their husband, wife, or partner it is called spousal maintenance. It can also be referred to as alimony or spousal support. It provides financial support to the individual who is unable to support themselves after the separation.
There are considerations such as age, health, capacity to earn, and current income. It can be a crucial issue for divorcing couples, mainly when there is a significant variance between incomes and future earning capacity. Seeking advice from a law firm is essential to ensure that suitable maintenance payments are arranged, and all parties have a thorough understanding of their entitlements.
A prenup lists all individual property, debts, and assets that each person owns, usually created before a marriage. It is a contract used in separation to determine how the finances will be split between the couple. Also known as a binding financial agreement. Prenuptial agreements have strict legal guidelines for them to become legally valid. For peace of mind, you should seek advice from your family law team.
Family provisions can be a complex issue. If a child is estranged from their parents and is subsequently left out of their will, they are eligible to claim provision from the estate of their late parent. Certain circumstances determine the outcome, including the child’s financial need, wishes of the deceased, size of the estate, and the circumstances of the estrangement. Due to the extreme complexity of the claim, family lawyers should be involved throughout the entire process.
Domestic violence can affect people of any age, sex, or race. Identifying it can be difficult as the perpetrator will generally only act in a home environment. The law team will work closely with counselors, psychologists, social workers, and safe houses. Domestic violence can result in a criminal conviction, and family lawyers can help by providing advice to protect their client’s rights and deliver justice, which can be life-changing.
As well as physical violence, domestic abuse can also include threats and emotional attacks. Domestic violence can include:
- Threats of violence.
- Repeated derogatory comments.
- Depriving freedom of movement or speech.
- Damaging or destroying property.
In family law cases, an ADVO Apprehended Domestic Violence Order can protect individuals from a person they were in a relationship with. Breach of an ADVO can result in jail time.
A family law firm will have domestic violence lawyers who specialize in helping those in need, protecting their rights, and keeping them safe.
A will is your legal document used to name the people who will receive your property and possessions after you die. Making a will can ensure that assets will be distributed in the way you want.
If a will has not been correctly drawn up, estate disputes can arise, and it can be contested or challenged.
Seeking legal advice and guidance from your family lawyer is vital to ensure that your will is valid.
The property, assets, debts, and liabilities that belonged to an individual are known as their estate. A deceased estate was all of these items when they died, and a will provides detailed instructions about how they want their estate to be distributed after their death.
These items may include real estate, money, shares, and personal possessions.
If you are an executor or administrator, some steps need to be taken after someone has died. Duties can include submitting a final tax return on their behalf, formal notifications, and registering the deceased estate. In many cases, this may involve appointing a legal practitioner to act on your behalf. The logistics can become overwhelming and confusing. Family lawyers, particularly specialists who deal with property law, experience these matters regularly and can help to offer sound family law advice.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is someone you appoint to act on your behalf in matters relating to financial and legal affairs. When you cannot handle your financial affairs, your power of attorney can buy or sell things for you or operate your bank account. After you die, your power of attorney ceases automatically. It is therefore essential to also have a will. A power of attorney will also terminate if you become legally incapacitated, for example, a stroke or if you become unsound of mind. Many individuals opt for an enduring power of attorney instead of a power of attorney as they can continue to operate on your behalf even after you become legally incapacitated. This means that your financial affairs can be looked after by someone you know and trust and continue to meet your needs.
Seeking guidance from your family lawyers can help you understand and negotiate the process with ease.
De Facto Relationships
A couple who are not related or married that live together can be defined as de facto. They can be the same-sex or opposite sex. You need to live together for at least two years with your partner to be considered de facto.
While de facto relationships have the same rights and entitlements as married couples, the duration of the relationship is an essential factor. Unlike marriage, no readily identifiable date can be recorded; therefore, disputes can occur as to whether the relationship occurred at all.
Consult a lawyer who specialises in de facto relationships, as they can help ensure that the property settlement, parenting matters, and other aspects of the separation can be managed effectively.
Why Should You Seek Advice From A Family Law Specialist
- Negotiations can be made on your behalf when relationships breakdown and both parties are unable to communicate effectively
- Receive help and guidance to understand your legal entitlements
- Professional advice and strategic thinking
- Protect against future claims
- Specialist knowledge and experience to draft and submit relevant documents to the Federal Circuit Court or government agencies
- Explain and cut through the legal jargon
- Quick and efficient resolution to your matter
- Ensure your agreement is fair and equitable
- Provide strategic thinking and legally formalize your decisions by way of a financial agreement or legally binding consent order
- Independent and impartial viewpoint
- Intelligent and committed individuals working to ensure that you receive the best outcome for your family
- Support and understanding of legal issues during a time of extreme emotional distress
- Implement effective strategies to meet your needs
Family law is a complex and specialized field. Family lawyers are a rare breed as they need to possess exceptional personable skills to manage clients in an emotionally fragile state.
Family law matters can cover a broad spectrum, including separation and divorce, property settlement, parenting arrangements, child custody, property matters, mediation, dispute resolution, and domestic violence.
Imagine navigating your way through a separation or divorce. It can be an extremely challenging experience. It is comforting to know that your family law firm can guide you through the process and ensure that you are aware of your entitlements and legal rights.
Receiving accurate, professional advice at a time when you need it most can be reassuring. It is essential to make sure that you deal with an accredited specialist family lawyer who has comprehensive experience in all aspects of family law matters.