Have you recently separated from your partner?
Do you have unresolved matters which are preventing you from being able to completely move on with your life?
Are you financially tied to your partner and exposed to liabilities that will affect your credit rating and financial future?
Unresolved issues can include the division of the assets and liabilities of the relationship (irrespective of in whose name they are held). It may be somewhat unclear what the actual assets and liabilities of the relationship are.
There can also be matters relating to the living arrangements for your children to be discussed and agreed upon.
Understandably, you may wish to reach an agreement sooner rather than later, close that chapter and move on with your life (financially and personally). These are all reasonable desires and goals. However, the risk for you is that being blinded by the need to move on may cost you in the long run.
There are several reasons why you may want to reach mutual agreement as soon as possible. For example:
- you and your former partner are still amicable or are at least communicating respectfully on some level;
- your former partner is pressuring you to reach agreement telling you “it’s a good deal” and you may want that pressure to end sooner rather than later;
- you may feel guilty for the reasons surrounding separation (even though we have a no-fault system);
- you do not want to spend money on lawyers or cannot afford to do so;
- you do not think you need legal advice because you have heard about how the family law system works from friends, family or associates and are confident that you and your partner can sort it out fairly and simply; and
- you are stressed because of financial pressures such as an inability to service a mortgage or meet your day to day living costs or those of your children.
It is understandable to be a little afraid of the unknown. Average Australian’s don’t have a regular need to consult with a Solicitor and that process can be scary.
However, we strongly encourage you to take the step to obtain early legal advice. Bring along a support person or family member to assist in the emotional aspects of the process and come armed with questions that you need answered.
If you proceed without first seeking legal advice, there is a risk that you are proceeding not knowing your rights and entitlements. Doing so puts you at risk that your separation will cost you a lot more in the long term (both emotionally and financially).
Experienced and knowledgeable family lawyers understand and appreciate the emotional strength it takes to consult with a lawyer after separation. We understand that it can be daunting. Finding the right lawyer for you is of utmost importance.
At Marino Law, we have experienced family lawyers who, through their many years of practical and legal experience, will assist you in an empathetic but clear and concise manner, in order to give you the right advice and guidance.
If you have unresolved parenting matters, our family lawyers will identify the outstanding issues and guide you as to what should be included in your parenting agreement. These issues may relate to spending time, holidays, special occasions, handovers and communication. Whatever they may be, you can rest assured that your children’s best interests will be looked after.
If you have unresolved financial matters, the Marino Law family law team will assist you to identify:
- the assets, liabilities and financial resources available for division between you and your spouse or partner. This information is critical to determine what will ultimately be divided or kept by either you or your former partner;
- the contributions, financial and non-financial, made by you and your former partner, during the course of your relationship;
- whether you have a need for financial support on an interim basis and how to go about obtaining such support; and
- whether you or your former partner have any future needs, such as care of young children, or health needs that ought to be considered.
Remember, no two cases are the same.
Investing in an initial consultation with an experienced family lawyer will provide guidance as to the process of resolving your family law dispute (including alternative dispute resolution as opposed to litigation), what is the likely range of appropriate outcomes and how to practically achieve those outcomes and give you practical guidance as to steps you need to take before you can start negotiations.
Also, our family lawyers will assess and recommend any urgent measures you may need to take to protect property or children and advise you of your legal rights generally.
Money spent early following separation on sound legal advice can return significant savings down the track.