Clearing Up Some Common Misconceptions About Family Law in Australia

Law Blog

When you and your spouse are ready to end your relationship, you may hesitate to see a family lawyer simply because you're afraid of what you might face in family court. This is often due to many misconceptions about family law and how it works in Australia; note a few of those misconceptions here, so you can separate the fact from the fiction and feel more comfortable about approaching a lawyer regarding your legal questions.

Things are always split 50/50

When a couple separate, you may assume that the husband and wife get all property and monies in a 50/50 split, or that the wife always gets the house, the husband always gets the cars, and so on. In truth, courts use a number of factors to determine which spouse gets what property; these factors include the welfare of children, the income of each spouse, and so on. You should never make any assumptions as to how property and finances are split after a divorce; talk to a family lawyer instead, so he or she can give you personalized recommendations for handling financial issues, if you should decide on a divorce.

Children can decide where they will live

While children may have some input on their preferred living arrangements, or the spouses may discuss this before splitting, the courts have no legal obligation to follow these opinions; in all cases, it is the job of the court to determine the best interests of the child. As an example, a child may want to live with a parent who is more lax about rules, but a court may see that attitude as being dangerous to a child's development. The court may also see that one spouse coerced the other in order to get custody of the children. In these cases, the courts will set aside the input of the family and decide on what they feel is best for the children overall.

Bad behaviour means a better outcome for you

Australia has a "no fault" divorce system, which means you can't use the other spouse's bad behaviour in order to get more support, full custody of the kids, and so on; even if your spouse cheated, this won't affect your divorce proceedings. The only exceptions to this rule would be cases of abuse that are taken into consideration for child custody matters, or mishandling of the finances that might affect spousal support. A family attorney can give you personal advisement on your own relationship and how this would affect your divorce case.


11 July 2017

Dealing With Divorce

Hello, my name is Sandra. I live with my two children in Eastern Australia. I have recently come through a very difficult divorce. My ex-partner used to drink too much and he wasn't a very good husband or father. The final straw was when I discovered he was having an affair. I filed for divorce the same day. I knew that getting divorced would be difficult but I didn't realise just how difficult. My husband did all he could to make it hard for me and the kids. Thankfully, I found a fantastic family lawyer who helped me through the entire process. I won custody of the kids and my husband has been asked to pay child support. I decided to start this blog to help others who are going through a divorce.