Australia’s family law system is designed to provide resolutions for the legal aspects of family relationship issues. This includes the resolution of parenting arrangements and financial/property settlements following family relationship breakdowns.
In parenting cases, the family court is required to make orders that are in the best interests of the child. In property/financial cases, the court considers a number of different factors before dividing the family’s assets.
The Family Law Act (1975) is the most important legislation governing relationships in Australia. It covers the important family concerns that include married and de facto relationships, same-sex relationships, divorces, parenting, and property settlements of ex-partners.
During the resolutions on legal issues in relationship law, the Family Law Gold Coast is also involved in negotiations, mediations, court proceedings, binding financial agreements, consent orders, and parenting plans.
Family law in the past was closely connected with the law of property and succession. This goes further even with regard to the relationship between parent and child.
This includes legal concepts like guardianship, custody, and legitimacy associated with family power structures and economic interests.
Likewise, family law, by tradition, has to do with matters of personal status (whether or not a person is to be considered married or single, legitimate or illegitimate). However, the incidents and importance of these distinctions are often derived from the law of property.
You and your partner need to identify and value ALL your assets, liabilities, and financial resources that either of you have an interest in. This is at the time of the property settlement which includes property owned jointly, separately or with a third party.
Properties that need to be identified and valued include a party’s entitlement to something in the future such as discretionary trusts and anticipated inheritances. Each party must disclose to the other all relevant information and documentation.
Failure to disclose may have serious consequences. Once all the property has been identified and must then be valued. These values can be agreed between you and your ex partner or valuations can be obtained by an independent expert.
Additional property settlement cases
Property settlements after the breakdown of a relationship are as variable as the relationship and no two cases are the same.
Some details include time limits to those seeking property settlements. The usual rule is that you have 12 months from divorce or 2 years from separation in de facto cases. If you let time run out, you may be prevented from applying for a property settlement.
There are also alternatives to litigation used in Family Law (negotiation and mediation). If an agreement is reached, there is no need to go to court to get court orders. These can be prepared and sent to the court and if the court agrees that they are just and equitable it will make ‘consent orders’.
Financial agreements are alternatives to court orders. These can be made at the outset of a relationship (‘pre-nups’), during or after separation. (People are advised to get legal advice before these can be made).
Regarding property settlements applications top court, the court will, as far as possible, make such orders to finally determine the financial relationship between you and your partner. This is to avoid further court proceedings.
Shared social issues
Family law also shares an interest in certain social issues with other areas of law, including criminal law. One issue that has received considerable attention since the late 20th century is the very difficult problem of violence within the family.
This takes the form of physical violence by one adult member on another or by an adult onto a child or some other violent or abusive conduct within a family circle.
In serious cases, the solution to take is to terminate cohabitation or to remove an abused child from the family unit (and into some form of public or foster custody).
Domestic Violence / Family Abuse
Family violence affects thousands of people across Australia. If you have issues related to family violence, it is important to take steps to protect yourself or to defend yourself from unfounded allegations.
The courts can provide measures of protection in instances of domestic violence (issuing DVOs and AVOs).
Family violence means violent, threatening or other behavior by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful.
Other behavioral inclusions
Behavior that may constitute family violence include (but are not limited to) assault, sexual assault or sexually abusive behavior, stalking, repeated derogatory taunts, and intentionally damaging or destroying property.
Additionally, it also includes intentionally causing death or injury, or unreasonably denying a family member the financial autonomy, unreasonably withholding financial support needed, preventing a family member to connect with friends and other family members and unlawfully depriving a family member of his or her liberty.
Where there is an order or allegations have been made about domestic violence this can have serious consequences in your Family Law case. In parenting matters, a court has to consider family violence.
This is used in ascertaining what orders are in the best interests of the child or the aggrieved party. Family or domestic violence can influence the outcome.
Currently, the general principal now applicable in Australia is that financial support for a child is dealt with by an administrative assessment carried out by the Department of Human Services. This is part of the Federal government.
The Department’s assessment of child support is based upon the living arrangements for the child. Also, this is through the application of an arithmetical formula determined by the Department (by reference to the Child Support Assessment Act 1989).
The child support costs can be calculated by reference to the parents’ earnings after deducting a self-support amount for each parent. This amount of support varies according to the age of the child.
The parents are to share costs proportionately having regarded the level of care (in particular overnight time) and their income.
The general principal now applicable in Australia is that financial support for a child is dealt with by an administrative assessment carried out by the Department of Human Services which is part of the Federal government.
The Department’s assessment of child support is based upon the living arrangements for the child and by the application of an arithmetical formula determined by the Department (by reference to the Child Support Assessment Act 1989).
The intention is that child support costs can be calculated by reference to the earnings of the parents after deductions of self-support for each of them.
The amount of support varies according to the age of the child. Parents mush share costs proportionately having regard the level of care and income.