Frequently asked Family Law Questions
- January 13, 2017
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Question: my husband and I have separated but are still amicable. We want to divide our property but we don’t want to go through the court process. We already know what each other is receiving from the split, how can we do this?
Answer: The best avenue possible would be for consent orders to be drawn up and signed to be submitted to the Court. This does not involve appearing before a Judge and is an alternate to the lengthy processes of going to trial. However, both parties must be 100 % agreeable on all terms therein.
Question: My Mum has passed away and I am a sole beneficiary of her estate. My partner and I have split 5 years ago and have final property orders, can he claim half of my inheritance?
Answer: NO. If the Court has ordered final property orders, your ex partner cannot make any reasonable claim as you have now been financially separated. The relationship was not ongoing (or even in the process of dispute or resolution) when this sum entered the asset pool. This enters your sole asset pool – not yours and his jointly.
Question: My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving in together, we have been together for 6 months. Can she take half of my possessions if we break up?
Answer: NO. In the Family Law Courts for her to claim any of your property, your relationship must fit the definition of a de facto relationship. This entails:
• Not related by family;
• Living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis for no less than two years and this must be at all times i.e. not 5 out of 7 nights a week;
Question: My partner and I separated 3 years ago and she has just won tattslotto, am I entitled to any?
Answer: No – your claim to her assets is 2 years after separation for de facto couple and 1 year after divorce for married couples
Question: I have just gotten out of a relationship with my ex partner of 20 years, we were a lesbian couple. We have 2 daughters, of which I carried both pregnancies using IVF. She now wants custody. Do I have superior claim to custody because they are technically my biological children?
Answer: The Court will make parenting orders based on what is in the best interests of the children. The mere fact that the mother has given birth to the child will not alter the Court’s view that their other parent is better able to be the primary carer. It is left up to the discretion of the Court.
Question: My Wife and I just split up. We have no children and are in middle age, my friend said she would get at least 70 % of my assets as this is what happened to him. Is this correct?
Answer: No. You would likely argue for a 50-50 split as there is no reason apparent that the Wife should be entitled to more than you. Some arguments for one party receiving more of the asset pool would be that they do not work and cannot work (i.e. disability).
Question: My partner left me and I think she is hiding assets. Is there anything I can do about this?
Answer: Unfortunately this is a common reoccurrence when one party is the bread winner and one party makes non-financial contributions to the home and family. To find out if there are assets we must ask for full and frank disclosure from the Wife/partner. Disclosure is the exchange of documentation pertaining to any financial assets, income or other documents that may be relevant to property pool of the marriage. If you believe that they have disposed of an asset the Court may provide a retrospective order to include that asset in the overall property pool, even though it has since been disposed of.