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Ipswich Family Lawyers Will Guide You Through Separation and Divorce

Ipswich Family Lawyers Will Guide You Through Separation and Divorce

How Do You Start a Family Law Action – and With Who?

It can be a bewildering time.  You may need to initiate a family law action because of a separation or pending divorce.  There are assets involved and you know you need to find a family law lawyer in Ipswich or one of the surrounding communities: Browns Plains, Jimboomba, Beenleigh, Beaudesert, Boonah and Springwood.  Where do you start?


It sounds obvious, but the best way is with a lawyer.  Not all lawyers are created equal. You need to find a lawyer who is experienced in family law. Your personal life and work schedule is likely hectic and it is helpful that the lawyer is prepared to work around your schedule – and not the reverse.  Look for a lawyer who has meeting rooms close to you, or who is willing to meet with you at your home or place of work, during or after regular office hours.  That flexibility could also include meetings in person or by video conferencing.


Another thing to factor in – is the lawyer sympathetic to your family law concern?  Think about this word: "compassionate”.  You are entering one of the most intense and stressful times of your life.  Your relationship is ending and you have to make incredibly hard decisions about your children and property.  You want someone who cares.


It starts with a simple phone call.  You can set up an initial consultation with the lawyer, at which time your legal situation will be assessed.  The lawyer will ask you to prepare for that assessment, by being ready to give a clear picture of your assets before your relationship began, the acquisition of assets during the course of it, and any changes after your relationship ended.  In return, you can expect a very clear answer by the lawyer to any questions you have concerning the costs of the process.  Depending on the action being taken, you may have the option for a flat fee – or an hourly rate.


What is a De Facto Relationship?

The basis of an action in family law relies on the establishment of the existence of a spousal or de facto relationship.  The latter is usually simple to establish – it simply means that you and your partner have a legally recognized relationship or are, in any event, in a relationship and are living together.  There is room to manoeuvre even within that – it is possible to be in a de facto relationship even if you maintain separate residences. Among the other factors, the court would consider are a sexual relationship, the maintenance of joint finances, if one party is supporting the other and if a couple presents themselves as being a de facto couple in public.


Division of Assets in De Facto Relationships

Couples in a relationship after March 1, 2009, can initiate an action for a property settlement without the other party’s consent.  The Court will only make Orders for a property settlement if the de facto relationship has lasted two years or more, or if there is a child of the relationship (some exceptions exists).  The Court will also consider if one party has made a significant contribution during the relationship and whether there would be an injustice if it did not make an order for property settlement, or the de facto relationship was legally registered in a State or Territory.

Child Custody and De Facto Relationships

Children of de facto relationships are treated in the same fashion as with married couples moving through the divorce process. Their best interests are always in the mind of the courts and the lawyers that serve them. Separation can be a roller coaster of emotions and having an intuitive legal team working on your side provides the right guidance when handling complex legal situations involving children.

If a couple going through separation can agree on child care arrangements, they can create a mutually agreeable child care plan or obtain consent orders from the court. A parenting plan is worked out between two parents jointly and details the parenting arrangements. With a parenting plan, you and your ex will not have to go to court. However, these plans should be reviewed by a legal team to ensure it is fair and in the best interest of the children.

A consent order is a written agreement approved by the courts. It covers parenting arrangements and also financial agreements between you and your ex-partner pertaining to the welfare and care of your children. The court must be satisfied by the consent order that it was created with the child’s best interests in mind. 


There’s a lot to consider.  An Ipswich family law lawyer will take you through the process – you just need to make that first phone call.

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