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The Myth of the Right to Equal Time

Rights and Responsibilities As far as parents are concerned the family law legislation talks about “responsibilities”. The only “rights” addressed in the legislation are the rights of the children. Children’s rights include the right to know and be cared for by both their parents. Parents are required to jointly share duties and responsibilities concerning their children. The old language of “guardianship”, “custody” and “access” has gone and we now talk about “parental responsibility”, “lives with” and “spends time with”. This is in a large part to take away language which implies ownership of children. In deciding what orders to make …read more

The Views of the Child

The views of children are one of the factors which are considered by the Court in deciding what living arrangements are in the best interests of the children. It is however only one of many factors which the Court considers and is not decisive. Section 60 CC of the legislation sets out the factors considered by the court. Nonetheless, the older that a child is, the greater weight the Court will place on their wishes, dependent on the maturity of the child. The Court often expresses the view that what a child wants and what a child needs are two …read more

Time Limits

Children There are no time limitations on making an application to the court regarding children’s matters. Matrimonial Property Once you have been divorced, you need to file an application for property or financial orders, including spousal maintenance, within twelve months of the divorce becoming final. If you fail to make the application within twelve months you can only file proceedings with the special permission of the Court. This means that an Application for Leave to Proceed out of Time must be filed. The court will hear the application and make a decision based on the individual circumstances of each case. …read more

What Happens When You Separate?

The date that a married or de facto couple separate is the date that in their own minds the relationship has come to an end. Usually there is a decisive event, a discussion or an argument which has taken place and at which one party or the other either leaves the joint home or they separate under the one roof. Once a decision has been made that your relationship is at an end it is important to give consideration to the following;- You should attend at Relationships Australia and make arrangements for a Mediation with your former partner. That Mediation …read more

Who Gets the House In A Property Settlement?

The simple answer is: whoever can afford it. The slightly more difficult question of ‘who can afford it?’ can only be answered by first working out the basis for a property settlement and what each party, overall, is likely to be entitled to. Section 79 of the Family Law Act 1975 sets out the things a Court must take into account when determining each party’s entitlement to the property they both own. The first step, however, is to determine exactly what the parties own and how much it is all worth, less any liabilities, to arrive at a net value …read more

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