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Just Separated - Whats Next?

March 2011

Whether you are married or have been in a domestic relationship, if you are contemplating separation you should also think about your family law obligations and entitlements before you finally decide to separate. At such an important stage in your life, it is vital that your transition to a new life be as easy as possible. At iLaw Barristers & Solicitors, we pride ourselves on assisting you to make the correct choices and take the best steps forward.

At you initial consultation with our family law practitioner you will be asked the following questions:

  • whether you have been married or cohabiting with your partner for less than two years
  • whether you have communicated your concerns and/or intentions about separation to your partner, or whether you feel it is not safe to do so
  • whether you have engaged in family and/orrelationship counselling
  • whether you have children, and if so:
    • their ages, health, developmental and educational needs
    • their current residence and care arrangements including any financial arrangements and/or orders made by a court or the Child Support Agency
    • the arrangements you intend for their future care, development and wellbeing
  • whether you have been the primary domestic carer in the relationship
  • whether you or your partner contributed either financially (or otherwise) to the maintenance and/or improvement of each other’s income earning capacity, financial and educational standing
  • whether you have other financial and/or welfare responsibilities for dependents and if so:
    • their relationship to you
    • your degree of responsibility for that person
    • whether court orders are in place and if so which orders, and
    • the current and future anticipated cost of those responsibilities
  • whether you entered a financial agreement with your spouse/partner, either before the relationship or during, and if you have a copy of the agreement and/or any subsequent variation to that agreement including through a court order
  • the assets of the partnership prior to the relationship and:
    • what portion of those assets were your ‘sole’ property
    • your financial and other contributions to the maintenance and improvement of the relationship assets
    • if disposed of during the relationship, why, when, to whom, for what value and whether you benefitted from the sale
  • you and your partner’s superannuation details
  • whether you and/or your partner are named in a will or have received an inheritance
  • if you have received an inheritance, when, the value and what financial and/or other contribution it made to the relationship
  • whether the relationship has created and/or used other legal entities such as a company, family trust, business partnership or other business structure and if so:
    • the assets and liabilities of the business including whether the business is or intends to be involved in litigation
    • the actual earnings to date and anticipated earnings of the business
    • your role in the business including whether you are a named company officer or have exercised care and control over the day to day running of the business and/or made major decisions for the business
    • your intentions for the future operation of the business and your degree of involvement (if any), and
  • the liabilities/debts of the relationship including all mortgages, credit cards, store cards, personal loans, lines of credit etc.
Please Note: The information contained in this article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as anything more than general comment. Readers of this article should not act on the basis of this comment without consulting one of iLaw’s legal practitioners who will consider their particular circumstances