I am separating from my partner and he/she has threatened to take the house and the kids, is that possible?
It depends on the circumstances of your family, including the length of your relationship, the age of your children (or if you have children at all) and your future needs.
Assets will be divided depending on the following:
- who had what to the beginning of the relationship;
- who contributed what during the relationship – both financial and non-financial;
- any debts incurred and for what purpose;
- who is going to care for the children in the future; and
- your future needs and the needs of the children.
The time the children spend with each parent will depend on their age, maturity and the practicably of a shared care arrangement. At law, there is a presumption of shared parental responsibility (i.e. major life decision including schooling, medical, religious) and shared time. The reality is one parent is often the primary caregiver and the children will live with them and spend time with the other.
My partner and I separated and we have come to an agreement privately, what do we do now?
You will need a legally binding document to protect yourself in the future.
If you have an agreement you can either apply to the Family Court of Australia for Consent Minutes of Order (personally or through a lawyer) or instruct a solicitor to draft a Binding Financial Agreement.
Consent Minutes and Binding Financial Agreements outline the agreement reached. Both options bring to an end your and your partner’s property claims against the other.
My ex-partner is threatening to take me to court but I want to try mediation, can he/she do that?
The Court requires people to try mediation or Family Dispute Resolution before initiating proceedings in either the Federal Circuit or Family Courts. When you file an application you must file a certificate from a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
There are some exceptions including, however we will always suggest that you try to resolve the matter before going to Court.