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Damien Greer
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There is a lot of confusion about the definition of a de facto relationship, not only because of the circumstantial nature of the definition under the Family Law Act 1975 but because of different definitions used for different purposes – for example, for Centrelink purposes, a couple is considered to be in a de facto relationship from the moment they start living together, while under migration law, parties must be able to show that they have been living together for a period of 12 months or longer.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, the rules are not so straightforward and there is an added degree of complexity when determining whether two people have been in a de facto relationship as the Court instead evaluates a number of factors such as the duration of the relationship, whether there are any children of the relationship and the the degree of financial dependence between the parties.

Furthermore, both the legislation and the Courts have acknowledged that a de facto relationship can exist even if one of the persons in the de facto relationship is legally married to someone else or in another de facto relationship with another person.

Visit our family law blog to learn more about the definition of a de facto relationship.
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The latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in their publication entitled Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2016.
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Statistics show that in Australia, as many as one third of relationships end in separation or divorce.

With the growth of relationship breakdowns, there has also been a spiralling of misinformation or generalisations when it comes to answering the question of “who gets what” in a property settlement after a divorce or separation.

The truth of the matter is that there are no hard and fast rules or rules of thumb as to which party may get more in the event of relationship breakdown. The reality is that each case is decided on its own facts and will differ from the outcome in the matter before and after it.

While seemingly complicated, using a family or divorce lawyer helps to simplify the process.

While there are logical steps in the process, there is unfortunately no “one size fits all” outcome and ultimately who gets what after a divorce or separation will be dependent on many different factors.
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Broadly speaking, property settlement in divorce refers to the division of assets (such as the family home, vehicles, savings, share accounts and/or the business), liabilities (such as credit card debts, personal or business loans, and/or the mortgage) and superannuation interests between separating parties. But how is property settlement decided in Australia?

Visit our Family Law blog to learn more.
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Even if you are fortunate enough to be in the category of couples who are able to maintain a positive co-parenting post-separation, going through a separation or divorce is never going to be easy and will take time to adjust to your new normal.

The initial period after separation is often the hardest period, particularly when there are unsettled questions about parenting arrangements, outstanding financial matters to be settled and new living arrangements to get used to.

Fortunately, in this day and age, there are a number of resources online to help parents get on the same page about parenting their children post-separation, such as the Triple P Parenting Program (available through providers such as Uniting Care, Relationships Australia and Centacare) and for everyday communication, there are also a number of apps available for parents to utilise.

To learn more about some of the apps and resources available to separated families, please click on the link to our blog article below.
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Applying for a Divorce Order can be an overwhelming prospect depending on the current relationship you have with your former partner. Irrespective of how amicable you are with your spouse, whether it was you or your spouse that was the one to initiate separation, or whether a long time has passed since separation, there is undoubtedly a huge range of emotions that can be experienced when you start divorce proceedings. Listed below, we cover some of the initial documents that you will need to familiarise yourself with if and when you want to obtain a Divorce Order.
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If your marriage has, unfortunately, reached an end, and there is no potential or desire to reconcile, you may wish to consider finalising the relationship by obtaining a Divorce Order.

Our latest blog article looks at the legal considerations of how best to inform your spouse of your desire to obtain a Divorce
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Carry out any divorce related internet search and your browser will be inundated with search results that purport to a quick, easy and often incredulously cheap divorce.

Reality is however very different and rarely can providers deliver on those sales hooks.

The first thing to know is that getting divorced is not the same as negotiating and obtaining a property settlement - and the costs and time associated with each of these things will vary from matter to matter.

Visit our Family Law blog to learn more about the length of time involved and the general process for each.
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Going through a separation or divorce is never going to be easy as there is inevitably going to be a huge wave of emotion including but not limited to stress, grieving, potentially some guilt and in many cases anger that can lead to an acrimonious battle between the two parties.

Visit our Family Law blog to learn about some of the coping strategies our previous clients have found useful.
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It will come as no surprise to those currently going through a separation or divorce, that this is widely regarded as one of the most stressful and challenging stages in life.

Independent studies show that other than the death of a spouse or family member, divorce and marital separation tops the list.

Family Law Mediation can not only present an alternative means of resolution, but can lead to more tailored, interest based outcomes that both parties are satisfied with.

Visit our Family Law Blog to learn more about this process.
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