Family Lawyers Adelaide.

Going through a divorce or separation can be such a challenging and emotional time in anyone’s life. At Mahony’s Lawyers our specialist team will guide you through the process, from our 4 convenient locations in Salisbury, Campbelltown, Woodville and Mt Gambier.

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Going through a divorce or separation can be such a challenging and emotional time in anyone’s life. Our Family Law team offer a combination of professionalism and sensitivity to help you through this phase of your life, including support with the settlement of property and custody of children.

Family Law Office Adelaide
Family Law Services

We can provide you with expert advice on a range of Family Law matters including:

  • Obtaining a divorce.
  • Property settlement. (marital and de-facto)
  • Pre-cohabitation agreements.
  • Parenting orders and children’s requirements.
Divorce and Separation

In Australia, we have a no-fault divorce system, meaning that you do not have to show that the breakdown of your marriage was caused by either party. All you need to show to the court is that you have been separated from your spouse for a period of 12 months and that there is no possibility of reconciliation (there are some exceptions where the marriage was less than 2 years, and we can talk you through those exceptions if applicable to you).

Being separated from your spouse does not mean that you have to live apart; you can be separated from your spouse and still live under the same roof. You do need to show to a court that despite living under the same roof you are living separate lives.

Mahony’s Lawyers will assist you in preparing all the necessary court documents and serving them (if required) upon your spouse. We take the stress out of a divorce by handling all the paperwork for you and making the process of divorce and separation as smooth as possible.

Property Settlement - Division of Assets

Property settlement involves dividing up the property of the marriage/de facto relationship and is separate to the divorce proceedings. Property includes items such as a house, car, boat, furniture and effects, savings in bank, shares, superannuation, potential compensation claims and debts.

Property settlement can occur:

  • after separation.
  • before divorce.
  • whilst you are applying for divorce.
  • after a divorce is granted. (note there are time limits applicable)
Mediation with your former partner

It is recommended that you prepare an outline of what property you and your former partner have at the date of separation and estimate the values of each item and debt. This will form a rough asset pool and will assist in working through the division of the property. We will work with you to ascertain the amount of property we are dealing with to work out the division of the property to each spouse. You may wish to speak with your former spouse about the division of the property to agree on the value of the property and the asset pool as this will make the division of the property quicker and easier for each spouse.

If an agreement is reached during mediation you should obtain independent legal advice to ensure that you are aware of your entitlements and obligations.

Time Limits After Separation

If you have been divorced, you have 12 months from the date of the divorce being finalised to apply to the Family Law Courts for a property settlement. For a de-facto relationship, there is a two-year time limit from the date of separation which applies. Extensions of time can be granted.

If there is conflict between parents regarding who the children will live with, mediation at a community-based centre is appropriate. Mediation can often assist parties to reach a final outcome regarding parenting issues. In the event that parents cannot come to an agreement regarding care arrangements and parental responsibility, parents will be supplied with a certificate confirming that they attempted mediation however it was not successful. Once this certificate is obtained, either parent can apply to the Court for orders in respect of children’s matters.

At Mahony’s, our team is experienced in assisting with mediation as well as helping our clients apply for custody through the Court. Get in touch today to find out more.

Parenting Arrangements

When spouses separate, it is important to keep things as smooth as possible to alleviate stress, particularly on children.

Mahony’s Lawyers will help guide you through this. We understand these times can be extremely difficult on all family members and we understand the need to resolve matters as soon as possible. Please consider that it is in the interests of the children to spend regular time with both parents and extended family including grandparents. If you have difficulty in talking to your former spouse about the short- and long-term arrangements for your children, we can help you.

If you reach an agreement with your former spouse about the arrangement for your children, then you should have this agreement drafted and filed with the Family Court as Consent Orders to ensure that the agreement is enforced. We will help you create and submit this paperwork. If you cannot reach an agreement with your former spouse or if there are issues of domestic violence, you can apply to the Family Court to assist you in determining the suitable arrangements (short and long term) for the children.

Book a free* first consultation today to talk to our friendly expert team about your legal needs.

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* Conditions Apply

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Frequently Asked Questions.

When can I get divorced?

If you are married, you can either apply solely or jointly for divorce with your husband or wife in the FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, provided that you can show there has been an irretrievable break down of the marriage and that you have been separated for a period of 12 months.

You can live together or apart during or after the separation, and still be deemed to be ‘separated’. Once a court is satisfied that you have met all of the necessary criteria, a divorce will be granted and become final one month and one day following the divorce hearing.

There are benefits to applying for a Joint Application for Divorce as opposed to a Sole Application for Divorce, including that both parties will not be required to attend the Divorce Hearing. Our team specialise in Family Law and can provide you with legal advice around your Application for Divorce, as it is all to be undertaken on the Commonwealth Courts Portal and without legal representation there may be difficulties with service of the Sole Application for Divorce.

Book a consultation today to have our expert team guide you through the ins and outs of applying for divorce.

When can I apply for a property settlement?

Either a husband, wife or de facto spouse can apply to the FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA for a property settlement and/or spousal maintenance at any time after separation.

The time limit for applying for a property settlement in the Court is 12 months following a grant of divorce (two years following separation in the case of de facto relationships). If a husband or wife wishes to apply for a property settlement in circumstances where the parties have been divorced for more than 12 months (more than 2 years in the case of a de facto spouse party) you will need to apply to the Court requesting an extension of time for the Court to deal with your property settlement.

For specific legal advice on your property settlement, get in touch with the Mahony’s team today.

Am I entitled to half?

The short answer is, each case is different.

You may be entitled to 50% of the asset pool split with your husband, wife or de facto partner. However, there are various factors which could increase or decrease what you or your partner are entitled to. These factors might include: whether there are children of the parties; with whom the children are living; contributions of the parties (both financial and non-financial); the length of the marriage or de facto relationship; and future needs. Consideration is also given to whether a party: has earning capacity or not; suffers from health issues; or has anything preventing them from earning an income.

Our advice is specifically tailored to each individual person as each matter will be different, so we would recommend connecting with one of our lawyers to discuss your unique situation.

Who gets the children?

Separation is difficult for everyone involved, including the children. If parties can reach an agreement with respect to parenting matters (including care arrangements for the children and parental responsibility) it is beneficial for the children. The paramount consideration must be what is in the best interests of the child.

If there is conflict between parents regarding who the children will live with, mediation at a community-based centre is appropriate. Mediation can often assist parties to reach a final outcome regarding parenting issues. In the event that parents cannot come to an agreement regarding care arrangements and parental responsibility, parents will be supplied with a certificate confirming that they attempted mediation however it was not successful. Once this certificate is obtained, either parent can apply to the Court for orders in respect of children’s matters.

At Mahony’s, our team is experienced in assisting with mediation as well as helping our clients apply for custody through the Court. Get in touch today to find out more.

I have been locked out of the house - what do I do?

In circumstances where you have been locked out of the house, it is appropriate to seek legal advice. We have a team of experienced lawyers who can help you in this situation.

We would recommend you obtain stable accommodation and, if the children are in your care, that the children are somewhere safe for the time being. Your lawyer can assist you with engaging in negotiation with your former spouse in order to reach a resolution in respect of property settlement matters and your entitlement to the house. In some cases, it may be appropriate to contact the police who can attend the home with you to collect some personal effects in the interim. We can provide support and legal advice on whether it is appropriate to contact the police in this instance.

What is an intervention order?

An Intervention Order may be issued by the police if domestic violence is occurring between parties. This can often restrict one party from coming into contact with the other party and/or the children.

I need protection, how do I apply for an Intervention Order?

If you urgently need protection you should call police on 000 or, in less urgent cases, call for police attendance on 131 444. Police can issue an Interim Intervention Order, which can protect you in the short term. Otherwise, if you don’t require immediate protection and want to apply for an Intervention Order, contact us today for legal advice and to start your application to the Magistrates Court.

An Intervention Order has been issued against me, how does this affect my case?

In circumstances where an Intervention Order has been issued against you, it may prevent you from seeing your children and proceeding to mediation. In these circumstances, you will need to seek assistance from a lawyer who specialises in Family Law to apply for Court Orders to proceed the case. This is an area of law that Mahony’s specialises in, and we encourage you to get in touch to obtain legal advice if you are in this situation.

Is my spouse entitled to superannuation?

Depending on the length of the relationship, it may be that your former spouse is entitled to a portion of your superannuation. In long marriages and de facto relationships, it is likely that there will be a equalisation of the total combined superannuation of the parties. In shorter relationships, this is less likely. Each case is different, and we can provide you with specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

He/ She had nothing before I met them - what do the Courts look for in property division?

Various matters will be taken into account with respect to property division in circumstances where matters proceed to Court or negotiated by the parties. These factors are set out in the Family Law Act and include, for example: the length of the marriage; financial and non-financial contributions at the commencement of the marriage and during the marriage; and the future needs of the parties. In circumstances where there is a lengthy marriage or de facto relationship it is unlikely that initial contributions will be given much weight. In short relationships initial contributions will be given more weight in determining who gets what. You should seek specific legal advice in respect of property settlement matters, as each case will be different.

Why do the children need an Independent Lawyer?

In circumstances where there is a high level of conflict between parents and in circumstances where there are serious safety issues including violence, sexual abuse, neglect, drug/alcohol issues or children showing signs of distress, the Court will often appoint an Independent Children’s' Lawyer to assist the Court with what is in the best interests of the child. Independent Children’s Lawyers are obliged to consider the views of the child, but ultimately provide their own independent perspective about what arrangements or decisions are in the child’s best interests to the Court.