Looking To Separate? Here are 4 important Questions to Ask Your Family Lawyer in Brisbane

Separating from your partner can be a stressful and emotional time, and often results in legal disputes regarding issues such as the division of property and custody of children.

If you are considering a separation or are currently in the process of separating, it is important to seek appropriate legal advice from an Accredited Family Law Specialist. A family lawyer in Brisbane can help create financial agreements to simplify asset division, as well as apply for parenting, child support or spousal maintenance orders to help safeguard the future of you and your children.

Regardless of whether you are separating from a marriage or de facto relationship, finding the right lawyer is an effective way to ensure that you have the best chance of setting yourself up for life after the separation.

If you are seeking legal representation, here are 4 important questions to ask your family lawyer in Brisbane in order to get the most out of your initial consultation.


What Will Happen to The Children After The Separation?

One of the most common reasons people seek advice from a family lawyer in Brisbane when going through a separation is to ensure that they will have sufficient access to their child and that their child will be adequately protected and provided for in the future.

A family lawyer will be able to outline a variety of options regarding parenting arrangements for your children, which will vary depending on how likely you and your spouse are to come to an agreement.

If you and your spouse are able to agree on terms, your lawyer can record your agreement as a parenting plan or a consent order.

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, your lawyer will be able to help you apply to the court for a legally enforceable parenting order.

In deciding whether to implement a parental order, a Family Court will assess what is in the best interests of the child, taking into account a number of factors specified in Section 60CC of the Family Law Act (1975).

However, the two primary considerations made by the court are:

a. The benefit of the child having meaningful relationships with both of the child’s parents
b. The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm as a result of abuse, neglect, or family violence


What Steps Can I Take to Protect my Assets?

Protecting your assets and property is another common concern during separation proceedings, and one which can become complicated quickly.

A separating couple typically makes an arrangement outlining how assets, liabilities and financial resources will be divided. This can be done with or without the assistance of the Family Court, depending on whether you are able to reach an agreement.

The pool of assets to be divided can include, but is not limited to, items of value such as:

  • Property
  • Cars or boats
  • Business interests or shares
  • Household items
  • Jewellery
  • Superannuation

Given that the main factor considered by courts when dividing property is each party’s contribution to the property pool, a family lawyer can help make sure that your partner is providing an accurate disclosure of their assets and liabilities, as well as draft an arrangement which safeguards your financial future and make sure that you receive all of the assets and property you are legally entitled to.


How Can I Keep the Separation Process Between Me and My Spouse Amicable?

It is no secret that separation proceedings can become ugly, so it is important that you discuss with your lawyer the best possible way to make the separation process as smooth and non-combative as possible.

An experienced family lawyer can draw on the hundreds of cases they have overseen in order to provide you with the tools to diffuse potential conflict and communicate as effectively as possible with your spouse and their legal representation.

When it comes to reaching an amicable agreement, another key advantage offered by family lawyers is their professional approach to what is likely a very emotional process for you and your spouse. In circumstances where emotions are running high, a family lawyer in Brisbane can provide a clear-headed and rational assessment of your situation, outlining the most likely path to reaching a positive resolution for all parties involved.


How Will COVID-19 Impact My Separation Proceedings or Parenting Orders?

With COVID-19 impacting many aspects of our daily life, you may wonder how the pandemic may affect your court proceedings, or any shared parenting arrangements or parenting orders you have in place.

As with most courts in Australia, the Queensland courts have been adapting as best they can in an attempt to reduce contact and contain the spread of COVID-19 while trying to minimise delays. They have done this through prioritising certain cases, conducting some court hearings remotely, closing the courts to the public, and encouraging alternative dispute resolutions.

To deal with urgent family law disputes, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Courts) have each established a court list dedicated to dealing exclusively with those that have arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are concerned about potential court delays or medical risks due to COVID, your family lawyer in Brisbane can advise you as to your best course of action, and call the courthouse registry to advise them of your symptoms if you are unable to make a scheduled court appearance.

When it comes to arrangements regarding children, if you have court orders or a parenting plan already in place, you need to follow these unless you have a reasonable excuse not to do so.

A reasonable excuse might be following health directives, such as being told to go into isolation or quarantine, or not being able to travel due to border closures.
As a general rule however, lockdown restrictions are not a reasonable excuse for non-compliance; the court can make orders, such as make-up time or hand down penalties should you fail to adhere.

This is because while regulations are rapidly changing and can be confusing, the Queensland Government have directions in place in order to allow people to leave their home to facilitate all shared parenting, child contact and sibling contact arrangements, including Court ordered and informal agreements, such as parenting plans.

If you’re experiencing difficulties, our team of Family Lawyers in Brisbane will be able to assist you in finding a safe solution for you and your children. If you do not have an order or a parenting plan in place, we can assist.


Need Legal Advice From a Family Lawyer in Brisbane in 2021?

If you are considering a separation, or are in the process of separating in 2021, our team at Pullos Lawyers can help.

Our experienced family lawyers can outline your various options, and guide you through the separation process by helping you create Binding Financial Agreements to protect your assets, as well as help you with obtaining and implementing parenting plans to give you and your children certainty during these unprecedented times.

To speak to one of our lawyers today, please get in touch via email, or call us in our Gold Coast office on (07) 5526 3646, or in Brisbane on (07) 3144 1641.