Every day, in Australia, a variety of legal issues concerning marriage, de facto relationships, children and property arise. It could be that you are filing for a divorce and need the help of a qualified lawyer to guide you with the paperwork and process.
The need to seek legal assistance may arise from divorce issues, parental responsibility, division of property or something personal like domestic violence or parental rights. Or maybe you need help drafting a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
No matter your legal issue, family lawyers can help you iron things out and help you settle your disputes in every aspect.
Family law rules can be complex, and a good lawyer like us at Madison Marcus will make sure that you understand all of your options and make the best decisions for your particular situation.
What Are Major Long-Term Issues in Family Law?
When a couple gets married, they enter into a legal contract. This contract has many clauses and stipulations, including how the couple will handle finances, property and children if the marriage ends.
While some couples can amicably agree on these terms without any problems, others may have difficulty reaching an agreement. This can lead to costly and time-consuming legal battles that can take a toll on the couple, both emotionally and financially.
The Family Law Act 1975 establishes parental responsibility as a legal tenet. It refers to all of the obligations, powers, responsibilities and authority that parents are subject to under the law about their children (section 61B). This includes everyday chores like cooking meals and washing laundry. However, family law also covers major long-term issues with a child.
For example, a parent may have to make decisions about their child’s medical treatment if they become seriously ill. They may also need to choose what type of schooling the child will receive or whether they will be allowed to work while still in school.
The long-term issues are defined in section 4 of the said Act. It states the duties of the parents that include issues relating to the child’s care, welfare and development on a long-term basis. It covers (but is not restricted to) such matters as:
- Child’s education (both current and future);
- Child’s religious and cultural training;
- Child’s health;
- Child’s name;
- Changes in the child’s living circumstances make seeing a parent more difficult.
What Is Section 90 of the Family Law Act?
Certain matrimonial instruments are exempt from tax under Part VIII of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA). Transactions carried out by an order granted under this part of the Act are excepted from section 90 of the FLA.
A section 90 order is a court order that may be made on application by either party to a marriage or a de facto couple. The order exempts certain matrimonial instruments from taxation and allows the court to make other financial orders with the property of the parties to the marriage or de facto relationship.
Section 90 of the FLA provides that no duty is payable in respect of any matrimonial instrument that is:
(a) an order made by a court under Part VIII; or
(b) an agreement between the parties to a marriage that is registered under the Family Law Regulations 1984; or
(c) a deed executed by the parties to a de facto relationship.
A section 90 order may be made:
(a) on the application of either party to a marriage; or
(b) on the application of either party to a de facto relationship; or
(c) on the application of both parties to a marriage or de facto relationship; or
(d) on the court.
At What Age Can a Child Refuse to See a Parent in Australia?
In Australia, there is no set age at which a child can refuse to see a parent. The family law courts will take into account the child’s wishes and feelings, but ultimately the decision about whether contact should occur rests with the court.
The court will take into consideration several factors when deciding contact, including:
- Child’s age and stage of development
- Child’s relationship with each parent
- Nature of the contact (e.g. overnight stays, day visits, phone calls)
- Distance between the homes of the child and each parent
- Any family violence orders that are in place
- Child’s wishes and feelings (if they are old enough to express them).
If the court decides that contact should occur, then it can make an order specifying the details of the contact (e.g. how often it will take place, where it will happen and who will be responsible for transporting the child).
If one parent refuses to comply with a court order for contact, then the other parent can apply to the court for enforcement. This can result in several penalties, including a fine or imprisonment in a worst case scenario.
How Madison Marcus Can Help You
Each family lawyer has a unique approach to resolving legal disputes. You should consult with a few family lawyers in Sydney to find one with whom you are comfortable and who you feel confident will best represent your interests.
At Madison Marcus, our top family lawyers in Sydney are here to provide you with advice and guidance every step of the way. Your best interests are always our priority. Contact us today to discuss your case.