Marriage and de-facto relationships do not always go smoothly. Misunderstandings amongst other factors can lead to divorce, disputes regarding wills and even family violence or financial abuse. When encountering these emotionally taxing situations, family law lawyers ensure that the legal rights and obligations regarding family issues are being properly addressed.
Read on to know more about family law and how to hire a good family lawyer.
Family Law in Australia
According to Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian family law system aims to assist families to resolve the legal aspects of relationship issues, including family relationship breakdown. It deals with the following specific situations:
- Family dispute resolution
- Family relationship services
- Family violence
- International family law and children
- Superannuation splitting
- Supporting women to recover financially after separation.
In terms of children and
Issues Related to Family Law and How Family Law Lawyers Can Help You
Family law covers a wide range of issues regarding family matters. Some of the common ones are the following:
Marriage Dissolution or Divorce
Divorce is one of the most common reasons why people seek help from family law lawyers. For this case, family law covers all aspects of marriage dissolution. The irrevocable or irretrievable breakdown of a marriage requires the assistance of Family Law lawyers to assist them with the Court process in order for a divorce to be granted.
Family law lawyers guide their client’s through the negotiation process and assist with the division of matrimonial assets, including who will pay spousal maintenance (if possible), how the liabilities of a marriage will be split and drafting the terms of a Binding Financial Agreement and parenting arrangements by Consent Orders. They can also help you manage your matter if it needs to be litigated and heard in the Court.
Paternity and Parental Responsibility
Parental responsibility is an issue that can precipitate from the separation of parties often arising due to marriage dissolution or divorce. Family law lawyers can help the mother or father achieve an arrangement regarding the parental responsibility of the child(ren). They can also assist either parent in proving or disproving paternity and assist when either parent is obliged to pay child support.
Domestic or Family Violence
Domestic and family violence including child abuse are serious issues that endanger the well-being and safety of the victims. Should a party or member of their family be experiencing a form of abuse, a family law lawyer can help them gain an Apprehended Domestic Violence order or other types of restraining order.
In some circumstances, a family law lawyer can assist a party or refer them should compensation or an award of damages be appropriate. On the other hand, family law lawyers can defend a party who is being accused or who had acted in self-defence, if further civil or criminal charges have not been made.
Adoption and Name Changes
The process of adoption can be complex due to voluminous paperwork and other stringent requirements needed to prove that you are capable of raising a child. By engaging a family law lawyer, you can ensure that the process runs smoothly and that all legal documents are completed correctly and filed in a timely manner. In terms of name changes, family law lawyers can assist you through these legal procedures.
For those who want to be a guardian of a minor or adults who have developmental issues, family law lawyers can help you obtain guardianship by facilitating completion of the required documents and navigating the procedures involved. In addition, they will be able to guide you when getting your child back from foster care.
Family lawyers can help protect your assets and interests for future generations through the creation of a will, a testamentary trust, a power of attorney, and enduring guardianship.
How to Hire a Good Family Lawyer
When it comes to family law, one incorrect move can cause you to lose proceedings and even lose your right to keep your child. This is why it is important to hire a lawyer who is reliable and skilled. But how do you find the right one? Here are some steps that you can follow.
Check If They Are Licensed
You can find more information about a lawyer by checking your States Law Society Practitioner Register. If you manage to get a consultation, do not hesitate to ask for proof of their practising certificate that will show they are licensed to practice law in that State.
If you have friends or relatives that had legal issues related to family law, you can ask them for referrals. However, aside from your own network, you can also ask professionals, such as accountants and psychologists, because they usually work with divorce or family law lawyers.
See If They Have the Traits of a Good Family Lawyer
It is important for family law lawyers to not only have expertise in their area of law, but to possess the following traits:
- They are diligent. A lawyer who answers your call at the agreed time shows a glimpse of how they work.
- They work objectively. Sure, a lawyer with empathy towards their clients helps comfort them, but a lawyer who can separate their work from their clients’ matters can see things objectively in order to find better solutions to resolve the matter.
- They have integrity.
- They have good communication skills.
- They practice document preparation.
Search for Reviews
Presently, lawyers usually have a website or social media pages. If you can find one, there is a high chance that you can see what people are saying about their service. You can see if they can be dependable by reading through their reviews.
Consider Their Fee
If they offer prices that are too expensive or too good to be true, it usually results in additional or hidden fees. Consider those offering reasonable fees.
How Madison Marcus Can Help You
If you are looking for a family lawyer in Sydney, Melbourne or in Australia, Madison Marcus can assist you. We are an award-winning law firm with experienced lawyers who can offer you legal advice for practical outcomes, such as the preparation of a will to ensure your family’s future security. We are also fully accredited in Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice (ICP). If the parties act in good faith, ICP enables a cost-effective resolution within an average of 3–6 months.
We can assist you in these areas:
- Domestic or family violence
- Separation and divorce
- Division of matrimonial property
- Co-parenting and children’s issues
- Spousal maintenance and child support.
- Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial binding financial agreements
Complementary to family law, our expert team can advise on estate planning, property law and tax.
For all enquiries or to book a free 15-minute consultation, contact us today.