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What Are the Common Family Law Issues in Unique Families?

Many things can make a family unique and complex when it comes to divorce and family law. Parents can be unmarried, be in de facto relationships or can be expats, whilst children can have biological and/or adoptive parents.

This blog examines some family law issues that may arise in such unique families.

1. De Facto Relationships

In Australia, de facto relationships are becoming more common. Under family law rules, a de facto relationship is defined as a couple who live together on a genuine domestic basis (i.e. they are not married).

Whilst there is no formal process for ending a de facto relationship, when couples do break up, they may need to go through a property settlement process similar to divorce.

Child custody can be an issue in de facto relationships, especially if the couple has children from previous relationships. Major long-term issues can also arise concerning the child’s welfare and upbringing.

If you are in a de facto relationship and considering breaking up, it is important to seek advice from family lawyers in Sydney to understand your rights and obligations. 

2. Unmarried Parents Who Are Not in a Relationship

In Australia, child custody can be an issue for unmarried parents. This can complicate child custody arrangements because both parents may want time with their children, but there may not be enough time to accommodate everyone’s schedules. In such cases, it is important to have top family lawyers in Sydney who can negotiate a parenting plan that works for everyone involved.

3. Australian Expatriates

If you are an Australian expatriate and you have children, you may need to go through a child custody process if you break up with the other parent. This can be complicated, especially if you are living abroad, because child custody issues are usually covered in the jurisdiction in which the children are residing. Thus, you will be bound to the family law rules of the host country. This is particularly true if the other partner is a citizen of the host country.

If you wish to take your children to Australia, you simply cannot take them if the other parent has some other plans. If you do this, the other parent can enforce his or her rights under the Hague Convention, and the children will need to return to the country they were taken away from.

If you are confused with how family law works for Australian expatriates, it is best to consult with top family lawyers in Sydney to assist you with your family law issues.

4. Blended Families

Another thing that can make families unique is when they have children from previous relationships. In these cases, it is important to be represented by family lawyers in Sydney who can negotiate a parenting plan that works for everyone involved.

5. Adopted Children

If you have adopted a child, you may be wondering what will happen if you break up with the other parent. Under family law rules, the adoptive parents will have legal custody of the child, and the other parent (i.e. biological parents) will not have any rights. However, there may be some situations where the other parent can seek visitation or custody rights.

6. Families with Businesses

Family law issues can also arise in many families who have businesses together. This can make property division more difficult because there may be disagreement about who owns what part of the business. Experienced family lawyers in Sydney can help you untangle these complex issues and reach a fair resolution.

7. Determining the Best Interests of Children

In Australia, under family law rules, the best interests of the child are always the primary consideration in any decision made about their care and welfare. This includes decisions about who they live with, who makes decisions on their behalf and what kind of contact they have with each parent.

The best interests of the child are based on a number of factors, including their age, developmental needs and relationship with each parent.

8. Denying Access to a Child

Under family law rules, denying a parent access to a child is not allowed, regardless if the parent will not provide child support, if the parent is always late during child pickup or drop off and even if the parent does not visit the child despite a custody agreement.

If you deny access to a child in Australia, the other parent can take legal action to enforce their right to time with the child. This is called a ‘recovery order’, and it can be made by the court. If you are found to have denied access to the child, you may be ordered to pay for the other parent’s legal costs and expenses. You may also be fined or jailed.

How Madison Marcus Can Help You

No two families are the same, and this is especially true when it comes to divorce and family law. Every family has its own unique set of circumstances that must be taken into account when making decisions about child custody, visitation, alimony and property division.

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to have an experienced family law lawyer who understands the complexities of your situation and can advocate for your best interests.

Here at Madison Marcus, our team of experienced family lawyers can help you understand the legal process and make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. For all enquiries or to book a free 15-minute consultation, contact us today.


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