Family disputes are inevitable. Regardless of the efforts exerted to keep everything in order, many couples still fall to issues that might endanger the family’s existence and the children’s welfare. Luckily, family law was established. With the help of lawyers, the law is able to minimise the negative effects of undesirable situations, such as separation, divorce and family violence. This is also created to guarantee that the individual rights of couples are preserved before they enter into a legal union.
What Is Family Law?
Family law is a specialised area of legal practice, and it deals with the issues involving various family relationships like marriage, divorce, child custody and adoption. The lawyers practising in this field are referred to as family lawyers.
Family lawyers in Sydney represent the clients in family court proceedings and draft essential legal documents like property agreements and court petitions.
Family law rules in Australia are governed by the Family Law Act of 1975 and the Family Court of Australia Rules 2021. Typically, the resolution of issues concerning this type of law is conducted in the following courts.
1. Federal Circuit Court of Australia
This court is regarded as the superior court. It is responsible for dealing with various appeals and more complex matters that require the interpretation of family law.
2. Family Court of Australia
This is previously referred to as the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. It operates in a more informal manner and is responsible for encouraging individuals to take part in dispute resolutions of different family-related issues.
What Are the Major Issues Covered by Family Law?
Australia’s family law is designed to cover a wide range of family-related issues that need to be resolved legally. However, the major issues that the family courts are handling include the following:
1. Divorce and Separation
Most family law cases in Australia involve issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship. These cases often involve complex financial and property matters and arrangements for the care of children.
The family law system in Australia is designed to help couples resolve their disputes without going to court. Nevertheless, if an agreement cannot be reached, the court can make orders about the property and financial matters and arrangements for the care of the children.
The family courts in Australia deal with other matters concerning divorce and separation, such as:
- How to get a divorce
- The information regarding the proof of divorce
- The rights of couples in registered and de facto relationships.
2. Care of Children
Family law in Australia generally covers the care of children. This includes issues like where the child will live, who they will spend time with and how decisions will be made about their upbringing. It can also cover financial matters, such as child support and maintenance.
The care of children is always the primary concern of the Australian family law system. The child’s best interests are considered at all times, especially when making decisions about their care. Not only that, the system also takes into account the child’s physical and emotional needs.
3. Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreement is included in the set of issues covered by family law. Technically, it is a contract entered into by two people before they marry, and it sets out how their assets will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common in Australia as more couples choose to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. However, several issues need to be considered before entering into a prenuptial agreement, and some of these are the following.
- Ensure that the agreement is fair and equitable. Both parties should have full disclosure of all their assets and liabilities.
- The agreement must be entered into voluntarily by both parties, and this means that neither party can be forced or pressured into signing the agreement.
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
- Each party’s lawyer must review the agreement before it is signed.
- A prenuptial agreement is not set in stone, and if circumstances change; it can be reviewed and amended.
4. Money and Property
Money and property are among the most contentious issues handled by the family courts in Australia. Generally, the family court will look at all the financial circumstances of both parties before deciding how the property should be divided. This includes looking at things like who owns the property, how much each party has contributed to its purchase and upkeep and each party’s future needs.
The court will also consider any child support obligations that either party has. Ultimately, the goal is to try and make a fair and reasonable division of the property that considers all of the relevant factors.
5. Family Violence
Family violence is a serious issue covered by family law. This type of violence can include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse, and it can occur between family members, current or former intimate partners or between other family members.
Family law protects family members who are victims of family violence by providing protection orders, which can keep the perpetrator away from the victim. The law also offers support for victims of family violence, such as counselling and financial assistance.
What Does a Family Lawyer in Australia Do?
A family lawyer in Australia performs a lot of roles for their clients. Most of them regularly handle the following:
- Provide legal advice and educate the clients regarding their rights
- Help clients navigate the complex legal process involved in any family law matter
- Represent clients in court
- Help clients negotiate divorce settlements with their spouses.
How Madison Marcus Can Help You
Australia’s family law system is designed to help families resolve their issues in a fair and practical way. To get the most of the protection provided by the family law, it is important to choose a reliable lawyer to help you out.
If you are dealing with issues covered by family law, consider securing the service of top family lawyers from Madison Marcus. From separation and divorce to pre- and post-nuptial agreements, co-parenting issues, domestic violence and more family law issues, we can help you achieve a favourable outcome.
For all enquiries or to book a free 15-minute consultation, contact us today.