Services Divorce and Family Lawyers Right by your side, supporting you when it counts. If you’re separating or divorcing, negotiating parenting arrangements or trying to divide property, your life is more complicated than ever. While you’re trying to establish some security, you’re negotiating with your ex, looking out for your kids and trying to ensure that your property settlement is fair. It’s a bit like juggling flaming torches. But the good news is that help is here: personal support when you need it. We’ll help you sort out your legal arrangements, because let’s face it. You’ve got enough on your plate. Our lawyers are one of the best teams of family lawyers in Adelaide, and also one of the most affordable. Find out more about how we can help you. Exceptional family law services You’re looking for a family lawyer in Adelaide who will work in cooperation with you. It’s not just about knowing family law. That’s a given. What you’re really after is a family law expert who’s a brilliant communicator. Someone who understands how important it is to keep you informed at every stage. Someone who will give you the facts in everyday language, who will explain all your options and give you practical advice. Someone you trust. Contact us to learn more about our family law and divorce services in Adelaide and South Australia. Let's Talk Give us a call or start the conversation with us by entering your details so our team can get in touch with you. Name Email Phone SendProcessing Thank you, your details have been submitted. 08 8357 7611 Do you have questions? Let us answer some FAQ’s See more Meet our Divorce and Family team See all Martin Faull Lindbloms Lawyers Principal See profile Poppy Matters Partner See profile Marina Khoury Senior Associate See profile Matilda Redman-Lloyd Senior Associate See profile Julia Weltner Solicitor See profile Our experience in family law and divorce You can count on us for support and understanding Find out more about our family law services Separation and Divorce Dividing property and assets Parenting and children’s issues Settlements and mediation Collaborative family law De facto relationships Binding financial agreements Pre-nuptial agreements Spousal maintenance Child support Family law and wills Issues involving child and sexual abuse Discretionary trusts Frequently asked questions about family law and divorce Further questions? Call us on 08 8357 7611 What is a de facto relationship? In a de facto relationship, two adults live together but aren’t married to each other. The legal requirements for a de facto relationship are: The couple must have lived together for at least two years, or have children together The couple must live together on a genuine domestic basis. In other words, they live together as domestic partners. Whether they are domestic partners depends on different factors, for example: a. Whether there’s a sexual relationship b. Financial arrangements c. Who owns the assets d. How they use the assets e. Commitment to sharing a life f. Caring arrangements for any children g. How others perceive the relationship De facto couples have many of the same legal rights as married couples, but there are some critical differences. While a marriage certificate is proof of marriage, to prove a de facto relationship, you need to be able to prove the date you started living together. Proving that the de facto relationship was a genuine domestic living arrangement might also be an issue, for example, if you say you lived together on a genuine domestic basis, but your ex-partner says you were housemates and nothing more. If it’s not too late, one way to overcome these difficulties is to register your relationship while you’re still with your partner. The effect of registration is that the South Australian Government legally recognises the relationship. Marriages and de facto relationships both have rights for the division of property, but the rules for making applications to court are different. You’ll need legal advice as soon as possible if property division is an issue. Under Australian family law, children and parenting issues are treated the same regardless of whether the parents are married or in a de facto relationship. But any issues concerning wills, deceased estates or superannuation may be more challenging for a de facto partner to claim any rights. Seek our advice if you’re concerned about your legal rights as a de facto spouse. What do I need to know about separation? There’s no limit to how long you and your former spouse (or former partner) can stay separated. But in some circumstances, there’s a minimum requirement. For example, to get a divorce, you and your spouse must have been separated for at least 12 months. It’s a good idea to take note of the date of separation, just in case there are any disagreements. Occasionally, a couple can separate but continue to live under the same roof. It complicates proof of separation, but it’s still possible to prove. If you’re in this situation, contact us for legal advice. Once we’ve separated, who pays the mortgage? Once we’ve separated, will I have to move out of our home? Can I keep my inheritance if I separate from my partner or spouse? How do I get a divorce? Getting a divorce is a surprisingly straightforward process. Divorce is the legal end to a marriage that’s recognised by Australian law. You must be able to prove to a court that: You and your spouse have been legally separated for at least 12 months Your marriage has broken down beyond repair. There’s no hope of reconciliation If you and your spouse have children together, you must also demonstrate special arrangements to look after their needs. Getting a divorce requires an application to a court and showing proof that your circumstances meet divorce requirements. Because Australia has no-fault divorce, neither party is obliged to prove that the other party did something wrong. Even if your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, it’s possible to apply without their consent. This is known as a Sole Application for Divorce. While the divorce process is straightforward, it’s the surrounding issues that complicate divorces. Examples include property settlements and children’s issues. Divorced couples have 12 months from the date of the Divorce Order to ask the court to make orders to divide their property. Speak to us about your divorce requirements. How long does it take to get a divorce? Can same-sex married couples get divorced? Yes. Since same-sex marriage became Australian law in late 2017, same-sex married couples are legally allowed to divorce. Divorces can be granted to any couples with marriages recognised by Australian law. What arrangements should I make for my children? When there’s been a relationship breakdown, Australian law considers that the wellbeing of your children is the critical concern. Any arrangements for your children must be in their best interests. When making arrangements for your children, you’ll need to consider many issues, including: Where they will live How they will divide their time between parents Whether there are any challenges with distance and travel that will affect the time they spend with either parent Their ability to continue living a normal life, for example, enrolment in one school even when spending time between parents’ homes Whether child support is needed How much child support is needed and how it will be paid Who pays for extra expenses, for example, school trips and out of school activities Whether you should record the arrangements in a legally binding agreement Whether either parent is a risk to the child’s safety and wellbeing The impact of separation or divorce must be minimised for your kids. We’ll help you sort out these issues so you can establish their routine. Get in touch for more information. What’s the process for working out division of property? Property division is complicated. Things will get difficult if you have different financial assets and you disagree about how to split them, for example: Real estate Shares Bank accounts A business Property in one person’s name Australian family law has a four-step approach to working out property division: Step 1 – Find all the assets and debts (this is known as the net asset pool), including superannuation. Step 2 – Consider the contributions that each partner has made to the relationship. This could be financial (for example, earning an income, lump-sum payments and inheritance) or non-financial (for example, looking after the children, housework and improvements to the home). Step 3 – Work out what each party will need for future living costs. Many things will influence this, including: Age Health Ability to earn an income Caring responsibilities for children or other dependents Step 4 – Consider the first three steps and work out what would be fair for both parties. For more complicated property divisions, experts may be required to find assets and to value them. It also takes significant skill to work out future living expenses and to lay the groundwork for a fair division. If you agree on property division, you can ask a court to make consent orders. Consent orders are made with the agreement of both parties. If one party breaches the orders, the other party can ask the court to enforce them. Consent orders tend to save time, stress and expense. Our team of Adelaide family lawyers have excellent experience in family law property settlements. We’ll guide you through the challenges of property settlement. Contact us to find out more. What’s a binding financial agreement, and how will it help me? Binding financial agreements (BFAs) operate as a type of private contract which can be made at any stage of a relationship. A BFA sets out how property will be divided. If your relationship breaks down (or if it already has broken down), you and your ex-partner can avoid the expense and stress of going to court to argue over who gets what. You both stay in charge of the property division, provided that you can agree. If you go to court and ask a judge to decide, you have no control over how the property is split. The BFA remains private and confidential. The type of BFA that most people will have heard of is a pre-nuptial agreement, made before marriage. BFAs should be carefully considered. You’ll need excellent legal and financial advice. Every BFA must: Completely disclose your financial position and the financial position of your former partner Be in writing Only be made after both parties have received independent legal advice We’re experts in BFA negotiations and advice, and we do our best to make sure you understand all the issues, benefits and potential negatives of all aspects of BFAs. Contact us to find out how we can help you secure your financial future with a BFA. Should I seek spousal maintenance? Spousal maintenance is a payment ordered by a court after a separation. It’s a payment from one party to the other party. It can apply to de facto relationships or marriages. It can be a regular and ongoing payment. Often, spousal maintenance is ordered where the parties’ earning abilities are significantly different. This can happen where, for example, one partner worked part-time for many years to look after children. Depending on whether you’re married or de facto, there are different rules about time limits for spousal maintenance applications. Ask us for advice about how spousal maintenance may apply to you. Spousal maintenance is worked out by a court considering many things, including each person’s: Age State of health Responsibilities for dependent children Right to a standard of living Ability to earn an income Financial contributions to the relationship Non-financial contributions to the relationship Current relationship status Share of the asset pool Child support obligations Access to Centrelink payments Often, spousal maintenance forms part of a binding financial agreement (BFA). If it’s paid as a lump sum, which many parties prefer because it removes the ongoing obligation. Where there’s friction, this clean break can be useful to help parties move on. We’ll help you negotiate spousal maintenance that’s right for you. Find out more. Should I make a new will after separating? Contact us to make your first free appointment Give us a call or start the conversation with us by entering your details so our team can get in touch with you. 08 8357 7611 First name Last name Email address Contact number How can we help? How should we contact you? Email Phone Send messageProcessing Thank you, your details have been submitted successfully. Use our video library to learn more about us, Adelaide’s affordable family lawyers Should I re-do my will after a separation? Brittany discusses Wills and separation Read the article Can you keep your inheritance if you separate? Martin Faull on inheritance and separation Read the article Should I leave the matrimonial home? A question often asked by people going through a separation or divorce is whether they should move out of the matrimonial home. Read the article Who do the kids live with after a separation? Nina talks us through kids and separation Read the article Should I re-do my will after a separation? Martin Faull Can you keep your inheritance if you separate? Should I leave the matrimonial home? Who do the kids live with after a separation? Take the first step Call us on 08 8357 7611 or email us to book a free consultation.