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Home | Frequently asked questions about family law

Frequently asked questions about family law

While every family law matter is unique, some questions are still common:

Q. How long after separation can I apply for a divorce?

A. Generally 12 months. The court will declare a decree nisi once it is satisfied your marriage has broken down irretrievably, and proper arrangements are in place for any children. One month and one day from the date of the decree nisi, your divorce will become absolute and final. You can then remarry if you wish.

Q. Can I have a property settlement before my divorce is finalised?

A. Yes. You can begin proceedings after separation and if both parties agree, the court can make consent orders to formalise your agreement.

Q. Can I apply for parenting orders before my divorce is finalised?

A. Yes, you can ask the court for both interim (immediate) and final (long-term) parenting orders following separation, and, if you both agree, the court can make orders to formalise the situation.

Q. What are my rights in relation to my children?

A. Both parents have a right to maintain their relationship with their children. You can agree on your own arrangements after separation, or ask the court to set down a parenting scheme.

Q. What range of property settlement am I entitled to?

A. Each case is unique and is decided on its own circumstances. The court will determine each of your matrimonial assets based on financial and non-financial contributions during the marriage. The Family Law Act specifically takes into account the contributions of the homemaker parent/partner in the same way as those of the breadwinner parent/partner.

Q. Is an agreement we reach ourselves enforceable?

A. The terms of the agreement can be made into court orders by consent, and will then be enforceable.

Q. Are there alternatives to going to court?

A. Yes. We’ll advise you of various primary dispute resolution processes available, including mediation.

If you need advice on any Family Law matter, please call 13 43 63 to speak with one of our family law accredited specialists in New South Wales. Our offices are in Sydney, Parramatta, Campbelltown, Newcastle, Penrith, Wollongong and Gloucester.

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