Fathers are often anxious in the event of separation from their partner, worried about whether they will be able to spend time with their children. Many fathers want to play an active role in the life of their children and not simply become a “weekend dad”.
In addition to parenting arrangements for the care of children, fathers may also be concerned about the division of financial assets and requirements to pay child or spousal support.
At CS Legal, we work closely with men and fathers to help them understand their rights under Australian family law. Our team of lawyers in Perth and Joondalup have the experience, knowledge and expertise to guide men through family law system.
Divorce and separation advice for men – what you need to know
Divorce and separation are two different issues in law. Learn more about Divorce and Separation here.
As soon as you know you are separating from your wife or partner, there are some important steps you should take:
- Seek advice early from an experienced family lawyer who can assist you in understanding your entitlements and explain the divorce process.
- Avoid angry or acrimonious communications with your wife, both written and verbal.
- Don’t post negative comments or images about the relationship or your partner on social media or email.
- Be mindful of your finances and don’t over extend yourself. You may be liable for child or spousal support and assets may be divided. So it is best not to make any large financial purchases or run up any large debts until all legal proceedings have been finalised.
- Keep track of your wife’s residential and/or work address, even if you no longer communicate regularly. This is vital for serving the divorce application and other legal documentation. The Court may not be able to hear your application for divorce if it is not served in accordance with the law and there will be delays.
Most importantly, maintain a strong relationship with your children and continue to communicate regularly with them, especially if you are no longer living in the family home. This will be a difficult period for your children and they need stability. Do not argue with or bad mouth your partner in front of your children. Stay positive and enjoy your time together – putting your children first and making sure they are happy is your priority.
What are child custody rights for fathers?
Many fathers have felt let down by the legal system in Australia and left believing that the system favours the mother when it comes to the custody of children.
The Family Law Act 1975, which governs all children’s custody issues and parenting arrangements, does not mandate that the care of children should be divided equally between parents. There is no rule that sets out where the children should live and how much time the children should spend with each parent. Each family is different. The primary consideration of the courts is that all decision and outcomes are based on the best interests of the child.
It would be ideal for both parents to agree on parenting arrangements but when it is not possible, parents must obtain a court order.
Your personal circumstances including your work situation may impact on the contact time you will have with your children. Your responsibility as a father and demonstrating your support in raising your child and your focus on your child will be viewed positively by the Courts.
Father’s visitation rights
Gone are the days when fathers have limited options and can only see their children on the weekends or a fortnightly basis.
The law has significantly changed since 2006 and now many fathers now have the opportunity to have meaningful relationships with their children and be involved in their lives. The emphasis is on the welfare, safety and convenience of the children.
If I divorce my wife what am I entitled to?
Your entitlements are subject to the contributions you have made during the period of your relationship including an assessment of your contributions before marriage and after separation. Once contributions are determined on a percentage basis, an analysis of your future needs is assessed and adjusted accordingly by the appropriate percentage.
Family Lawyers for Men
We understand men and fathers’ needs during separation and divorce. Your needs will be addressed by our team of family lawyers in Perth and Joondalup who will draw from extensive knowledge and experience to tailor their advice for your personal circumstances.
We are aware of the issues affecting men and fathers and our capable and confident staff will work closely with you to deliver the best outcome.