After 6 years of marriage, Jessica wants to end the relationship. Her husband has gradually become more controlling, restricting her activities and taking over all their finances. Their home and two cars are both in her husband’s name. Jessica has no assets in her name and doesn’t even have access to a bank account. She has no money and doesn’t think she can afford a lawyer.
Jessica spoke to a lawyer and was able to obtain advice on spousal maintenance. Spouses (and in some cases de facto partners) have a duty to maintain each other and in circumstances where they are unable to adequately support themselves, a party to a marriage or a de facto relationship can receive financial support paid by their former husband, wife or partner.
In addition, Jessica learnt about interim costs. An interim costs order requires the party in control of the assets to pay a lump sum to the other party towards the other party’s legal costs. The purpose of interim costs is to ensure that there is a “level playing field” between the parties when dealing with their family law matter.
As Jessica could not afford to pay her legal fees upfront, her lawyer was able to negotiate a partial property settlement towards each of her and her husband’s future costs and outlays for the matter. A partial property settlement is an advance on what a party is entitled to receive from the assets.
Jessica was able to obtain legal advice using her partial property settlement towards her legal costs.
Kylie has separated from her husband of 12 years. They have three children together. He moved out of the family home and Kylie is living there with her children. For 8 years prior to their separation, Kylie was a stay at home mother. Kylie now works part time however her income is not enough support her children after her husband moved out. She is worried about how she will pay the bills.
Kylie’s lawyer explained the legal process for dealing with their financial and or property matters, and in particular the value that should be given to the 8 years when Kylie was a stay at home mother. Her lawyer also advised her on the process when dealing with matters involving children, in particular looking after and spending time with the children.
Following the advice of her lawyer, Kylie was able to make an application for child support and receive child support payments back dated to the date Kylie and her husband separated.
Michelle is divorced with a 5 year old daughter. She is the primary carer of her child. She wants to take her overseas on a holiday to visit her extended family. Her daughter’s father said he does not want her to go.
Michelle found out from her lawyer that there were other avenues available to her to take her child overseas on holiday in circumstances where the father unreasonably withholds permission.
Michelle’s lawyers helped her to obtain an order from the Court that allows her to take her child overseas on holiday. Michelle now looks forward to visiting her extended family overseas with her daughter.