When a marriage or a de facto relationship ends, it can be traumatic not only for you and your partner, but also for any children you may have. Starting a committed relationship is a big responsibility. So is ending it. To add to your burden there is the emotional trauma associated with separation.

For you, it may be a time of anxiety. Such a big change in your life can seem overwhelming. At such a time, you owe it to yourself to take care of yourself. Seek help if you need it, to take you through the trauma of separation. There are many places that you can go to for help, start here at our useful links page (I will link this to the page)

To get a head start on your path to a normal life, start by taking care of the simple things. First, take stock of your finances. From there, it’s time to tackle the bigger financial issues.

If you have children, both of you may want to maintain contact with them. This is a delicate issue that will need you to be strong and supportive for your children to feel secure. At such times, it will help to have the empathetic advice from our family lawyer Charlotte Boyd of Aaron Legal, to help ease your burden.

Meanwhile, it’s also a good idea to know a little about the basic claims you can make under divorce laws in NSW.

Property Division on Separation

In the event of a divorce the Family Law Act 1975 can be applied to any relationship between 2 adults, irrespective of gender, who may or may not be related to each other by family. This also includes where adults may be living together in a de facto relationship. This makes the law more inclusive of same sex couples than it was in the past.

When such a relationship ends, there are a few criteria based on which you can make a claim for a property settlement to carry on with your life.

First, if your relationship has lasted longer than 2 years will you be entitled to make a property claim from your partner. You can also make a claim if you have a child with your partner, or if you are caring for a child of your former partner, in which case it may be a gross injustice if you are not given some property settlement. Also, if you have played a very important role in the obtaining of the property in question – whether financially or not – you may claim a settlement?

Child-Related Issues

If you have children with your ex, you may come to an arrangement on how both of you can maintain contact with them. You can make sure that there is some certainty and structure to your arrangements by having it finalised at the Courts.

The Court Orders will need to reflect spending time with and live with Orders. These Orders can state who the child is to live with, and when he or she can see a parent under certain conditions. The Orders can decide which school the child goes to, any medical treatment he or she will receive as well as any religion that the child may be brought up according to.

In any separation, the needs of your child are most important. Keep in mind that ideally, children should have meaningful relationships with both parents even if the parents are no longer living together. The children also have a need to be protected from harm. These are the considerations that should decide the kind of arrangement you come to together with your ex regarding your children.

The Courts make the decision based on certain principles. The children have a right to be cared for by both parents, irrespective of whether the parents have or have not lived together or been married. Children also have a right to spend time with both parents and any other family members on either side. The parents are jointly responsible for the care and growth of the children. Both the parents should have an agreement about the child’s parenting. Every child should have a right to enjoy his or her own culture. This last point becomes more relevant if you have an inter-cultural marriage.

If you are able to come to a friendly agreement with your ex regarding the equal sharing of responsibilities and care of your children, then there is no need to visit the court. You can seek Counselling and assistance if you find it difficult to do yourself – there are several relationship counselling agencies to help and Charlotte can advise you of one suitable to you.

If there is some family violence involved in your case, or if the child’s needs are not being met, you can hire an independent lawyer for the child to make sure that his or her voice is heard.

If you are facing a divorce and are finding it difficult to cope, it is strongly urged that you seek the help of Aaron Legal’s family lawyer – Charlotte Boyd, to guide you through this troubled time. Remember, you owe it to yourself and your child to come away with as few scars from a broken relationship as possible.

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