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Family Law Library

Search our articles to learn your rights

Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists have created many detailed articles answering the most common questions people have in relation to their rights and Australian Family Law.


Popular Articles

I have just separated from my partner with whom I have been living – What steps should I take?

If your former partner chooses to dispute the date you separated, you may be required to prove when the separation happened. You may be in a position where you live with your former partner temporarily while you make other arrangements. In this event, you will want proof of the date on which separation occurred. One way to prove you have separated from your partner is to have it confirmed in dated written format, ideally signed by both you and your former partner. If a written and dated document will be difficult to acquire, then a text message to your former partner can often suffice.

Proof of Separation

If a precise date of separation isn’t known because it was a gradual process that happened over some time, it may be required for the Family Court to determine when the separation occurred. In this circumstance, the Family Court will look at factors such as:

  • When did you and your former partner start sleeping in separate rooms?
  • Did either you or your former partner inform family and friends that you had separated?
  • When were you and your former partner’s financial affairs formally separated?
  • When were you and your former partner last intimate with each other?
  • When did you and your former partner stop carrying out domestic duties such as washing and cooking for each other?
  • When did you or your former partner lodge formal documents, such as ATO or Centrelink documents, on the basis that you were separated?

What are some of the first steps you can take following separation?

  • Setting up a bank account in your name may be a good first step to gaining financial independence. The date on which the new back account was created may also provide supporting evidence of when separation occurred.
  • Formalising your separation may include agreeing with your former partner to close any joint bank accounts you have together. Arrange for any scheduled transfers to now be facilitated via a personal bank account that only you can access.
  • Carry out a financial audit to identify and value all the assets, liabilities and superannuation – in your name, your former partner’s name or an entity controlled by you and / or your former partner.
  • Obtain a copy of your current superannuation member statement.
  • Consider if it is necessary to protect yourself against the risk of your former partner drawing down from your bank accounts or incurring credit card debt without your prior consent and instruct your bank as to any protective action you wish to have taken.

Take the next step, contact Mathews Family Law

The next step is to book a free 15-minute telephone consultation with an accredited family law specialist at Mathews Family Law and receive specific advice about your situation.

Book a free consultation online today.

I’m thinking of separating, what do I need to know?

Separation is never easy, especially when children are involved. There are always lots of issues that need to be addressed. You may need to organise new financial arrangements, possibly arrange new accommodation and transport. Then there is the difficult job of informing friends and family, which can affect your long-standing friendships. When children are involved a great deal of care needs to be taken to ensure their lives and wellbeing get impacted as little as possible.

Even if you are not married, separation can still be complicated and involve legal paperwork. When children, child support, maintenance and property are affected by separation, legal advice and formal documents of agreements reach is likely to be of assistance.

Disputes and Resolutions

Following separation, there may be disagreement about the management of parenting and financial issues. Family Dispute Resolution mediation, supported by your own legal advice, soon after separation may be of assistance and help to avoid disagreements becoming entrenched.

Family Violence

Family violence is a major reason for relationship breakdown. If you are experiencing family violence, please contact your local police who can provide immediate assistance and / or family violence support service who can support you to understand your situation and help you to formulate options for moving forward. Legal advice about parenting, child support, maintenance and property settlement issues may be of assistance at this time.

Talk with a Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialist

Just as no two experiences of relationship breakdown will be the same, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the resolution of issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship – what works for one person may not necessarily be the right solution for you.

Mathews Family Law is one of the most experienced family law firms in Melbourne with the knowledge to guide you through the most challenging of experiences.

If you are contemplating separation or divorce, book in an obligation free 15-minute consultation with one of our accredited specialist family lawyers to understand your rights and options.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Divorce Property Settlement

Divorce Property Settlement

At Mathews Family Law and Mediation Specialists, we specialise in all aspects of family law and offer quality and practical legal solutions. We always endeavour to resolve issues amicably and in the best interest of our clients. With years of experience in dealing with the most complex family law issues, we are a divorce law firm you can trust to deliver a favourable outcome.

Our approach is resolution focused, with the aim to get the best possible outcome for our clients. We understand the emotional trauma involved in a divorce and are committed to providing fast, cost-effective and suitable resolutions for all of our clients. We strive to be the best family lawyers in Melbourne, our lawyers are here to listen and guide you through to the outcome you are striving to achieve. If you are looking for experienced family lawyers that are experts in Australian divorce settlement, then Mathews Family Law and Mediation Specialists is the law firm for you.

Divorce, legally ending your marriage can have many different aspects associated with it. Issues related to family law, children, custody and divorce and property settlement in Australia, whatever the problem we are here to assist you through the process.

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Melbourne:

Finalising and initiating the process of divorce is an extremely emotional and stressful thing to undertake. We empathise with our clients’ position, priding ourselves on being attentive to their needs. Our dedicated team of lawyers take the utmost care in dealing with your case efficiently, tailoring our approach to achieve your desired outcome. We aim to ensure our clients future is secured, and they receive quality family law and legal advice at every step.

If you wish to discuss any issue relating to family law, please feel free to get in touch with us and book in a free initial consultation.

Why is the divorce rate declining?

By 2016 the marriage rate in Australia had declined from 9.3 marriages per 1,000 residents to 4.9 in 2016.

The divorce rate has also been in steady decline since its height in 1976 (for obvious reasons) to 1.9 in 2016.

I wonder if the reasons for the declines set out in this American study – that who gets divorced is a function of who gets married – are applicable to the Australian social context?

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/millennials-divorce-baby-boomers/571282/

Re-partnering After Separation, Divorce

Second marriages, partnerships, step-families present challenges, new opportunities after separation, divorce …read more

Separation and Divorce at Christmas

The following informative article about coping  with separation and divorce at Christmas was published by Relationships Australia www.relationships.org.au

…read more

Vanessa Mathews Interview with Herald-Sun. Ashley Madison – Impact on Divorce in Australia?

Vanessa Mathews was asked whether she believed the Ashley Madison scandal would result in a ‘surge’ in divorces?
Click on the link to read the article
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/ashley-madison-hack-reveals-more-than-213000-melburnians/story-fnu4vh3q-1227492328816

Vanessa Mathews, Melbourne Divorce Lawyer, Guest Speaker at Mental Health Professionals Network Seminars

Mental health professionals often work with clients also navigating the complex family law process. My seminars ‘Client Care Through the Family Law Process’ provide mental health professionals (members of the Mental Health Professionals Network, MHPN) with practical information about the issues which they and their client are likely to encounter, including separation, divorce, child custody, property settlement, financial agreements, etc. Professionals issues surrounding the preparation of Family Court reports, confidentiality and subpoena and are discussed. The seminars are eagerly received, with stimulating questions and discussion throughout. As a family law specialist and qualified social worker, I feel particularly pleased to be able to support mental health professionals throughout Melbourne with their work with this particularly vulnerable group of family law clients.

online-divorce.com.au

Are you wishing to apply for divorce?

Mathews Family Law provides a unique fixed fee online divorce application service.

Simply submit the easy to complete application form and Vanessa Mathews, an accredited family law specialist, will personally manage your divorce for you.

Hassle free.

Easy.

Cheap.

Fixed fee.

Australia wide.

Let us do the worrying for you.

www.online-divorce.com.au  http://www.online-divorce.com.au

Federal Circuit Court of Australia: http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fccweb/home

That Contagious Disease Called ‘Divorce’

The rate of Divorce in Australia is high, with approximately 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population.

The decision to separate and/or divorce is very difficult.

I find it difficult to believe that the decision to separate and divorce can be triggered by the separation or divorce of a friend (unless there is a ‘tryst’ between the parties to the marriage).

I have yet to meet someone who’s decision to separate was brought about by someone else’s decision.

I think that the decision to separate is much more profound than any ‘contagion’ and that the parties deserve greater respect than this oversimplification of this most difficult of decisions.

http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life/making-a-break-for-it-when-you-divorce-because-your-friends-have-20140711-zt29v.html

Mathews Family Law provides expert divorce law / family law advice in Melbourne and the metropolitan area and, through the use of technology, to clients all over the world.

Vanessa Mathews
Accredited Family Lawyer