We all know someone that has been through a separation and wants to give you advice or share their "horror story" with you. Often, that advice is wrong or misleading. Every separation is different. There is no one case fits all.
It is important if you are thinking of separating or have separated that you get advice from a lawyer that specialises in family law so that you can make an informed decision. Catherine Ross and Amalie Grima are the Directors at Cairns Family Law Group. They have busted the top three myths in family law.
Myth 1: All relationships end in a 50/50 property division.
There is no rule or presumption that property will be divided equally upon separation. The law says that property should be divided in a fair way. The factors that are applied to determine what is fair include:
• The length of the relationship;
• The financial contributions of each party, including what each party had at the commencement of the relationship or any special contributions for example an inheritance.
• The non-financial contributions of either party; and
• The current and future needs of the parties, for example each party’s income or care of children.
The reality is that many cases are not 50/50.
Myth 2: All family law disputes go to Court.
Most parties do not go anywhere near a court. After parties have received advice about what the law says, most parties are able to reach an agreement between themselves or with the assistance of lawyers.
Catherine says, “At Cairns Family Law Group we have a strong focus on trying to help our client’s settle out of court. If Court is necessary, then most of these matters will also resolve by an agreement well before a final hearing, with less than 4% of matters being determined by a judge after a trial.”
Myth 3: If you agree then you don’t need to involve lawyers for a property settlement.
Amalie says, “It is very important that if you reach an agreement that it is properly formalised by a Consent Order or Binding Financial Agreement. If the agreement is not formalised properly then you are exposing yourself to the risk of the other party later claiming an addition piece of the pie down the track.
At Cairns Family Law Group, much of our work is drafting Consent Orders or Binding Financial Agreements so that clients have peace of mind and the deal is sealed.” There are many benefits of formalising an agreement such as tax exemptions, certainly, protection of rights and entitlements, estate planning and simplicity.
Visit the Cairns Family Law Group website to learn more.