Do all family law matters need to go to court?

Most family law disputes are resolved without the court being required to make a decision. Most applications to the court are made to formalise an agreement reached between the parties.

Do I need to get a lawyer?

One of the first decisions you will face upon separation is whether to engage a lawyer.  It is particularly important to be represented by an experienced family lawyer when there are children involved, where your spouse has engaged a lawyer, where there is significant disagreement about parenting or division of property or where you are not emotionally prepared to negotiate matters directly.

Are there any time limits for the family law matters?

Yes, certain time limits do apply. For example, with property settlement and spousal maintenance issues, the limitation period for filing an application is 12 months from the certificate of divorce being issued for married couples, or two years from the date of separation for defacto couples.  For divorce applications, there is no time limit in which the application can be submitted.

How is Superannuation Treated in Property Settlements?

Superannuation is treated as a different type of property.  Separating couples may value their superannuation and split superannuation payments. Splitting does not convert superannuation into a cash asset and it remains subject to superannuation laws.

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