5 Common Misconceptions About Separation In Family Law Matters

The First COVID-19 Christmas

It’s that time of year where for most, it’s countdown for gift shopping, tree decorating and spending time with family and friends but for some, this Christmas will not be the usual happy Christmas day they are used to.

As we all know, this year has been unpredictable, stressful, and financially detrimental to a lot of people due to Covid-19 and the rapid changes in policy and procedure for each state of Australia. Many people may not be able to see their families this year due to quarantine restrictions and lack of funds. Many people may not be able to afford nice presents and decorations for their home due to loss of employment or income. Covid-19 has put strain on many relationships and as family lawyers we have seen an increase in separation and domestic violence within the family home.

One Last Christmas With The Children

As well as Covid-19 there are many other reasons as to why relationships break down over the Christmas period. Couples tend to stay together for that ‘one last Christmas for the children’ before separating. Some parents prefer to separate at the end of the school year thinking they are able to relocate with the children prior to them commencing the next school year. It could be a new year’s resolution for a fresh beginning, but whatever the reason may be it is absolutely prudent that people that are separating or thinking of separating, obtain expert advice from a family lawyer.

Separating Assets & Liabilities

When a married or de-facto couple separate most of the time there are assets and liabilities that need to be divided such as real estate, businesses, motor vehicles, shares, superannuation, bank accounts, investments, boats, furniture and the like. Sometimes people think that it would be more cost effective for them to avoid seeing lawyers and agreeing between themselves as to how to divide their assets and liabilities. When people are deciding on how to do this, they are usually making their decision based on common misconceptions that can be detrimental a person’s future and eventually what their retirement will look like.

Common Misconceptions About Separation In Family Law Matters

The following is a brief list of common misconceptions people have about separation in family law matters:

  1. If an asset or liability is in my personal name, then I retain that asset or liability after separation.
  2. If I purchased the property prior to the relationship, then I retain that property after separation.
  3. If we sell the property, we split the net sale proceeds equally.
  4. Superannuation is not included in a separation and cannot be split.
  5. If I earnt all the money during the relationship, I should receive the majority of the assets.

Another issue people face is that without obtaining legal advice and signing a legally binding agreement your ex-partner or spouse may be able to seek a property settlement from you many years later and at this point in time you may have a new family and a new life, and this can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for everyone involved. Therefore, it is important to receive legal advice and to be aware of your limitation date whereby yourself or the other party may make a claim for a property settlement.

To find out your entitlements or any other advice on your family law matter please call us on 1300 088 440 to discuss your options.