Family Law

Documents You’ll Need in Divorce – A Good List To Start With

Divorce Documents

As you head towards a divorce it’s important to be prepared.  This involves both emotional preparation for the long road ahead and finding a talented family lawyer that suits your personality.

Another important thing to gather and prepare are all the relevant documents you will need.  Having an incomplete list may leave your attorney in the dark when it comes to important matters such as property settlement or child support.  Here is what I call a “starter list” of the minimum documents you should collect before talking to an attorney or filing yourself.

Prenuptial agreements:  These are legal contracts you may have signed before the marriage.  They can governs everything from property division, spousal support after the marriage or child custody matters.

Pension statements:  You should collect these retirement documents for both yourself AND your spouse.  Generally, spouses can claim a portion of their partners retirement income if funds were used during the marriage to contribute to these types of plans.

Proof of current income:  This includes all W2s, 1099s, and other documents listed below such as bank statements and tax returns.  Basically, if you list is on your taxes as “income” then collect the documents that support those numbers, including home businesses.

Proof of spouse’s current income:  This includes W2s, 1099s, income from side businesses, repayments of debts (including interests), gifts, etc.  Examine the last few years of tax returns to give you an idea of what types of income are reported and then find the documents that support those claims.

Certificates of deposit:  A certificate of deposit is an instrument typically sold by a bank which represents a deposit of cash that cannot be withdrawn (without penalty) until a certain date.  For this promise the bank pays a higher interest rate.

Stock portfolios and stock options:  Documentation about stock portfolios usually take the form of monthly brokerage statement that come in the mail but be wary!  Many brokerages send their statements via email exclusively so you will need to check there.  Stock options are typically evidenced by a document “granting” the individual the options, but may also be contained on pay stubs, tax returns, or any documents you may have used to qualify for a mortgage or other loan.  These are usually considered assets and will be listed anywhere you may have needed to prove your financial status or net worth.

Credit card statements:  These may also be arriving via email so be sure to check all possible locations for the statements.  If you think you may not be aware of some credit cards check email  for correspondence or junk mail from the credit card provider.

Property tax statements:  These come in the mail and will document the tax assessed (and often the market) value of the real estate you own.  Be careful to watch out for property you may not be aware of.  Also note any unpaid taxes or tax liens showing on the documents.

Bank statements:  These m ay also be coming via email.  Pay special attention to deposits and withdrawals because large deposits or withdrawals may indicate hidden bank accounts your spouse may not have told you about.

Loan documents:  Loan documents always show proof of income and can also lead you to the exact documents you may need to verify proof of income.

(more…)

Legal Aspects of Nullity Under Australian law

Nullity Under Australian law

Apart from divorce, nullity constitutes another way of bringing marriage to an end. However, family lawyers will advise you that in contrast to divorce as the ending of a valid marriage, a declaration of nullity under Australian law implies that there was no legal marriage between the parties, notwithstanding the fact that parties might have held a marriage ceremony.

As a matter of Australian law, it is a prerogative of the Family Court of Australia to declare a marriage invalid. In making decision on the legal validity of a marriage, the court considers the following factors: 1) whether the parties were already married at the time of their marriage ceremony; 2) whether the parties were underaged and did not have the necessary approvals, or 3) whether the parties were forced into the marriage without their free will (under duress).

Here, it is extremely interesting to note that the court will not declare a marriage invalid on a variety of grounds, such as family violence, failure of the spouses to live together, non-consummation of marriage, etc.

(more…)

Any Doubts Regarding Negotiation of Financial Agreement?

Financial Agreement

Family Dispute Resolution can help you Resolve Financial Issues in case of Divorce

Although divorce can be traumatic and overwhelming, it’s important to keep your interests in perspective and negotiate a fair financial agreement. Trusted family lawyers recommend the Family Dispute Resolution rather than going to Family Court; going to court should be the last option, if you are unable to come to an agreement. Family Dispute Resolution encourages partners to work through issues in a logical and understanding manner. Discussions that are driven by resentment and anger will not achieve the desired results.

In Australia, the Family Dispute Resolution process (known as FDR) involves the assistance of an impartial, fair and qualified FDR practitioner who will help the divorcing couple resolve issues in an amicable manner. The objective of the FDR practitioner is to help the divorcing couple reach a mutually satisfying financial agreement.

(more…)

Are High Costs of Divorce Making you Nervous? Explore less Expensive Alternatives

Costs of Divorce

Divorce is a difficult experience for men and women, financially and mentally. Top family lawyers Family Lawyers Perth suggest that in addition to being emotionally stressful, divorce proceedings are typically driven by negativity, resentment and anger as opposed to reliable judgment and rational decision-making. Failure to agree on issues and acrimonious interactions result in lengthy, costly and tense court battles that seem to drag on forever.

Bitter and caustic divorces have a long-term impact on your financial health and couples may experience the adverse consequences long after the legal battle is over. High lawyer fees, steep court costs and other expenses result will make a huge dent in your hard-earned money. However, the good news is that divorcing couples need not undergo such stressful and prolonged legal proceedings. By adopting a synergistic and collaborative approach, they can resolve their issues, work out settlements to mutual satisfaction and move on with their lives.

(more…)

Experiencing Difficulties in Following Parenting Orders?

Parenting Order

Make a Legal Request to change Parenting Orders

In the eyes of Australian law, all individuals under the age of 18 are considered children and they must be cared for by parents regardless of extraneous circumstances affecting their relationship. If you seek legal guidance, top family lawyers such as Family Lawyers Adelaide will explain that parenting orders are issued by the Family Court and are intended to ensure the welfare of the child. Whether parents remarry, divorce or separate, they are legally obliged to care for their child in accordance with the parenting orders provided by the court.

The Family Court will usually issue parenting orders after the parties reach an agreement or after a court trial or hearing. Once parenting orders are issued, all parties affected by the order (parents, caregivers and so on) are legally obligated to follow the guidelines and recommendations.

(more…)

Divorce is Often Stressful and Traumatic: Taking Precautionary Measures can Help Ease out the Process

Precautionary Measures

For most of us, the decision to end a relationship is often a life transition point. Reputed firms such as Family Lawyers Perth can provide valuable advice regarding potential problems and pitfalls. It’s always a good idea to take simple steps and precautions to ensure that divorce proceedings are simple, straightforward and quick. Lengthy divorce hearings, stressful interactions and prolonged court ordeals result in worry and anxiety and may affect not only you but also other loved ones in your family. Resolving financial issues and protecting your rightful property and assets can help you move on to lead a fulfilling and happy life. Feelings of rejection, anger and resentment may prevent us from making positive decisions.


The most important thing is to ensure that your financial assets are protected. Although, this may not seem important to you at the time, having free access to your rightful monies may prove invaluable down the line. The following list describes some important things that you may wish to do in order to ease the difficult process of divorce.

  • First, make a detailed list of all your assets. Separate this list into assets under your name, assets under your partner’s name and assets held jointly.

(more…)