Tag Archives: Divorce

How Family Law Defines A Meaningful Relationship Between Children And Both Their Divorced Parents

When family lawyers are dealing with legal matters that involve children, there is much within family law that they must refer to. A child being adopted, visitation rights for a divorcing parent, and taking a child from their abusive parents for their protection are but three possible reasons why a family lawyer might be involved, either to represent parents or in some matters, the child.

Some of these cases come up rarely and others are what you might consider normal for a family lawyer and a family law matter they possibly deal with each week. One of the more common ones where a family lawyer will most definitely be advising clients is during a divorce, and where that client has children, there will be parenting arrangements to resolve.

As current family law stands, there is a strong emphasis on the best interests of the children being served when any divorce order is settled. One specific element of that, and a term you will find within the Family Law Act, is “meaningful relationship”. This is where family law tries to balance the best interests of the child by promoting having a meaningful relationship with both parents, whilst at the same time protecting the child from psychological or physical harm.

Defining A Meaningful Relationship

Although the 1975 Family Law Act is the basis for how divorces and child arrangements are dealt with legally, the concept of parents sharing equal responsibility for their children, and that of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents, was first introduced by an amendment made to the Act in 2006. Given that meaningful relationships can be considered subjectively rather than objectively, it means that case law has often helped define what it is.

Terms such as “valuable”, “important”, “of consequence” and “significant” have all been used in cases to further define what a meaningful relationship is, but it still leaves some misunderstandings. Further explanations of how a meaningful relationship can be recognised and defined are set out below.


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 legal advisor 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 and your tax lawyers 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.


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.