Often when couples separate they are able to reach agreement about how they going to co-parent and how they will divide up their assets. This begs the question – do they need a lawyer at all? Why waste money on expensive lawyers if parties can get along?  Here are some reasons why you should consider seeking legal advice in an otherwise amicable separation.

    1. If you are refinancing or transferring property, the bank will require a document called a Consent Order to be prepared and sealed by the court before they will process the refinance the mortgage and transfer of the property. A Consent Order is a legally binding and enforceable document so it is important it is drafted properly.
    2. If you wish to divide your superannuation with your spouse, you must have a court order. The types of super splitting orders vary depending on the type of superannuation fund and there are legal requirements to get approval from the trustee of the super fund before the court will approve any consent order that includes a super split.   It is important that you get legal advice to ensure the splitting orders are drafted properly and the proper processes are followed.
    3. Third parties such as new partners, well-meaning friends and family can cause problems in an otherwise amicable and co-operative parenting arrangement. When the dynamics change post separation an otherwise, workable and co-operative co-parenting arrangement can unravel and conflict can escalate which is damaging to children.    If separated parents take the time to document their agreed parenting arrangement while they are amicable this document can stop the escalation of conflict when third parties become involved with the family.  The documented agreement can also preserve the previous arrangements pending proper discussion and negotiation between parents about how the new dynamics will impact the existing parenting arrangements.   Parenting arrangements can be documented in a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.  We will discuss with you the best and most cost effective way to document your parenting arrangements so they are specifically tailored to the needs of your family.
    4. Sometimes there is a power imbalance in the relationship – this can be caused by personality types, family violence, financial dependency and vulnerability or mental health issues which can impact the appropriateness of the agreement reached. Seeking independent legal advice provides peace of mind and protection for vulnerable parties by giving them knowledge and assurance that the agreement reached is appropriate and within the parameters of the law.

At Future Family Law, we will:

    • Respect an agreement that has been reached between parties and not unravel an agreement that is within legal range;
    • Strive to preserve the amicable relationship between separated parties;
    • Give you honest advice and options including a cost benefit analysis of the options presented to you if the agreement reached is not appropriate or where there is an opportunity to improve on the agreed arrangement;
    • Provide you with fixed fees every step of the way so you have full transparency about costs.

Contact us for a fixed fee initial consult to discuss your needs or alternatively take advantage of our free 15 min general advice phone consult to see if we help.