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a. Can my partner and I just agree as to how to split our assets without the Court?

Yes definitely. If you both have reached an agreement then we can create what is known as a Consent Order. This involves you providing us with your expectations as to how you want the split to occur and who gets what. We can then tailor an Order precisely in line with what you want to happen which sets out exactly how the assets are to be divided. The documents are then registered with the Court to formalise the agreement.

For more information on obtaining Consent Orders please contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

b. Do the Children have to live with the mother?

This is a question/myth which is commonly misunderstood and is not true. There are various factors which are taken into account by the Court in deciding who the children live with. The paramount consideration is not the parents' rights but ensuring that the best interests of the children are served. Although it is most common that the children do stay with their mother, it is certainly not the law and does not occur in every case.

If you would like to discuss your children and where they will live if you separate from your spouse, contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

c. What is a Pre-Nup?

This is a binding financial agreement which you and your partner can draft at the beginning of or throughout your relationship to set out how assets are to be divided without the Courts involvement should the relationship come to an end.

Tom Reeve can organise a Pre-Nuptial agreement for you, contact him on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

d. What sort of agreements can we make about arrangements for the children?

You can organise either a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders. Depending on your situation these can be done to suit your personal situation and provide the most suitable arrangement for you and your children.

To find out what agreement would best suit your circumstances contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

e. When can I apply for a divorce?

You can apply for a divorce once you have been separated for at least twelve months.
If you would like to apply for a divorce please contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

f. Do we have to resolve property matters before we are allowed to apply for a divorce?

Not at all. You can start negotiations about property as soon as the marriage breaks down, but if you are divorced you must start Court proceedings or formalise an agreement within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.

For further information on divorce or property matters contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

g. What about my Superannuation?

Your Superannuation can be treated by the Courts as part of your assets and it can be split between couples after separation. You can agree between you and your ex-partner as to how you want to deal with Superannuation and there are several options available to you.

To find out where you stand in relation to your Superannuation contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

h. How does the Court divide the property?

There is no set formula or rule that determines how the property will be divided and the Court is not required to split the property 50/50. It will consider many factors and these are often unique in each situation. The Court considers the financial and non-financial contributions either directly or indirectly made by you and your spouse in assessing the appropriate outcome.

If you need to speak to someone regarding dividing your property contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au who can advise you of your rights.

i. I have an Order for the children to spend time with me but my ex-partner will not let me see them. What can I do?

This is a breach of the Court Order and is taken seriously by the Courts. Depending on the situation there are many options available to you as well as possible serious repercussions for the other party.

If you have a Court Order and your ex-partner is not letting you see your children, contact Tom Reeve today on treeve@marsdens.net.au to find out how he can assist you.

j. Can children make their own decisions about where they want to live?

The Court must consider each child's views and more weight will be given to children of high maturity and understanding. However, there are also several other factors taken into account.

For more information on children deciding where they want to live contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.

k. The children have been living with me since separation and I want to move out of the area.  Do I need permission from the other parent?

This depends on whether there is a Court Order and your circumstances. If you are breaching an Order you cannot move and you may require the consent of the other party.

If you are unsure as to whether you need permission to move out of the area, contact Tom Reeve on treeve@marsdens.net.au.


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