Experiencing a separation can be a complex and anxiety-inducing journey.
Understanding your entitlements during this time can provide a smoother path forward, with your best interests in mind both in the short and long term.
Regardless of your unique circumstances, it’s crucial to comprehend the legal rights and privileges of both parties involved in the separation process, whether it involves ending a marriage or de facto relationship.
In the aftermath of a split, it is essential to take prompt action and make practical decisions about assets, debts, and children, if applicable.
Here are a few factors to ponder:
- Are there any unsettled bills or debts?
- Who will continue to reside in the residence?
- Is there a mortgage to be paid, or rent to be settled?
- What will become of any joint bank or credit union accounts?
- How will shared possessions like furniture, vehicles, or other assets be divided?
- Consult with a legal professional for guidance
- Be aware of your rights and entitlements
- Contemplate the potential long-term consequences.
The Importance of Seeking Legal Advice to Determine Your Entitlements in a Separation
Separation is a legal procedure, and it is highly advisable to seek the aid of a skilled family law attorney.
There is no universal answer to the question “what am I entitled to in a separation?” since every relationship is unique, and the outcome will vary accordingly.
Obtaining customized legal guidance is crucial to comprehending your own entitlements and those of your ex-partner.
After a separation, you may not necessarily have to attend court to arrange the distribution of assets and finances. However, if you aim to dissolve your marriage, you must file for a Divorce order from the Court.
In cases where a resolution cannot be reached independently, a seasoned family law attorney can aid you through dispute resolution processes.
Dispute resolution encompasses various services that aim to aid in resolving issues that may emerge from separation or divorce while promoting a positive relationship between the parties involved during these challenging discussions.
Typical dispute resolution methods include negotiating and discussing possible compromises, either with the assistance of legal representation or independently.
Determining Your Entitlements During Separation
In Australia, the family law system acknowledges that each person involved in a separation has a right to receive a “fair and equitable share” of the matrimonial assets.
When establishing which property and/or assets each party is entitled to, various factors come into play. These can encompass each individual’s financial and non-financial contributions to the relationship and will be taken into account during the separation process.
These contributions may consist of:
- Domestic responsibilities
- Taking care of any dependents
- Professional or technical expertise used during the relationship.
After the dissolution of a partnership, both you and your ex-partner are entitled to reside in the shared home, regardless of who appears on the rental agreement or title of the property.
It is unfair if you are compelled to depart if the property is not in your name, except if the court has issued an order requiring you to do so.
These orders, referred to as ‘Sole Occupancy Orders,’ are only granted in severe circumstances.
If you are required to vacate the shared home, it will not impact your entitlement to a fair share of the property. Additionally, any rights and entitlements you have acquired during the relationship will remain unchanged.
Under a sole occupancy order, one party can continue residing in the house until the property is divided.
You and your former partner can also engage in a financial agreement with the guidance of an Australian lawyer. It is imperative to obtain legal advice before entering into such an agreement.
A financial agreement under Part VIIIA (for marriages) or Division 4 of Part VIIIAB (for de facto relationships) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) is a legally binding contract between two or more parties. It outlines specific agreements concerning the division of property, finances, liabilities, superannuation, and spousal maintenance.
Importance of Considering Long-Term Outcomes in a Separation
When going through a separation, it is crucial to think beyond the immediate issues of entitlements and also consider the long-term implications. It’s important to consider how the separation will impact your financial, legal, and emotional wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of any children or other people involved.
Seeking appropriate legal guidance can help ensure a fair and equitable process, taking into account everyone’s needs and interests. Don’t just focus on the present, but consider the future as well to make informed decisions for your best interests.