What We Do
SYDNEY FAMILY LAWYERS
We are a Sydney based family law firm, we offer creative solutions for your matters – large or small – in a cost conscious manner – Sydney Divorce Lawyer specialising in 50/50 divorce.
Our professional skills including mediation, negotiation and litigation ensure that the best solution to your unique situation is presented. We take your requirements into careful consideration and develop a strategy that places you ahead.
Our expert services include divorce, child custody, property settlement, de facto relationships, spouse maintenance and child support. Where necessary we appear in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.
If you are considering a 50/50 divorce, we provide advice on property settlement and commercial law. This will give you a significant advantage in gaining a 50/50 divorce with our experienced commercial lawyers.
Assertive litigation is another avenue and appropriate in some matters, it is not always recommended as the best way to resolve a dispute. When there is a family break-up often the sensitive issues are best dealt with through mediation.
Sydney Family Lawyers
We will work with you in order to gain a deep understanding of your unique situation. Sydney Divorce Lawyer will apply our in depth and detailed legal knowledge of family law to provide you with easy to understand legal advice setting out your best divorce strategy or property settlement strategy. We are a reputable and prominent Sydney family lawyers and divorce lawyer Sydney that works efficiently and with professionalism. We work regularly within the NSW supreme court and family courts in Sydney.
Often there are substantial assets built up over the course of a marriage. During marriage breakdown it is often difficult to come to a 50/50 divorce agreement that allows the assets to be divided equally. The divorce legal advice our experienced lawyers can offer allows us to resolve your legal dispute in a timely and affordable manner.
PROFESSIONAL FAMILY LAW FIRM
WHAT IS THE DIVORCE PROCESS?
A divorce is essentially a Court Order that ends your marriage. Divorce is dealt with separately by the Court. This in comparison from any associated parenting and/or property issues.
You do not need to be legally divorced to start parenting and/or property proceedings. In fact, in some cases it is better not to obtain a divorce order before starting financial proceedings, because there are deadlines associated with this.
Before you apply for a divorce, you or your spouse must:
- regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; or
- be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship; or
- ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You will have to have been separated for at least 12 months (you can be ‘separated’ even if you are still living together). There also has to be no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together.
If you have children with your spouse that are under the age of 18 then you will have to satisfy the Court that you have made arrangements for their care. You will need to attend the Court if you have made a sole application and you have children under 18. Otherwise, you will most likely not need to attend the hearing.
There is a $900 Court fee associated with divorces currently, although this may be reduced in some circumstances, Sydney divorce lawyer can help you with this as required.
CAN I GET CUSTODY OF MY CHILDREN/CHILD?
In Australian law the parental side of marriage breakdown is referred to as ‘Parental responsibility,’ and instead of ‘custody’ we use the term ‘time spent.’
Parental responsibility includes decision making elements such as the child’s religion, schooling, health care and etc.
The Courts start with the idea that decisions should be made in the best interests of the children. Overall, the Courts are very reluctant to give one parent full parental responsibility and time spent. It is considered in the best interests of the child for them to have a relationship with both parents. One parent will usually however be given the majority of the time with the children. Who this is will depend and we recommend seeking legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.
Sydney Divorce Lawyer specialises in mediation and child custody.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CLAIM SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE?
Spousal maintenance is financial support paid from one former partner to another. It is only claimable if one person has a need because they cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their personal income or assets.
When the Court is deciding this it will look at:
- the other party’s capacity to pay;
- your age and health;
- property, income and financial resources;
- your ability to work;
- what is a suitable standard of living; and
- if the marriage has affected your ability to earn an income.
CAN I CLAIM CHILD SUPPORT?
Government departments normally arrange child support. The government then collects and transfers the payments on the parents behalf. If you can come to an agreement with your former partner, payments can be arranged privately.
The amount of child support is calculated based on a formula and takes into account the income of the parents, the time spent with the parents and other relevant factors.
DO I NEED A PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT / BINDING FINANCIAL AGREEMENT?
In Australia these are referred to as Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs). You can arrange a BFA in three different scenarios:
1. Before you are married or commence a de facto relationship, to protect assets you have entering into the relationship (these are what are referred to colloquially as pre-nups);
2. During the relationship, to protect assets accrued;
3. After separation, often to deal with the issue of spousal maintenance or to formalise a property settlement.
BFAs must be very carefully drafted to ensure that they are enforceable. Both parties must obtain independent legal advice before they sign.
SHOULD I MOVE OUT OF HOME?
Usually family lawyers will say don’t move out.
The reasons can include such factors as increased costs by way of mortgage fees or by incurring additional rental costs.
Also, it is possible to lose control of maintaining any assets in a saleable condition, if a sale is necessary.
If there is a situation where the other party is difficult, sitting in the home comfortably having the mortgage paid, Court application may become more likely. In my experience these situations can stifle settlement and lead to Family Court or Federal Circuit Court proceedings.
Separation under one roof is usually less than ideal, and uncomfortable for both parties, which can be a good motivator for a speedy settlement.
Of course of there is any domestic violence or risk to personal safety then these must take primary consideration. If you, the children or pets are in any danger then you should immediately leave to a place of safety.
If you are unsure at all please call us immediately on 02 9283 5599 to discuss your options.
DO I HAVE TO PUT MY CHILDREN OR MYSELF THROUGH COURT?
At Koffels Solicitors we will do everything we can to keep your matter from being resolved by the Court, unless entirely necessary. This is because there are long delays and expenses associated with the Family Courts. The vast majority of cases settle outside of Court via negotiation (through lawyers) or mediation. We can then apply to the Court to have the agreement made into Consent Orders, which are enforceable by the Court.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE SYDNEY FAMILY LAWYERS?
We know from experience that it will ultimately be in your best interests to settle your matter fairly and sensibly. Sydney Divorce Lawyers can achieve this by approaching each matter practically and creatively.
We do this so we can reach a cost-effective solution to your legal problem. Our family lawyer will empower you with the knowledge you need such that you will know your legal rights.
We take responsibility for your case and work hard to provide a cost effective and equitable solution. In addition we are one of the most experienced law practice in Sydney and will dedicate our time to your legal problem.