Alimony, emancipation and prenuptial agreement are some of the terms commonly used around family law Sydney that will send anyone cowering if they are not prepared. The words are not just new; they are also intimidating. It does not help that the internet is awash with information on the topic that does little to help the specific issues.
Family law is a legal practice area that covers family relationships like child custody, adoption and divorce. The family law attorney handles matters related to these issues, with some of them specialising in one area over the rest. As it is, some laws govern procedures such as divorce, necessitating family law as a legal practice. Three of the most common family law issues include:
Child custody, support, access and parenting
When parents are separating, they have to settle on where the children live and the amounts of time they will spend with parents – legally speaking, the term is ‘access’. Custody, on the other hand, refers to the person who will bear the responsibility of decision making concerning the child. They will decide, for example, where the child goes to school, their health plans, and religion. Together, the parents can make arrangements that will support the upbringing of the child, and this is covered under parenting plans.
After separation, both parents still have to support the children financially until they turn 18 and sometimes a while after that. More often than not, child support will be paid by the parent spending less time with the child. The idea is for them to help cater for the child caring costs. The amount they pay is ordinarily dependent on their income.
As long as they are not divorced, – and sometimes after – spouses are financially responsible for one another by law. In separation cases, the spouse who earns more, for example, may be required to pay spousal support to the other. What they pay will depend on factors such as the length of their relationship.
Division of property
Upon separation, once married spouses must share property and assets that they acquired during their marriage. They also both have a right to keep living in their shared house regardless of the spouse who owns it. Common-law couples, on the other hand, get to keep their property upon separation. They only divide what they hold together.
How a lawyer can help with family law issues
Divorce is a messy affair. It comes loaded with baggage and sometimes bitterness over perceived hurts, justifiable or not. Often, spouses have a hard time seeing things clearly. As the saying goes, when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers – in this case, the children. A family law attorney Sydney can help to protect the interests of the children.
Divorce lawyers are skilled in legal issues such as coming up with settlement plans. They can help you to avoid a court trial, to calculate spousal support and to divide marital property. Additionally, lawyers can help you come up with child visitation, custody and support plans that will work for both parents.
Family law Sydney dictates that during a divorce, the court gives orders and settlement agreements that may be revisited over time. For example, if the non-custodial parent loses their job, the child support may change to factor that. In other cases, an absent father may be unwilling to pay child support in which case a lawyer helps with the paternity cases to help secure the support.
Your legal needs are many during a divorce, for example, so if you need help with a family law issue, contact your local legal firm.