In my 25 years as a family lawyer, I have come across five types of separations (and just to note when I talk about couples, this means – married, defacto or same sex couples). Here is how we can help you, no matter what ‘type’ you are.
The Five Types
The DIY Money Saving Couple
You come to us with exactly what you have both agreed to in your settlement. Not only that, but you have prepared some consent orders. We check over your paperwork for the financial separation and any parenting orders for your children so you can lodge them with the court without any issues. Just to note in that scenario, we are often asked if we can act for you both as a cost saving measure. Ethically, a lawyer can only act for one person even if you are in total agreement.
The Amicable Couple
Like the DIY couple you know what you want, you have worked out your agreement, but you are not sure how to put it all together. We will advise you as to the best way to finalise your agreement so that it is legal and binding. We will ask you if you want to do some of the paperwork yourself to save fees, and we will do the rest; or, we will do all the paperwork. Either way, we lodge it with the court for you. Like before, we can only act for one of you.
The Arguing but still Amicable Couple
Your separation is amicable but you can’t quite get a final agreement for your financial separation. It might just be that neither of you are sure what is fair. We will give you advice as to what is a fair resolution and we can help you with your negotiations. We can also arrange mediation. Our aim is to help you come to an arrangement and help you finalise your separation quickly and affordably while still keeping you amicable, especially if you have children together.
The Can’t Get on the Same Page Couple
You can’t seem to agree on much at all, but there is still hope! We are still going to try and settle this for you. We will try all the options to reach an agreement to get you the best and fairest outcome for your assets and children if you have them. We will try and keep it out of court to save you time and money.
The Courts Have to Decide Couple
You’ve tried mediation, you’ve had negotiation through lawyers to work it out, but you just can’t reach agreement. Sometimes the courts just have to decide the outcome of the separation.
Whichever road you are going down, I have been down it with my clients many times before, and I’ll walk with you every step of the way.