Author Archives Davey Law

Dealing with the human side of separation

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Dealing with the human side of separation
21
Dec
2016

Many of the issues that family lawyers deal with are personal problems, rather than strictly legal ones:

  • Where will my children live?
  • Will I have to sell the family home?
  • Can I keep my small business?

A good family law practitioner will be able to grasp the human dynamics at play, and will work with you to solve problems rather than to escalate conflict.

Unfortunately, the breakdown of a relationship usually involves some tension and conflict. It is regrettable, then, if the legal process itself increases that conflict.

Part of the role of an effective family lawyer is to steer you through to the other side of your family law issue – be it a divorce, property settlement or parenting matter – as painlessly as possible, and hopefully with your important relationships intact.

It is possible for separating spouses to work together co-operatively to find joint solutions. This process may be a formal one, through Collaborative Practice, or it may be achieved simply by finding a family lawyer who takes a collaborative, rather than an adversarial, approach.

A more collaborative, less adversarial, approach can often save you money. More importantly, it will save you the high emotional costs of court proceedings.

An experienced family lawyer can advise you about options for resolving your dispute through collaborative practice.

Practical tips when you are separating

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Practical tips when you are separating
07
Dec
2016

Family separation can be a chaotic time with significant upheaval and anxiety. We have put together some practical tips to steer you through the confusion and help protect your interests:

  • Secure your personal and family documents including birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, mortgage and property documents.
  • Make copies of all important documents relating to the relationship, such as tax returns, payslips, bank statements, credit card statements, superannuation statements and car registration papers, as well as any documents relating to a business – while there is an obligation in family law for each party to fully disclose their financial information to the other, an uncooperative spouse can cause you considerable delay and extra legal costs that might otherwise be avoided with a little foresight.
  • Update your computer, internet and email passwords to protect your personal privacy.
  • Let your children’s school or day care know about your separation. This will help your children’s teachers be mindful of any changes the children might be experiencing. Separation can often be a time of high conflict, and your children’s school may need to be informed of any domestic violence proceedings or changes to the people authorised to collect the children.
  • Deal with your banking arrangements. If you have joint bank accounts, joint credit cards or a joint home loan, your banking arrangements may need to be changed to avoid one party drawing on joint assets without the other’s consent. Most people will also want to start their own bank account at separation, and might want to redirect their salary payments into their individual account.
  • Get professional advice – we offer an initial consultation where you can discuss your situation and receive preliminary advice about your options and next steps.

Divorce with dignity, Strathpine

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Divorce with dignity, Strathpine
04
Nov
2016

collaborativelawThe end of a relationship can be a highly emotive time, bringing with it feelings of anxiety, anger and even grief at the loss of ‘what could have been’.

Family lawyers often see people during their most anxious times, when the crucial touch-points to our human nature are threatened – our homes, our children, our self-esteem and even our livelihood. Too often we see people ‘lost in the fog’ of separation making significant life decisions that are driven by negative emotions of anger and fear.

Regrettably, family conflict can escalate with the commencement of legal proceedings. The harsh reality of litigation is that it carries with it high financial and emotional costs, and at the end of a lengthy process, very few people walk out of court feeling ‘winners’.

However, there is a better way. Collaborative Law offers a fresh approach to help separating couples with property settlement and parenting arrangements. Unlike litigation, collaborative practice focuses on positive problem-solving with minimal conflict.

The collaborative process sees separating couples and their lawyers working together cooperatively to find solutions that meet both parties’ needs. Other professionals, such as accountants, counsellors and the like, can be called into the process to assist with a particular financial or children’s issue that the separating couple may be facing. The collaborative approach allows the parties far greater control over their separation process. Often we see parties able to address a wider range of options than might be considered in the traditional adversarial approach.

An experienced family lawyer can advise if your matter is suitable for resolution through collaborative practice.

If you are considering a collaborative approach, it pays to make an early enquiry as both parties will need to choose a collaboratively-trained lawyer.

In Queensland, some seventy lawyers are presently trained in collaborative practice, including our principal, Yvonne Davey.

Read more about our Collaborative Law practice.

Child custody – does my child have a say in where they live?

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Child custody – does my child have a say in where they live?
16
Oct
2016

We often get asked by parents involved in legal conflict, ‘can my child choose who they want to live with?’ Simply answered, the older your child is, the more weight their views and wishes have.

The legal process (including the family psychologists, lawyers and judges engaged in each case) is focused on making parenting arrangements which are in the long-term best interests of the individual child.

Whilst children cannot be made to give their views, any views that they do express (through a family report or an independent children’s lawyer) must be considered.

The weight given to those views during the legal process will depend on the age and maturity of your child:

  • Universally, the views of the 15-17 year old child will be highly decisive in parenting matters. More often than not, older teenagers will ‘vote with their feet’, irrespective of what formal arrangements are in place.
  • The views of the 12-14 year old child are often given significant weight, depending on their ability to clearly express a high level of understanding and reasoning behind their wishes.
  • For younger children, the issue is more complex and will depend on the individual child’s level of emotional maturity. That said, the views of most 8-11 year old children will generally hold some weight when it comes to deciding what is in their best interests.
  • Children younger than 7 years are typically considered too young to fully understand the effect of their choices, and their views are usually given little weight in deciding parenting orders.

Contact us for detailed advice about your particular circumstances.

Property settlement after separation or divorce

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Property settlement after separation or divorce
30
Sep
2016

Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, the end of the relationship usually signals a time when you and your spouse will need to decide how to divide your assets and debts.

Family law provides an all-inclusive process to determine the division of property, based on whether it’s just and equitable in all of the circumstances to alter the parties’ property interests (i.e. ‘is it fair?’).

In considering if it’s ‘fair’, the law looks at:

  • What are each person’s assets and liabilities? Assets include the family home, cars, bank accounts, shares, business interests and superannuation. Liabilities include the mortgage, car finance, personal loans, credit cards and taxation debts.
  • How long was the relationship? What contributions did each person make? Contributions can be financial, such as a deposit on the family home, mortgage payments or an inheritance. Contributions can also be non-financial, such as parenting and homemaking.
  • What are each party’s future needs regarding their age, health, child-care responsibility and income-earning capacity?

Timing is important. Although there are some exceptions, generally speaking, property settlement must be done:

  • Within 12 months of being divorced (if you separated a long time ago but have never gotten a divorce, you may still be entitled to a property settlement).
  • Within 2 years of separating from a de facto relationship.

By all means, work out your property settlement with your spouse informally. After you’ve reached agreement, it is best to legally formalise your settlement.

  • Unless your agreement is formalised, you run the risk of having a claim made by your spouse further down the track.
  • Transfer of the family home into one spouse’s name is usually exempt from stamp duty.

An experienced family lawyer can advise of your likely property settlement entitlements and can formalise your settlement through Consent Orders or a Financial Agreement.

This website provides information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.

Child custody, Arana Hills

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Child custody, Arana Hills
20
Nov
2014

Davey Law Home 5Many people still refer to ‘custody’, ‘access’ and ‘visitation’ when discussing children’s living arrangements. The current terminology is ‘lives with’ for custody, and ‘spends time with’ for access and visitation.

Shared responsibility

When it comes to parenting, family law is firmly focused on the best interests of the child. In the absence of any family violence or child abuse, there is a presumption that it is in your child’s best interests for both parents to have equal shared parental responsibility.

This means that Mum and Dad share all of the rights and responsibilities that go hand in hand with parenting.

Decisions about major long-term issues, such as where your child goes to school, changing your child’s last name or moving with your child to a new area, should be made jointly by the parents in consultation with each other.

Shared time

Shared parental responsibility is not to be confused with shared time.  Separated parents are encouraged to cooperatively reach agreement about their child’s living arrangements. Family dispute resolution services, such as Family Relationship Centers and Relationship Australia, can help you navigate potential issues of conflict.

Collaborative LawIf a court decision is required in your circumstances, the court will consider whether it is in your child’s best interests (and is reasonably practicable) to spend either equal time, or substantial and significant time, with each parent.

‘Substantial and significant time’ includes your child spending time with each parent not only on weekends and holidays, but also during the week, so that both parents can be involved in the child’s daily routine, schooling and special occasions.

Appropriate family law advice should be sought for your particular circumstances. A family lawyer can help you to negotiate parenting arrangements and document your agreement by way of a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.

Davey Law specialises in all aspects of family law, including:

  • Parenting and children’s matters
  • Divorce
  • Separation advice
  • Property settlements
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Collaborative Law
  • Domestic violence
  • Financial agreements
  • Court  documents and hearings

As a law practice, our goal is to achieve just outcomes for our clients whilst at the same time minimising the trauma and expense of legal action.

We work towards an amicable settlement, as we believe that an adversarial approach is unsuited to relationship conflicts.

If your matter is beyond negotiation and requires litigation to achieve a fair outcome, we will represent you in Court.

We are located in the Eaton Central shopping centre at Eatons Hill, where there is plenty of parking available.

This website provides information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.

Is superannuation ‘property’ in divorce?

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Is superannuation ‘property’ in divorce?
24
Sep
2014

Superannuation is often a significant asset to be factored into property division, along with other tangible assets such as the family home.

Under family law, both spouses’ superannuation entitlements form part of the asset pool that is to be divided upon separation.

A super split to one spouse can balance assets retained by the other as part of property settlement. For example, a separating couple might agree that the family home will be transferred to one spouse, with the other receiving a comparable portion of superannuation.

Splitting does not convert the superannuation into a cash asset. The split amount will still be subject to superannuation rules, and will generally be rolled over to an account in the same superannuation fund, in the name of the spouse receiving the split.

Essential steps:

  1. Obtain the value of the superannuation. This is usually done by completing the relevant forms and sending them to the superannuation fund trustee. The valuation of some types of superannuation, such as a defined benefit or a self-managed super fund, can be complex and the advice of an expert should be sought.
  2. Choose the splitting method. Superannuation can be split by Consent Order or by a Superannuation Agreement which meets the requirements of the Family Law Act.
  3. Provide the superannuation fund trustee with what is called ‘procedural fairness’. This means that the trustee must see the terms of the proposed super split and be given the opportunity to object. This step ensures that the proposed terms of the super split can, in fact, be carried out by the party required to implement them – the trustee.
  4. Once the Consent Order has been sealed or the Superannuation Agreement executed, provide a certified copy to the superannuation fund trustee.

An experienced family lawyer can advise of your property settlement options including superannuation splitting, and can draft the appropriate documents.

Dividing property after separation or divorce, Albany Creek

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Dividing property after separation or divorce, Albany Creek
07
Aug
2014

Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, the end of the relationship usually signals a time when you and your spouse will need to decide how to divide your assets and debts.

Family law provides an all-inclusive process to determine the division of property, based on whether it’s just and equitable in all of the circumstances to alter the parties’ property interests (i.e. ‘is it fair?’).

In considering if it’s ‘fair’, the law looks at:

  • What are each person’s assets and liabilities? Assets include the family home, cars, bank accounts, shares, business interests and superannuation. Liabilities include the mortgage, car finance, personal loans, credit cards and taxation debts.
  • How long was the relationship? What contributions did each person make? Contributions can be financial, such as a deposit on the family home, mortgage payments or an inheritance. Contributions can also be non-financial, such as parenting and homemaking.
  • What are each party’s future needs regarding their age, health, child-care responsibility and income-earning capacity?

Timing is important. Although there are some exceptions, generally speaking, property settlement must be done:

  • Within 12 months of being divorced (if you separated a long time ago but have never gotten a divorce, you may still be entitled to a property settlement).
  • Within 2 years of separating from a de facto relationship.

By all means, work out your property settlement with your spouse informally. After you’ve reached agreement, it is best to legally formalise your settlement.

  • Unless your agreement is formalised, you run the risk of having a claim made by your spouse further down the track.
  • Transfer of the family home into one spouse’s name is usually exempt from stamp duty.

An experienced family lawyer can advise of your likely property settlement entitlements and can formalise your settlement through Consent Orders or a Financial Agreement.

This website provides information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.

Shared parenting – family law, Brisbane northside

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Shared parenting – family law, Brisbane northside
17
Jul
2014

Shared responsibility

When it comes to parenting, family law is firmly focused on the best interests of the child. In the absence of any family violence or child abuse, there is a presumption that it is in your child’s best interests for both parents to have equal shared parental responsibility.

This means that Mum and Dad share all of the rights and responsibilities that go hand in hand with parenting.

Decisions about major long-term issues, such as where your child goes to school, changing your child’s last name or moving with your child to a new area, should be made jointly by the parents in consultation with each other.

Shared time

Shared parental responsibility is not to be confused with shared time. Many people still refer to ‘custody’, ‘access’ and ‘visitation’ when discussing children’s living arrangements. The current terminology is ‘lives with’ for custody, and ‘spends time with’ for access and visitation.

Separated parents are encouraged to cooperatively reach agreement about their child’s living arrangements. Family dispute resolution services, such as Family Relationship Centres and Relationship Australia, can help you navigate potential issues of conflict.

If a court decision is required in your circumstances, the court will consider whether it is in your child’s best interests (and is reasonably practicable) to spend either equal time, or substantial and significant time, with each parent.

‘Substantial and significant time’ includes your child spending time with each parent not only on weekends and holidays, but also during the week, so that both parents can be involved in the child’s daily routine, schooling and special occasions.

Appropriate family law advice should be sought for your particular circumstances.

A family lawyer can help you to negotiate parenting arrangements and document your agreement by way of a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.

Break-up without the break-down – Collaborative Law, North Brisbane

Posted by: Davey Law   /   Comments Off on Break-up without the break-down – Collaborative Law, North Brisbane
02
Jul
2014

The end of a relationship can be a highly emotive time, bringing with it feelings of anxiety, anger and even grief at the loss of ‘what could have been’.

Family lawyers often see people during their most anxious times, when the crucial touch-points to our human nature are threatened – our homes, our children, our self-esteem and even our livelihood. Too often we see people ‘lost in the fog’ of separation making significant life decisions that are driven by negative emotions of anger and fear.

Regrettably, family conflict can escalate with the commencement of legal proceedings. The harsh reality of litigation is that it carries with it high financial and emotional costs, and at the end of a lengthy process, very few people walk out of court feeling ‘winners’.

However, there is a better way. Collaborative Law offers a fresh approach to help separating couples with property settlement and parenting arrangements. Unlike litigation, collaborative practice focuses on positive problem-solving with minimal conflict.

The collaborative process sees separating couples and their lawyers working together cooperatively to find solutions that meet both parties’ needs. Other professionals, such as accountants, counsellors and the like, can be called into the process to assist with a particular financial or children’s issue that the separating couple may be facing. The collaborative approach allows the parties far greater control over their separation process. Often we see parties able to address a wider range of options than might be considered in the traditional adversarial approach.

An experienced family lawyer can advise if your matter is suitable for resolution through collaborative practice.

If you are considering a collaborative approach, it pays to make an early enquiry as both parties will need to choose a collaboratively-trained lawyer.

In Queensland, some seventy lawyers are presently trained in collaborative practice, including our principal, Yvonne Davey.

Read more about our Collaborative Law practice.