If you are considering getting a divorce, the first thing you will need to do is contact a lawyer who specialises in family law. Special family courts oversee divorce cases in Australia, so it is important that your legal representative understands the ins and outs of this area of the law. When you have your first consultation with a lawyer, it is important that you ask the right questions so you know what to expect and so you can judge how proficient they are on the subject of family law. Below is a guide to 3 questions you should ask when speaking to a lawyer for the first time.
Ask how long you need to be separated from your spouse
Under Australian law, a couple must be separated for a set amount of time before they can divorce. This is typically 12 months, although depending on the nature of the case, they length of time could vary. This waiting period is designed to allow time for a couple to establish that they genuinely wish to divorce and to reduce the chance that a couple will divorce during a rough patch, only to then decide that they wish to remain married. Once the time set down by the court has passed, it will be your lawyer's job to prove you have been living a separate life to your spouse and that you still wish to divorce.
Ask about how you should manage your finances
During the process of divorce, you may be subjected to restrictions when it comes to selling significant assets or withdrawing large sums of money from bank accounts. These limitations are designed to prevent you or your spouse from hiding large sums of money which may be awarded to the other partner. If you break any limits, you could find yourself in contempt of court. You should always ask a lawyer about any potential financial restrictions you may face.
Ask about record keeping
If you are divorcing your partner because they are emotionally or physically abusive, your lawyer may recommend that you keep records of incidents such as the time and location that they occurred, any injuries that resulted and details of any calls to the police or medical services. These records will help your lawyer to build a case against your partner so you can apply for sole custody of your children. When you first meet, you should ask your lawyer what records they recommend you keep.
If you would like to find out more about the process of divorcing your partner, you should contact a family lawyer today.