Affinity Lawyers | Family Lawyers, Divorce Law & De Facto Relationships
Our experienced family lawyers based on the Northern end of the Gold Coast at Runaway Bay, are able to assist you with a variety of family law matters, including marital/de facto property settlement, children’s issues including child support, pre-nuptial or other types of binding financial agreements, divorce matters, spousal maintenance or superannuation issues.
At Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast, we understand the importance of having a lawyer who will understand the sensitive issues you are experiencing, and who will use their best endeavours to resolve your matter expeditiously, and with a minimal amount of stress for all parties involved.
Our family lawyers will always conduct your matter with the utmost level of professionalism, diligence and dignity, and in a calm and empathetic manner. With a focus on the provision of cost effective and professional legal solutions, in combination with a legal team with a high level of negotiation experience, our lawyers will attempt all methods of settlement (including mediation and round table conferences if these are appropriate in your circumstances) before considering taking the matter to the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court.
We pride ourselves on being a family oriented firm, and we have a strong focus on providing friendly accessible legal services, always ensuring that you are kept informed of your rights, obligations and options at each step of the process and each matter is undertaken with a view to resolving it as calmly and expeditiously as possible. This will ensure that the best outcome for all parties can be achieved, with minimal financial distress and hostility involved.
Affinity Lawyers has achieved a great level of respect in the Gold Coast community in relation to family law matters, and our Family Law team are experienced in all aspects of family law, specialising in the following areas:
- Divorce Law and Separation
- Property Settlements
- Parenting Arrangements and Child Matters
- Financial Agreements
- Alternative dispute resolution
We have provided you below with some further information regarding particular family law legal areas under the heading ‘Summary of Services’.
If you require further information on any of the above and our other range of services, please contact our friendly family lawyers on (07) 5563 8970 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Services
Marital / De Facto Property Settlement
The Family Law Act 1975 empowers the Federal Magistrates Court or the Family Court of Australia to deal with de facto property settlement matters, including those in same-sex relationships as well as property settlements between married couples.
There are several ways for parties to finalise a property settlement, the most common being by way of a binding financial agreement or consent orders, with consent orders being lodged and approved by the Courts.
Before finalising a property settlement, both the assets and the liabilities of the relationship must be determined and a value ascribed to each item before a division can occur. There are many things which can be included in the property asset pool and these can include:
- The family home / investment and other real property held by the parties;
- Businesses / trusts;
- Shares / inheritances / gifts;
- Motor vehicles and other chattels; and
- Superannuation interests.
In determining the liabilities of the relationship, an assessment will be undertaken of mortgages, personal or other loans, and credit card debts between the parties. This will give you an idea of the net value of the property pool, and the assets which are divisible between the parties.
It is also important to consider whether you may have an obligation to your partner for spousal maintenance or alternatively, whether you may be entitled to spousal maintenance from your partner. Spousal maintenance is determined by numerous factors, but it can include payments from one partner to the other to assist with their reasonable living expenses, and it can be paid in regular payments or as a lump sum.
Affinity Lawyers friendly family law team on the Gold Coast specialises in these types of matters and can provide you with legal advice in relation to all aspects of your property settlement, including your entitlement to the division of the assets, and the most effective method of finalising the settlement.
There are time frames associated with finalising a property settlement, and these time frames are affected by your separation date and/or divorce. We recommend that you contact one of our friendly lawyers on 07 5563 8970 to discuss your matter as soon as possible after a separation to ensure that you are aware of the time frames and your options.
Pre-Nuptial Agreement, Financial Agreements during a relationship/marriage
These types of agreements are flexible and can be entered into between the parties prior to or during a relationship/marriage or after separation. These agreements do not need to be approved by the Court however each party to the agreement will need to obtain independent legal advice prior to entering into the agreement.
There are many reasons why people enter into these types of agreements and they cater for a range of circumstances and desired outcomes.
Commonly, a pre-nuptial agreement is entered into by parties who are entering into a domestic partnership or before they are married to determine how the property/assets of the relationship would be divided if the parties were to separate. It can also deal with spousal maintenance issued if required. These agreements can be particularly useful where one party enters into a relationship with significant assets, or there is a large income discrepancy between the parties.
Affinity Lawyers can provide you with professional advice in relation to the drafting of a binding financial agreement, ensuring that the clauses within the agreement satisfy the requirements under the Family Law Act 1975 and ensure that the binding financial agreement correctly reflects your desired outcome. We will also ensure that you are aware of all of the possible outcomes and possibilities that may occur as a result of entering into a binding financial agreement.
After separation, if you and your former partner can come to an agreement in respect of the division of property, assets and spousal maintenance (if applicable) a binding financial agreement can be a cost-effective way to formalise a settlement agreement without recourse to the Court.
Remember, there are time limits which may apply so we strongly recommend obtaining legal advice at the earliest juncture. Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast can guide you through these tumultuous times whilst protecting and preserving your interests and entitlements so that orderly negotiations can take place. If required, Affinity Lawyers can file urgent applications with the Court to prevent the disposal of assets and lodgements of caveats over any real property at risk of being sold.
In addition to providing competent, friendly advice in respect of property settlement matters, our Gold Coast Lawyers can also provide you with legal advice in relation to children's issues.
Separation can be an emotional time for families, and in particular children, and Affinity Lawyers can assist you in your negotiations with your partner about where the children will reside, contact arrangements with the child/children and other issues such as schooling, medical/dental, long term parenting arrangements and any other relevant issues the parties may wish to include in an agreement. Upon finalising an agreement, the agreement can be formalised by way of consent orders and lodged with the Court.
If you cannot come to an agreement with your partner in relation to these issues, you may need to file an application with the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court.
Before filing an application, certain requirements need to be undertaken (there are exception) such as attending with a dispute resolution practitioner/mediator and obtaining a section 60I certificate. Affinity Lawyers has a wealth of experience in children's matters and can provide with you advice in relation to pre-procedure processes, your available options and entitlements and all other issues specifically relating to children's matters.
As a parent, you have duties and obligations to provide for your children, and this generally includes the payment of private/public school tuition, health insurance, medical/dental expenses, fees for extra-curricular and sporting activities and all general living expenses. Commonly, this is usually applicable until your child/children turn 18 years of age, and in some circumstances this can extend beyond the age of 18 in adult child maintenance cases.
Each parent obligation in respect of child support can be calculated by the Child Support Agency using a specified formula, and amongst other criteria, takes into account the amount of time the child/children are living with each parent and each parents income and expenses.
Alternatively, parents can come to their own agreement in relation to child support and formalise this agreement in either a limited or binding child support agreement. Affinity Lawyers can draft an agreement to suit your requirements, and to ensure that the relevant legislation is complied with.
To discuss your child support options, entitlements and obligations, please contact Affinity Lawyers on 07 5563 8970, email us on email@example.com or drop in at 3/385 Oxley Drive, Runaway Bay Gold Coast.