Frequently asked questions in Family Law

Child Custody
Practice and Procedure
Alternative Dispute Resolution

Frequently Asked Questions

I have just separated from my partner. What options and rights do I have?

When a marriage breaks down, the former partners can pursue various remedies, depending on their particular circumstances. These include:

Divorce: The grant of a divorce simply gives you the right to re-marry. It does not affect your property or children’s living arrangements. A divorce application cannot include parenting or property orders. Read more about divorce here
Property: a family court can make interim and/or final orders about matrimonial property.
Children:a family court can make interim and/or final orders about where children will live with and how they will spend time with their parents.
Child Support: This is usually administered by the federal government. You can read more about child support here
Spousal maintenance: This is not to be confused with child support. A court may order a party to pay the other party spousal maintenance if certain criteria are satisfied.

What will it cost to fight a family law case?

The costs that a party pays in a family law case varies from case to case. It all depends on the nature and complexity of the case.

For example, a divorce case could be finalised after a single court date, with minimal legal costs being incurred. On the other hand, it could take several years for a complex parenting or property matter to be completed. In the latter case, the costs will be substantial.

Do I need I lawyer? When should I hire a lawyer?

It is essential that you contact an experienced family lawyer immediately after separation. This is because your partner may do certain things which cannot be reversed even if you subsequently go to court.

Some examples of this are:

A wife left the country with the children of the parties to a country which was not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. You can read more about the Hague Convention here
A husband sold the family home, took the proceeds of sale and disappeared.
A party spent all the assets of the marriage on gambling, gifts and failed speculative share purchases.

A lawyer can protect you against such action by:

Obtaining a FamilyLaw Watchlist Order. You can read more about Airport Watch lists here
Lodging a caveat on properties
Obtaining orders to freeze bank accounts.

Read more about interim hearings and orders here

Six reasons why you should choose Opal legal?

Knowledge: Family law is a complex and ever-changing area of law. At Opal Legal we have comprehensive knowledge of family law.
Experience: There is no substitute for experience. We appear in the family courts most days of the week. We have many years of intensive experience in family law.
We listen: From the time of your first free consultation, we will listen carefully to your questions and reach an understanding of what results you hope to achieve.
Empathy: We advise separated partners on an almost daily basis. We understand how distressing and devastatinga separation can be.
The best advice:After fully understanding your case, we will chalk out strategies to get you the best possible outcome.
Affordable. We will try to finalise your case as quickly as possible and in the most cost-effective way possible.

You can contact us for a FREE CASE EVALUATION or REQUEST A QUOTE now.

What court will my family law case be heard in?

Most family law cases are heard by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. This court has court-houses located at Sydney and Parramatta in the Sydney metropolitan area. You can read more about the Federal Circuit Court here

More complex cases are heard by the Family Court of Australia.The Family Court also has court-houses located at Sydney and Parramatta in the Sydney metropolitan area. Read more about the Family Court here

Currently, there is a proposal by the federal government that is being debated to merge the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court into a single court.