Sunshine Coast Divorce Lawyers

"And rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
- J.K. Rowling​

Divorce Made Tolerable

Sunshine Coast Divorce Lawyers

Getting divorced can draw upon your emotions and drain your energy. It can have a major impact on your financial, physical, and psychological health and, in some instances, domestic violence may result. Seeking practical and professional advice can be difficult, especially when you are being given contradictory advice from one family lawyer to the next. This is where our Divorce lawyers can help. As Sunshine Coast specialist divorce lawyers, we believe every person deserves a second chance at a better life.

Whether you break up consciously, fight over every detail, or experience domestic violence, divorce is difficult.

Family Law Divorce Process

Family lawyers Maroochydore Sunshine coast

The divorce process can be a complex and trying time. As with all family law concerns, divorce applications fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

To be eligible for a divorce, you must satisfy the following family laws:

You or your partner are an Australian citizen and are currently residing in Australia legally;

  • At least one party considers the marriage broken down. In some instances, because of domestic violence with no reasonable likelihood of reconciling;

  • You have been separated for over 12 months;

  • If you have been legally married for less than two years, you must also get a counselling certificate showing you attended counselling;

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Be able to produce your marriage certificate;

    • If the marriage certificate can’t be found, you can get a replacement from the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces for a fee.

    • If you were married overseas and your marriage certificate is in another language, have the certificate translated and attached to an Affidavit of Translation of Marriage Certificate from an accredited translator;

You may apply for a joint application divorce, or as a sole applicant.

Be able to produce your marriage certificate;

    • If the marriage certificate can’t be found, you can get a replacement from the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces for a fee.

    • If you were married overseas and your marriage certificate is in another language, have the certificate translated and attached to an Affidavit of Translation of Marriage Certificate from an accredited translator;

You may apply for a joint application divorce, or as a sole applicant.

Marriage and Divorce Statistics 2022

You're not alone

1 %
Decrease in marriages

This is the largest reported decrease in marriages by the ABS.

1
Divorces per 1000 people

The crude divorce rate remained the same at 1.9 per 1,000 people.

1 +
Divorces in Australia

in 2020 there were 49,510 divorces in Australia an increase of 1.9%

Sole application for divorce Sunshine Coast

Family law matters

As a sole applicant, you do not need a signature from the other party, but you must serve them with the divorce papers.

On the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, you aren’t required to attend a divorce hearing unless you have children under 18 years of age.

Joint application

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Image source: Federal circuit and FCA

As joint applicants, both parties must review and sign the finalised document prior to filing.

You aren’t required to attend a divorce hearing unless you have indicated your intention to do so on your application.

As with anything related to family law, there are nuances; and everyone’s circumstances are different. Joint applications can be submitted without expert legal advice, or you can hire a team like Shanahan Family Law who is focused on getting your life back on track. To keep your legal fees and expenses to a minimum, we try to keep you out of court and spend as little time with you as possible.

Child Custody

Family Lawyers Sunshine Coast

If you and your spouse have dependent children living together on the Sunshine Coast, there will be a variety of issues to settle. The family courts consider a child’s best interests to be of the utmost importance, and so do our Sunshine Coast family lawyers at Shanahan Law. Children must be protected under family law during the divorce process to ensure they have a secure environment after the relationship ends. It’s critical, then, to get appropriate parenting agreements in place.

Child Support Payments

As a divorce lawyer, issues surrounding child welfare are our highest priority when serving as your family lawyer. You and your spouse will be responsible for various parenting matters regarding the maintenance of dependent children. 

Child support is a monetary payment made by one or both parents to the other in order to offer financial assistance for the upbringing of a child’s health and wellbeing.

Some parents forget that child support payments are meant to help their children’s health and well-being, and instead spend the money on themselves.

There are two ways to structure a child support agency agreement:

Image source: Services Australia

1. Limited Child Support Agreement

A limited agreement details the amount of child support payable, as well as the frequency and method of payment.

To form a limited agreement, you must:

  • Receive an administrative assessment from the Department of Human Services;

  • Agree to an amount equal to or greater than that set out in the assessment.

2. Binding Child Support Agreement

A binding agreement is similar to a limited agreement, except that it does not require an administrative assessment, enabling the parents to set any amount they can both agree to.

To make a binding agreement:

  • Both parents must seek independent legal advice on the pros and cons of entering into the agreement;

  • Both parents must receive a certificate from their family lawyer showing they received legal advice;

  • The certificates must be attached to the agreement.

Seek counsel from a qualified Sunshine Coast family lawyer before making any decisions about entering into a legal agreement. 

Image source: Services Australia

Parenting Agreements

Parenting agreements set the terms for how children will be cared for after a divorce. While there are no fixed rules dictating how parenting arrangements should be organised, it’s best if parents can come to an agreement between themselves. Writing down an agreement in a parenting plan can often be useful.

Parenting Plan

A parenting plan can be set up however you feel is best, and should be dated and signed by both parents. In some cases, it might be recommended to have the signatures witnessed by a third party. It can cover any number of matters; including:

  • Which parent is best placed to provide day-to-day care;

  • How their education will be handled;

  • How any medical requirements will be met;

  • When they stay with each parent;

  • Continuing their involvement in extracurricular activities;

  • Meeting their religious needs.

Going through Divorce with children

Parenting Plan Steps

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The list above is far from an exhaustive list, and no detail is too small if you consider it appropriate. It’s also important to keep in mind what your child wants. 

Consent orders are backed by law, and breaking them is an offence that will result in legal consequences. If you intend to make an application for a consent order, it is best to seek expert legal advice.

Parenting plans are not legally binding. If you would like to make a parenting agreement legally enforceable through family law, you can seek a consent order. You must file a consent order with the courts through either:

  • a sunshine coast family law specialist; or

  • via the courts https://comcourts.gov.au portal website.

commcourts_family_law_portal

Parenting Orders Matter

If you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement, parenting orders may be sought as a last resort. The Family Law Act 1975 contains guidelines concerning what the court should consider when creating a parenting order, which always places the child’s best interests front and centre. The court’s main considerations in family law are:

  • Maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents;

  • Protecting the child from witnessing or experiencing domestic violence or neglect. This will be prioritised above all other considerations.

Family law courts may consider other factors, including:

  • The child’s preferences;

  • The ability of each parent to look after the child’s needs;

  • What impact may changing the child’s living situation have;

  • The practicalities involved in the child seeing each parent;

  • Any other consideration the court deems important.

Searching for Divorce lawyers near me is where Shanahan Family law can help. Book a Parenting Orders consultation and get your family law matter back on track.

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Assets and debts during divorce

Assets and debts

The equitable division of relationship assets as part of a property settlement, including how debt is handled, is an important process. It’s also crucial to understand what constitutes a relationship asset in the first place.

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Relationship Assets

Relationship assets can include:

All assets, whether owned jointly or individually, are considered part of the relationship’s asset pool. This applies equally to assets that the parties brought into the relationship. Even assets obtained after separation are counted at the discretion of the court.

With the rising cost of living and surging Sunshine Coast home prices, it’s more vital than ever to ensure you get what you’re entitled to.

Sunshine Coast Principal Luke Shanahan is dedicated to bringing fair justice to all parties involved.

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Image: Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast
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Property Settlement

A property settlement can be made informally without the oversight of a family lawyer if you are able to agree with your former spouse on how the asset pool should be divided. However, you will have no recourse to protection from the court if the other party declines to follow the agreement.

Outside of an informal arrangement, there are two methods for settling property matters if you are in agreement: consent orders and binding financial agreements.

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Consent Orders

Consent orders turn property settlements into legally binding contracts under family law. They can cover all aspects of a financial order, such as the division of property and superannuation splitting.

Family law Consent orders can be sought jointly through a family lawyer without the need for either party to attend court.

Before the court accepts your consent order, it must be sure that it is fair and just. Otherwise, it might not accept it.

Applications for a consent order must be made within a year of a divorce or two years from the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

With the rising cost of living and surging Sunshine Coast home prices, it’s more vital than ever to ensure you get what you’re entitled to.

Shanahan Family Law divorce attorney Luke Shanahan is committed to giving you a fresh start.

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Financial Agreements

Both parties agree to a property settlement when entering into a financial agreement. There is no requirement for a financial agreement to be fair, and neither spouse needs to attend a family law court. However, other criteria must be met before it is considered binding:

  • Both parties must receive independent legal advice regarding how the financial agreements affect their interests;

  • Both parties must get a certificate showing they have received legal counsel.

Four Step Court Process

If the court is required to make an order dividing property on behalf of the parties, it will do so through a four step process:

Step One

Identify and value all property and assets of the relationship, deducting any debts to find the net value of the asset pool.

Step Two

Consider what contributions were made by both spouses, whether financial or otherwise.

Step Three

Assess the future needs of both spouses. This may take into account future earning capacity, if one partner will be taking primary responsibility for children under 18, the impact of any medical issues, et cetera.

Step Four

Make a final decision about how to distribute assets in a fair and equitable way, based on the steps that have already been taken.

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