Are you starting a family law proceeding soon? Whether you are going through a divorce, property settlement or parenting, the chances are you're too stressed to talk to people. Unfortunately, there are a number of family law misconceptions that float around that could mislead you regarding the process or what you're entitled to. Since its good arm yourself with facts on family law, below are top myths and the truth behind them.
Once you separate with your partner, he or she is entitled to half of the assets
There isn't a general rule when it comes to the division of assets. According to the Family Law Act 1975, a number of factors need to be considered to determine how the assets will be distributed after the marriage breaks up. Some of the factors include:
- Whether there're kids from the marriage
- If both parties had some assets before the relationship began
- How long both parties stayed in a relationship (assets are divided differently in short-and long-term relationships)
- If one or both spouses made some special contributions in the relationship like getting a gift of money, inheritance or a compensation payment
- If the current relationship circumstance has affected the capacity of earning income to either of the parties
- The age and health condition of each party
Note that these are just some examples of the issues that are often taken into account. All of them are used to determine the division of assets. Getting family law advice from an expert as early as possible can help you determine where you stand before the settlement negotiations are done.
Both parties are entitled to 50/50 child custody
This is a misconception. The family law provides that the kid's best interest must be put into consideration. This is done as the court is making parenting orders and setting out both primary and secondary matters regarding the children's living arrangements. This means that kids don't have to spend equal time with both parents unless it's in their best interests. Therefore, if you are concerned about the parenting arrangements, ensure you get legal advice ASAP.
A property settlement is only done after the divorce
This is not true. Parties are allowed to hold talks and formalise property settlement once they separate, even if they aren't legally divorced. A party can't apply for a divorce until they live separately for 12 months. Once the divorce is granted, the parties only have 12 months to formalise the property settlement. To be on the safe side, it's advisable to formalise the settlement before applying for the divorce.
For more information, contact a local family lawyer.