(08) 6467 7179 office@rattigan.com.au

Family Law

Rattigan & Associates are experienced in family law matters and can guide you through legal processes relating to: Settlement of your financial affairs, Divorce, Spousal maintenance and Child related matters.

We are committed to the delivery of specialised, experienced, and high quality legal advice and representation to anyone who finds themselves engaged in any form of family law litigation.

Litigation that involves your own family is very personal and is best handled with independent legal representation. If you need a family lawyer in Perth you can be assured that representation by us will guarantee you experienced, passionate and caring counsel.

Settlement of Your Financial Affairs

We can provide valuable assistance in determining how income, financial resources and debts can be divided between you and your former spouse.  These decisions are important not only after divorce, but also if you are considering separation or are already separated.

This time in your life can be stressful.  Complex decisions and short-term arrangements often have long-term consequences. Rattigan & Associates can help you to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Marriage Relationships

De Facto Relationships

Divorce, Property, & Children′s Matters

Rattigan & Associates also provide services in child related matters including children′s custody and child residence advice, and offers advice on Property and Family Law.

We understand the importance of providing you not only with expert advice, but also professional guidance during what can be a difficult time in your life. We are committed to helping resolve our clients′ matters promptly, cost-effectively and wherever possible, without litigation. If children are involved, it is our priority to minimise any adverse impact on them.

There are many issues to be resolved in any relationship breakdown. We can advise you on property settlements, spousal maintenance, living arrangements, sharing times with children and if necessary, represent you in the Family Court of Western Australia.

1. Divorce Law

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is the only legal reason for divorce in Australia. The Court is not interested in reasons; all you need to show is that you have lived apart for at least a year (separation) before filing for divorce.

The requirements for obtaining a divorce in Australia are as follows:

Marriage – You must first satisfy the Court that you have a valid marriage.
A marriage certificate, with a sworn translation into English, if necessary, will suffice. If you do not have a copy of a marriage certificate or require translation, we can arrange that for you. If no marriage certificate is available, the Court may require you to give some alternate evidence of the marriage prior to granting a divorce.

Jurisdiction – The Court only has power to grant a divorce if either party has one of the following attributes:

  • Regards Australia as home
  • Intends to live in Australia indefinitely
  • Has lived his or her whole life in Australia
  • Is an Australian citizen; or
  • Ordinarily lives in Australia and has lived in Australia for the 12 months prior to the making of the application for divorce.

2. What is Considered ′Separation′ in Divorce Law?

The Court must be satisfied that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. A period of separation of 12 months immediately before filing the application satisfies the Court of this fact.

However, separation can be complicated – for example, it is possible to ‘live apart’ under the roof of the same house. A couple may be separated and still live together provided they satisfy the Court that they are not living as husband and wife.

If a couple reconcile during the period of separation, the separation period does not have to start again provided any reconciliation or reconciliations do not total more than three months – those three months do not count as part of the period of 12 months of separation.

Rattigan & Associates will make sure you have the right evidence of separation and meet all the requirements necessary before filing for divorce.

3. Separation, Families, Divorce

Appropriate arrangements for any children must be in place before the Court will grant a divorce in Australia. Those arrangements do not have to be formal, but at the time of the divorce hearing the Court must be satisfied that the children are being appropriately cared and provided for.

4. Property Settlement & Family Law

We can provide valuable assistance in determining how income, financial resources and debts can be divided between you and your former spouse.  These decisions are important not only after divorce, but also if you are considering separation or are already separated.

This time in your life can be stressful.  Complex decisions and short-term arrangements often have long-term consequences. Rattigan & Associates can help you to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.

1. What is a De Facto or Same Sex Relationship

The Family Court Act defines a de facto relationship as a relationship between two people living together on a genuine domestic basis. To determine whether a relationship is truly de facto, a Court will look at a number of facts. These include:

  • The duration of the relationship;
  • Whether a sexual relationship exists;
  • The existence of a common residence;
  • The care and support of children;
  • The reputation and public recognition of the relationship;
  • Financial dependence;
  • The ownership and use of property;
  • The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

In addition to this the Family Court Act provides that a Court may only make property or maintenance orders in relation to a de facto couple in the following circumstances:

  • There has been a de facto relationship for at least two years; or
  • There is a child of the de facto relationship; or
  • A party has made substantial contributions and failure to make an order for property adjustment would result in serious injustice; or

This criteria applies to couples in both opposite sex relationships and same sex relationships. The Family Court determines issues relating to the children and property of a de facto relationship.

2. De facto Relationships & Property Settlements

Property and any financial resources fall within the definition of property under the Act. The law now provides that any person, who is leaving a de-facto relationship, can pursue a De facto Relationship Property Settlement in the same way that a married couple can. This is so regardless of when the property was acquired or by whom. All property whether in individual or joint names will be considered.

The Court will consider the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party and divide the property in a manner that is just and equitable. Non-financial contributions includes domestic chores and contributions to the welfare of the family, and are recognised by the Court when considering a division of property.

3. De facto Relationships & Spousal Maintenance

A claim for Spousal Maintenance can be made in certain circumstances by one or other party of the relationship.

Rattigan & Associates can advise you on all aspects of your rights concerning Family Law and Property Matters if your de facto relationship has broken down.

De facto Relationships and Family Law is a complex process. When considering the legal aspects of your de facto relationship, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an experienced family lawyer. Contact us now for more information.

De Facto Relationships

When considering the legal aspects of a de facto relationship, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a specialised Family Lawyer. Rattigan & Associates are experienced De Facto Lawyers.

Couples who have ended a de facto relationship are, in certain circumstances, entitled to be treated exactly the same as a married couple when it comes to property and financial matters.

WA legislation grants maintenance rights on the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

If you and your partner have agreed on the way in which you wish to divide your assets, then you may be able to apply for Consent Orders through the Family Court of Western Australia. Consent orders can also be made in respect to care arrangements for children or spouse maintenance.

The Court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children and that the proposed property orders are just and equitable, before they will make any such orders.

We can assist you with drafting the necessary application and orders for filing in the Court, and advise you of the law in respect to these arrangements.

Consent Orders have the same legal effect as making an order after a Court hearing, without actually having to go to Court.

Contact

Phone: (08) 6467 7179

Email: office@rattigan.com.au

Address: 
Suite 3W, Plaza 817 Beeliar Drive, Cockburn Central

PO Box 3819 SUCCESS WA 6964

Have questions? Get in touch with our team today!