The following is a guest post.
When faced with a legal dispute, we often turn to our friends or colleagues, television or social media for expert advice. However, with a great deal of misinformation flowing freely even in mainstream media, it is difficult to determine if the info is correct.
Having the right, and most up-to-date information is the key to achieving the best results in a legal battle. As leading family lawyers in Sydney and a one-stop solution for high-quality legal services, we shed light on some myths about divorce, child custody, and support.
Myth 1 (Divorce): Your Spouse Should Cooperate
Reality: In Australia, you can apply for a divorce independently, without your spouse’s cooperation or consent.
Only under limited circumstances, a party can challenge a divorce application, for instance, if the marriage was never legitimate.
Myth 2 (Divorce): The Cause of the Marriage Dissolution Is Relevant
Reality: If a marriage has broken down irreparably, the reason that led to the breakup is irrelevant.
Under Australia’s family law, a separation of 12 months can legally qualify for a divorce. Any other reason is immaterial.
Myth 1 (Child Custody): The Petition for Divorce Will Take Care of Child Custody Issues
Reality: A divorce petition focuses on legal issues related to the marriage dissolution.
Filing of divorce papers in no way formalises custody of children.
Only a court-approved Consent Order can formalise a parenting arrangement.
Myth 2 (Child Custody): The Mother Has an Automatic Right to Children’s Custody
Reality: There is a misconception that the Family Court always favours the mother when it comes to child custody.
There is, however, no law stating that the mother will automatically get the custody of the children.
The court does not make a gender-based decision. It evaluates various aspects before issuing a child custody order.
Myth 3 (Child Custody): On Disagreement, I Can Go to Court and Get the Consent Order
Reality: Many parents think in the event of a custody dispute, they can approach the court and get the consent order.
Not that simple.
Unless the children face a high risk of abuse or harm, the court will not hear the case and instead will ask both parties to agree to a mediation process.
Child Support Myth: A Co-Parent Cannot Spend Time With Children If He/she Fails to Pay Child Support
Reality: Even if a parent defaults on child support payments, he/she has every right to spend time with the children.
One parent cannot use the children as a bargaining chip to make the other honour child support commitments.
Child support is a financial matter, and upon non-payment, either party can contact the CSA (Child Support Agency) to settle the issue.
We hope this article will help you solidify your position if you are in the middle of a family dispute. However, family law is complicated; therefore, it’s always best to seek legal advice from professionals specialising in family law.