Same Sex / De Facto

How to handle separation in a De Facto Relationship

De Facto Relationships: How to Handle a Tough Situation

De facto couples have almost all the same rights as married couples. The Family Court Act recognises the existence of a de facto relationship whether the partners are heterosexual or same-sex, or even if one or both of them are legally married to someone else. In Western Australia, de facto couples are presently unable to …

Considerations in choosing a family lawyer

How to Choose a Family Lawyer for your Child Custody Matter

Relationship breakdowns are challenging – even more so when children are involved. No matter your personal opinion on how or why your relationship ended, keeping your children’s best interests at heart should be at the forefront of every decision you make. Don’t rush out and engage the first Family Lawyer in Perth you see. We …

Difference between an Annulment and a Divorce

What is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

Here at Leach Legal we help our clients with a range of legal matters relating to family law. We are frequently asked to explain the difference between a divorce and an annulment. Divorce and annulments are two different legal decrees spouses may seek once they have decided to end their marriage. These two legal decrees …

Super in De Facto Relationships

Super in De Facto Relationships

Superannuation splitting in de facto relationships has been problematic in Australia’s financial and legal climate for some time. Last year, Catherine Leach, Director of Perth’s largest Family Law firm, discussed with Chanel Nine News the need for the legislation to change. Today, the bill is under review in Federal Parliament, and if this legislation passes, …

Mediation Process through divorce explained

What Does the Mediation Process Involve?

Mediation can be a useful process to resolve family law disputes – even in complex and high conflict cases. At Leach Legal, we often partake in mediations and have a high success rate. The actual mediation process is not set in concrete, as the process is tailored to suit the needs of the parties. However, …

What Are My Same-Sex De Facto Relationship Rights?

Australia is still awaiting marriage equality, however same-sex couples do have many rights from a family law perspective. Same-sex relationships can be classified as “de facto relationships” if they satisfy certain criteria. Just like heterosexual de facto couples, same-sex de factos may apply to the Family Court for a property settlement. They can also seek …

Who gets the dog

When parties to a marriage or de facto relationship separate, there may be a dispute about who keeps the family pet. Whether it is Gordon the goldfish, Cuddles the cat or Fido the loyal family dog, the question is – how does the Family Court treat pets in divorce proceedings. For most separated couples, it …

Time Limitations in Family Law – When the Clock Starts Ticking!

Separation can be a highly emotional time. You may go through the stages of grief, and worry about what arrangements will be made for your children. Although sorting out your financial issues may not be your priority, it is important to know how long you have from a family law perspective. De Facto Couples De …

Your Child Support Options Explained

Child Support Agency The role of the Child Support Agency (CSA) is to administer a scheme which ensures that children receive adequate financial support from both parents following separation. The CSA can assist with calculating how much child support should be paid and, if necessary, facilitate the collection and transfer of child support payments. When …

Thinking of separating?

When a couple separate or one party decides the relationship is over there are a number of decisions that need to be made and practicalities that need to be considered. Decisions such as: Will you stay in the house together or will one of you move out? How will living expenses be paid? Who will …

Valuations in the Family Court

In cases in the Family Court involving property, one of the first things your lawyer will ask you is to help draw up a list of assets and liabilities. You are likely to be handed, and asked to help fill out, a document which lists assets and liabilities under various headings such as: real estate; …

Stress and separation

When I was a law student, I learned a valuable lesson in stress management. I had a large assignment which I had helpfully left until the last minute. Burning some midnight oil, I was tidying up my footnotes when my monitor froze, and then went black. A reboot proved that all of my work had …

Separation when pregnant

Separating when one party is pregnant presents some interesting legal and practical issues. What are the Father’s obligations? Can you commence proceedings for parenting orders? Can you stop the pregnant woman from relocating elsewhere? Who pays the medical costs? Spousal maintenance To apply for spousal maintenance, you must first be in a position to invoke …

The statistical facts about marriage and divorce what will the Census reveal

The media is fond of whipping up emotions about the state of marriage and divorce.  Every emerging trend tends to be scrutinised as possible evidence to support often wildly contradictory arguments, for example, that “marriage has become irrelevant” or “marriage is the new cool;” that “people can’t afford to get divorced because of the economy” …

The Cardinal Sins of Family Law Matters

Going through a relationship breakdown is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Aside from the emotional turmoil that inevitably accompanies a relationship breakdown, you will find that EVERYONE is a family law expert- your friends, the internet and your family often provide [well-meaning] incorrect advice. Here are some very specific …

Do I Have to Go to Court?

The short answer is no. Going to Court is a last resort used when negotiations have been unsuccessful. Before commencing proceedings, we use a range of negotiation tools such as letters or emails, informal conferences and mediations. If you and your former partner can reach an agreement about your children and / or financial matters, …

Dealing with Children Post-Separation

Separation from a partner or spouse can be a traumatic and harrowing experience. It can be even more complicated when children are involved. Here are some tips to keep in mind following a separation, that may assist your children to cope: Ensure they have appropriate support: Sometimes they will want to talk to someone who …

11 Practical Tips for Newly Separated People

The period after the breakdown of a relationship is often a time of stress and turbulence. To help you to organise your matter before you come and see us after the Christmas break, please consider the following tips. Practical stuff 1. Take copies of all relevant financial documentation, including but not limited to: 1.1. Bank …

Globalisation of Parenting Orders

In a world that is fast becoming international, global, an interconnected it’s not unreasonable to assume that some Family Court orders will need to operate in different places of the world. International cooperation between convention countries is covered under the Child Protection Convention of 1996. This Convention includes recognition and enforcement of protection measures – …

Excuse Me Please, Do You Have the Time?

Did you know that there are time limits to commence property settlement and maintenance proceedings in the Family Law Courts? The law relating to limitation periods developed so that people could move on with their lives without being concerned that they would be subjected to litigation in years to come, and so that they could …

Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement?

A Binding Financial Agreement (“BFA”) is a written agreement between parties to a marriage or de facto relationship. Couples can enter into a BFA when they are contemplating marriage or cohabitation (commonly known as a “pre-nuptial agreement”), during the relationship, or following separation. The focus of this article is on “pre-nuptial” agreements. A BFA can …

Social media and separation

It started with chain emails and ICQ, progressed to MSN Messenger and has advanced to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Tinder to name but a few.  Electronic communication has assisted the practice of family law in countless ways, such as giving us immediate access to online research platforms and the ability to instantaneously communicate with …

Sexually Transmitted Debt

What you need to know about separation, divorce and debt Debts, just like assets, are usually factored into a property settlement. Even if the debt is not in your name, and/or you did not know about it, it is likely to be part of the overall asset pool. If your ex does not “put the …

8 Simple Bits of Advice for Separated People

This great advice comes from Reddit (www.reddit.com) from people who separated and survived. 1. You have to love your kids more than you hate your ex. 2. It will take time, but you will get through this and life will get better. 3. Freedom is amazing. 4. Pain is a huge catalyst for change; use …

Working with Documents? Things your Lawyer should tell you

You can spend a huge amount of money with your lawyer on providing documents to prove your case.  This is called disclosure. You are required to provide disclosure to the other side, whether you are negotiating, mediating or involved in Family Court proceedings. Your lawyer will tell you what documents you have to provide.  If …

Why Documents Matter in Family Law

Why Documents Matter in Family Law When a couple separate, they are usually asked to tell “their story”.   They individually tell friends, family, colleagues and professionals about their relationship, why it ended and what their expectations are moving forward. Amazingly, each person will tell a different “story”. These different stories can sometimes be very …

How to Tell Your Lawyer That They’re Wrong!

After 25 years in law, I know how stressful divorce and separation is, and how demanding and time consuming the process can be. I also know that an organised, strategic and properly managed client case is usually going to be less expensive, less stressful and provide better outcomes for the client. I know from speaking …

Keep Calm And Carry On… Managing Your Separation

The top 3 life stressors, according to the Holmes-Rahne Life Stressors Scale are: 1. Death of a spouse 2. Divorce; and 3. Marriage Separation. When you separate from your partner, there are so many things you need to think about from a practical, emotional and financial level, that it can become overwhelming. While it would …

10 Top Tips for Separated Parents from a Perth Family Lawyer

Divorce is difficult, very difficult. And, in my 16 years as a Family Lawyer in Perth I have seen families devastated by divorce, but more often than not I see families that grow stronger as separate units. Leaving the past behind them and moving out of the conflict zone. Don’t beat yourself up if you …

Top tips for when you first separate

Catherine here – Following is a guest blog from Samantha Baily, who joined my law firm Leach Legal recently. I hope to share her thoughts with you from time to time….. When a couple decide to separate it can be a very stressful and emotional time, and sometimes it is hard to see through the …

Documents are King in Property Settlement Negotiations

If you are anything like me, and like most people, your memory is not perfect. You may remember birthdays but forget how much you paid for a couch, or you may be really good with remembering when you moved into your first house, but you can’t remember which bank you got the loan from. That’s …

Talking De Novo with Howard Sattler

I was recently on Howard Sattler’s program chatting about our De Novo Guide to amicable divorce. There are many people who would love to have an amicable divorce, but it does require the right approach from both parties. I strongly believe that good advice early on can set you off in the right direction and …

Defacto or Not Defacto?

Not all of my clients in my Perth family law firm are married. Quite often they have been living together and are seeking advice on whether they should go through a legal separation, or just break up and go their separate ways. The first question we need to establish is whether or not they are …

Infidelity. Does it Change Things?

My clients often tell me why their marriage or relationship broke down. Frequently it is because they “grew apart” and hadn’t been happy for some time. Often it is because of clashes with family members, particularly the mother-in-laws (on both sides). Occasionally it is because one or both partners have been unfaithful. I have had …

The De Novo Guide video

This is a video I put together to explain our De Novo guide to amicable divorce and separation, and why we think it’s such an important product for people seeking a DIY solution.

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