Northern Beaches Mum and member of the local law practice Maspero Legal, Stephanie Maspero shares the…
When is it time to see a Family Lawyer?
For many women the end of their marriage or significant relationship is a time of stress and uncertainty. Often, they feel guilt and unease, especially if they have been unhappy for a long time and wanted the relationship to come to an end. But sometimes they are shocked and traumatised to discover that their partner has been having an affair or has already emotionally, if not physically left the relationship.
Understandably if you find yourself in this situation it can be challenging and often a very lonely and isolating time, especially if you don’t have the family or friendship networks to support you or you’ve kept your unhappiness a secret for everyone.
Making the decision to see a Family Lawyer is daunting for many people, especially if you’ve never been involved with legal matters before. Let’s face it most people have very little contact with lawyers and perhaps only when times are happy, like buying their first home do they have anything to do with them.
Here’s when you should see a Family Lawyer:
- If you’re thinking about leaving the relationship.
It’s never too soon to get sound and practical family law advice if you are thinking of leaving your relationship. This is the time to gather the information that you need to help you navigate a divorce or separation. Even if you decide to stay in the relationship, it’s still valuable to know what your rights and responsibilities are and what
- If you or your ex has walked out.
If you or your ex- partner have physically left the home, then it’s time to see a specialist Family Lawyer. Even though one of you may be left living in the home, and perhaps caring for children or pets, financial responsibilities and commitments continue. You need to find out what to expect and what is expected of you. Often people may make agreements or compromise at this stage without realising that this could create further distress in the future for them.
- If the children are at risk of abduction.
Never under-estimate the possibility that a disgruntled ex-partner could abduct the children and leave Australia. When abductions of children occur by one parent, it has devasting consequences not only for the children, but the parent and extended families left behind.
If you believe or suspect or fear that your children may be illegally taken out of Australia, immediately contact a Family Lawyer or visit https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/family-law-kit
- If there is Family Violence.
Sadly, we now have about one woman a week across Australia who is murdered at the hands of a current or ex-partner. The early stage of separation is the most dangerous for women and children. It is at this time that perpetrators of violence feel they have lost control and become unstoppable in harassing, intimidating, stalking and frightening women and children into submission or forcing them to return to the toxic relationship. If you feel frightened for your personal safety or for your children’s safety, seek support from your local Domestic Violence Police Officer and contact a Family Lawyer who is experienced in family Violence.
Remember family violence is not just being hit by the other person, it can be calling you rude names, putting you down, stopping you from working or spending time with your family or friends.
- If there is a risk that your ex will sell assets or hide money.
If your ex-spouse or partner is the legal owner of property or sole bank account holder, and you are not aware or have never been involved in the financial decisions of your relationship, then seek legal advice to get informed and find ways to stop your ex from selling or hiding or transferring assets to others.
- If you have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.
If you and your ex-partner have signed a pre-nup agreement, then a consultation with a Family lawyer following the breakdown of the relationship is essential. It is not unusual that since the making of your pre-nup that your circumstances may have changed significantly, especially if you have children or any illness or disabilities.
Pamela is the Principal of Cominos Family Lawyers since 2011. She has practiced as a divorce lawyer exclusively for the past 10 years. She has developed Sydney’s first and only Healthy Divorce Practice, which means that she and her lawyers are committed to ensuring that children thrive the separation of their parents; that marital assets are protected and preserved and that her client’s self-esteem and confidence remain strong and intact during these challenging times.
To contact Pamela directly email her at [email protected]
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not legal advice. It is only of a general nature for public information.