Family law is a specialty area that hits close to home. Generally speaking, a lawyer helps you to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Family lawyers explain important details regarding your case, and they may be able to assist you reach an agreement without taking the matter to court. In Australia, household issues are administered without the Family Court of Australia. Unfortunately as the court is to remain impartial, they are unable to refer you to a private lawyer. Fortunately, Australia has some excellent systems in place where you can receive free advice and information such as the Family Relationships Advice Line (FRAL).
Irrespective of the position you find yourself in, you want appropriate service to help you through the swings and hurdles of it all. Even better, something timely and affordable where issues are handled sensitively. This is especially crucial whenever children are involved.
In short, parents are to have duties to responsibly rear their children. And kids are to have the right to be protected from physical, sexual and emotional harm. Another reasoning behind this is that stress and uncertainty is greatly reduced for young kids when parents are able to cooperate.
Because not everyone prioritises children during negotiations, courts have an obligation to prioritise their important needs. Periodic investigations into the family law system are conducted. When inquiries of such a nature are undertaken, a review of child support systems and other government programs. The aim is the reduce the number of police dealing with domestic violence matters. In finding the best solution to these situations, grandparents have been specifically mentioned in provisions.
Another apt question might be how a court magistrate decides which side needs protection.
Another important question to resolve is, what family lawyers do on a daily basis?
As a family lawyer, they will be experienced in dealing with specific family issues. Some of these scenarios include, going to court, same-sex relationships, domestic violence, sexual abuse, family counselling and mediation, de-facto relationships, financial agreements including pre-nups and spousal maintenance. We have briefly outlined each of these below.
Same sex relationships
On the 9th of December 2017, legislation within Australia was legalised enabling same-sex marriage. That is, enabling two people of the same sex or gender to enter into a civil or religious marriage ceremony. Whilst this enables for the union to be done, continued persecution and stigma exists within society. Family lawyers can provide relief from these challenges where needed.
Domestic violence in Australia is still sitting at high levels. Too many police officers are left to deal with sticky situations like these ones. Such situations and disputes reflect poorly on the parents, but also on the children as students have shown exposure to violence impacting children. Family lawyers can be used to effectively mediate a solution.
Sexual abuse is defined as any form of forced or unwanted sexual activity by taking advantage of a person is unable to give consent. Family lawyers are able to assist in sexual abuse cases.
Family counselling and mediation
Counselling is aimed to improve interactions with others to improve functioning collectively and as an individual.
De-facto relationships refer to people of the same or opposite gender who are live together as a couple only on a domestic basis. In other words, they live together but are not officially been married under law.
Financial agreements when used by family lawyers is any written contract used to divide financial assets. Examples of such include a prenuptial agreement or spousal maintenance. A prenuptial agreement being a contract signed before a wedding that details the allocation of financial assets should the relationship fail. On the other hand, spousal maintenance is financial support paid by the former spouse so both party is able to adequately support themselves.