children

When it comes to family law, the Family Law Act 1975 regards the best interests of the child as the most important consideration.
It is the presumption of the Courts that when parties are making parenting orders they are made in the best interests of the child with both parents having an equal responsibility for the child. Quite often this equal responsibility is misconstrued with equal time, these are not the same things. When looking at equal shared responsibility, regard must be given to the long term decisions of the child, for example schooling/education and medical issues, it does not include smaller decisions regarding things such as what they will have for dinner or which clothes they will wear to the park. These decisions are categorised as day-to-day decisions and not major long term decisions.
Often there is disagreement regarding arrangements of the child, including how many days will be spent with each parent and who bears the costs of the child, this frequently occurs where parents live away from each other and/or have their own commitments such as work or other relationships. Whilst we here at VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants endeavour to settle these differences through negotiation and/or mediation, there is quite often a chance that parties may not be able to come to an agreement. VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants have the knowledge and experience in determining when Court proceedings need to be initiated. We regularly represent our clients in the Courts and have a reputation of achieving the best outcomes for our clients and their families.

  • Parenting Orders
  • When making parenting orders, in addition to looking at the history of the relationship, the care of the children and the events/circumstances that have happened/existed since separation, there are numerous other factors that the court takes into consideration, these can include:

  • The views of the children, including their level of understanding, maturity (the court does not usually hear directly from the child);
  • The amount each parent can provide for the child emotional, physical and intellectual needs;
  • The level of maturity and the background of each parent;
  • Expenses and practical difficulties of children seeing each respective parent;
  • The attitude of each parent regarding the responsibilities of being a parent towards the child;
  • Any family violence or abuse towards members of the family or children;
  • The relationship that the child has with each parent;
  • The level of involvement each parent has had in regards to major long-term decisions of the child and whether each parent has financially supported the child or alternatively failed to do so;
  • The effect on the child in relation to any change to where the child will live or stay or have been living or staying; and
  • Any other circumstances that the courts deems important in the assessment of a parenting order.
    If it is possible for you and your partner to reach an agreement regarding the child, VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants can formalise these arrangements by obtaining Family Court Orders without the need of the parties going to court.
  • Child Support

Child support can be a daunting issue for some parents, the Australian Child Support Scheme which is governed by the Australian Government is intended to ensure that both parents contribute towards the costs of children. Parents have a legal obligation to financially provide for children.
When considering Child support a specific formula is used with factors such as the income of the parents, whether other children are being supported, the costs of raising the children, ages of children and the level of time spent with each parent are all considered. However, it is quite common for parents to enter into their own agreement with each other in relation to the amount of child support to be paid. VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants can provide you with an estimate of the amount of Child Support that would be payable by each parent in your specific circumstance and further formalise those arrangements through a Binding Child Support Agreement.

divorce

Under Australian Law parties may only apply for divorce after they have been separated for at least 12 months. It does not matter who caused the marriage to breakdown or the reasons behind it, through Australia’s “no-fault divorce” system the only criteria to meet is to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Should there be children involved in the relationship, the court will grant the divorce provided it is satisfied that there are proper arrangements in place that are in the best interests of the child (see more below).
In an ideal situation where both parties agree to the divorce, a joint application for divorce can be made. Where there one of the party’s objects to the divorce, the other party can still apply for the divorce however will need to follow specific service rules prior to the divorce hearing. Irrespective of the other party’s objection the Court will still grant the divorce provided that the party applying for divorce can demonstrate that there has been separation of at least 12 months.
Complications can arise when attempting to demonstrate separation particularly in situations where the parties are still living under the same roof. VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants can assist in providing the Court additional documents to demonstrate separation where parties are still living together.
Any property, financial or children issues can be settled in the separation stage prior to making an application for divorce, it is not necessary to apply for divorce first. It is important to note that a divorce order is not granted on the same day of the hearing, in most circumstances the order is made final one month and one day after the hearing.

family law

“We take the stress off your shoulders by making your issues…our issues”
The breakdown of a relationship is a sensitive and emotional time, and unfortunately more often than not parties must pursue legal avenues to sort out their affairs. We here at VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants understand and appreciate the delicacy and sensitivity of all family law related matters.
Our approach involves ensuring that your matter is dealt with in an efficient and amicable fashion whilst taking into account your end goals. However, we also understand that a much harder approach must be taken in certain situations and our team here at VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants have the tactical experience and skills to be able to achieve your end goal. Whatever the case, our paramount concern is that your interests are well protected and we achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Due to our extensive experience and success in family law related matters, we have the capability to settle most family law matters through agreement before a case goes to court, however should there be a need to litigate our team have a reputation of fiercely representing our clients in all proceedings and jurisdictions so as to attain the best for our clients.
Whether it be a property dispute or settlement, mediation or a custody issue, the team here at VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants will always act in your best interests and attain the best possible outcome for you.

property disputes

At the end of a relationship there is quite often a pool of family assets which parties make claim to, such as property, vehicles and common goods. It is necessary to determine how assets and financial resources are divided between spouses. A common misconception is that property is automatically divided in a 50/50 ratio, this is incorrect. The court considers a wide range of factors when determining division of the asset pool and there is no particular formula that is used, factors include:

  • The value of the property and any liabilities;
  • Direct and indirect financial contributions by each party;
  • Non-financial contributions such as improving property or looking after children;
  • Future needs of each party;
  • Assessing whether the proposed settlement is both equitable and fair in the circumstances.

VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants have extensive experience in property settlements and can assist you with achieving the best possible outcome.

spousal mentenance

At the end of a relationship there is quite often a pool of family assets which parties make claim to, such as property, vehicles and common goods. It is necessary to determine how assets and financial resources are divided between spouses. A common misconception is that property is automatically divided in a 50/50 ratio, this is incorrect. The court considers a wide range of factors when determining division of the asset pool and there is no particular formula that is used, factors include:

  • The value of the property and any liabilities;
  • Direct and indirect financial contributions by each party;
  • Non-financial contributions such as improving property or looking after children;
  • Future needs of each party;
  • Assessing whether the proposed settlement is both equitable and fair in the circumstances.

VSTAR Lawyers and Consultants have extensive experience in property settlements and can assist you with achieving the best possible outcome.