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SA Family Law - Creating an Affordable Legal Separation Document?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by richard300, 17 August 2016.

  1. richard300

    richard300 Member

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    Hi - My wife and I are sadly separating and we have two young children. We currently live in a shared rental property and we are having a house built which will now be sold upon completion of the build.

    We currently have been able to amicably come to an agreement on Childcare and custody of children (50/50), the sharing of assets and what we will do with the house when it's built and how we will pay for it whilst it's being built.

    However, we want to create a legal document that reflects this.

    I have asked a solicitor and they have quoted $3500++ to do this.

    Is there a cheaper way under family law? Neither of us can really afford to pay $1750+ for this. Is there anywhere I can download a template document and have it witnessed by a legal representative?

    Regards
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    One option is to get consent orders from the court. This is where you write down the orders that you want the court to make about your financial matters, division of assets and custody of your children and then the court (subject to its approval) will stamp them and make them formal orders which can be enforced if one party does not keep them. Here's some more info on consent orders:
    If you agree on parenting arrangements - Family Court of Australia
    Applying to the Court for orders - Family Court of Australia

    The other option requires you to make up 2 separate documents: A binding financial agreement to cover your asset division etc and any spousal maintenance and a Parenting Plan to cover the custody arrangements. You can write these agreements yourself, however a parenting plan is not enforceable at law so there's nothing you can do if the other party fails to adhere to it short of applying for court orders and for a binding financial agreement to be enforceable both parties signing it need to have obtained independent legal and financial advice first - which obviously costs money.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Any legally binding agreement pertaining to assets requires both parties to get independent legal advice. That sucks...So plan B. Requires mutual trust. So sell everything, turn it into cash. Split the cash... Get divorced...

    So the rules state that unless there are extenuating circumstances, each party has 12 months from time of divorce to file for court to determine asset division. Once 12 months has expired you can safely feel that you've gone your separate ways financially.

    Now it seems to me that except for super, there isn't that much money /assets, etc. So in reality it probably isn't worth either of you applying to court anyways (but I'm reading between the lines here...), but let me know if I'm wrong on this one.

    So that is the asset division stuff done....

    So kids - You can write up your own consent orders for kids. Bloody good idea to get that done before you go your separate ways. There is lots to think about with this one. This site can help so can mediators from organisations like "relationships Australia'. It is a very good idea to get consent orders stamped by the court so there is no doubt about arrangements for the kids.

    This website can help on that part
    Application for Consent Orders (do it yourself kit) - Family Court of Australia

    Final thought - Well done on staying amicable. Keep it that way. Even if it means losing a few battles.

    Mate, I never wound up in court, but despite having 3 young kids with my ex wife, we rarely speak and I'm sure the stress we caused each other has had impacts on our health. But it requires both of you to work on being amicable and the benefits of doing so for your health and for your kids is more valuable than any asset.
     

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