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Separation & Divorce – Frequently Asked Questions

How will I support myself if I leave my husband?  I’ve always been a stay at home mum…

You may be entitled to spousal maintenance – discuss all your options with your solicitor before taking any action.

I don’t have assets of my own, will I lose everything if we separate?

The law entitles each of you to a share of assets following a divorce, which is part of the Property Settlement agreement.

I’ve been with my partner for 15 years and have two young children, but we never married.  Where do I stand?

Since March 2009, property settlements for de facto and married couples are very similar, as de facto relationships are now covered by Commonwealth Law.

Our relationship has broken down but it is an amicable split – do we need to go to Court?

You should still visit a family lawyer to make your agreements official and binding, but you will not necessarily need to go to Court.

My ex-partner and I are separated – do I really need to update my Will?

Yes, you should both update your Wills to reflect your current situation, or whenever your personal circumstances change.  Your ex may still have some rights to your Estate if you are not yet legally divorced.  After you are divorced your Will could be invalid.

How is child custody and access decided in a separation or divorce?

The court will consider what is in the best interests of the child and may take into account factors such as the relationship with each parent, the child’s wishes and any history of abuse or neglect. The court may order sole or joint custody, or a parenting plan that sets out the arrangements for the child’s care.

What happens to the family home in a separation or divorce?

The family home is usually considered a joint asset and will be divided as part of the Property Settlement agreement. The court will consider factors such as each partner’s financial circumstances and the needs of any children when determining how the home will be divided.

Can I still file for divorce if my spouse lives overseas?

Yes, you can still file for divorce if your spouse lives overseas, but you may need to take additional steps to serve the divorce papers and prove that your spouse has received them. You may need to seek legal advice on the specific requirements in your case.


For more information on how we can help you please visit our pages about Divorce or a Separation.