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What Happens to My Children After Divorce?

What Happens to My Children After Divorce?

When couples decide to get divorced, one of the most difficult decisions they will have to make is determining child custody. This process can be complicated, especially in Australia where the law is constantly changing. In this blog post, we will explain how child custody is determined in Australia and provide some legal advice on how to make the property settlement process smoother.

 

When determining child custody, the court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child. The court will take into account a number of factors, including the child’s age, relationship with each parent, any special needs they may have, and any “risk issues”. In some cases, the court may also ask for a report from a psychologist or social worker.

 

If you are going through a divorce and need help with the child custody process, it is almost always recommended that you speak to a lawyer. A family lawyer will be able to advise you on your specific situation and help you reach an agreement that is in the best interests of your child. If you have already reached an agreement, we can also assist with drafting a parenting plan. A Parenting Plan is a non-binding agreement which suits some circumstances, however the binding option is called Consent Orders, which is preferable in most situations. 

 

Parenting arrangements are the practical arrangements that are put in place to allow children to spend time with each parent. These arrangements can be flexible and should be based on the needs of the child. For example, a child who is very young may need to spend more time with their mother in order to develop a strong bond. A Parenting Plan is a written agreement between the parents that sets out the parenting arrangements. It has more flexibility built in so that it can be changed over time. Consent Orders is the binding option when the parenting arrangements are more fixed and they are as binding as a judge’s order, so must be followed. You should seek legal advice as to which document suits your circumstances better. 

 

Parental responsibility is the legal term used to describe the duties and obligations that parents have towards their children. Under Australian law, both mothers and fathers have equal parental responsibility for their children. This means that they must make joint decisions about important matters such as education, medical treatment, and religious upbringing.

 

Family violence (which is a “risk issue”) is a major factor that the court will consider when determining child custody. If there is a history of family violence, the court may order that the children spend time with the parent in question only if they undergo counseling and there is someone else present during their visits.

 

When making decisions about children after divorce, parental responsibility, parenting arrangements, and Parenting Plans and Consent Orders are important things to consider in Australia. If you are going through a separation or divorce and are having difficulty determining child custody, it is important to seek legal advice. With the help of a family lawyer, you can make sure that your children’s best interests are taken into account throughout the process. Contact us today for a consultation.

Who Gets the Boat in a Divorce in Australia: The Definitive Guide

Who Gets the Boat in a Divorce in Australia: The Definitive Guide

When a couple separates or divorces in Australia, there are often many disputes over who gets to keep the boat. This can be a complicated process, as boats can be expensive and difficult to divide evenly between two people. In this blog post, we will discuss the various factors that courts consider when deciding who gets the boat in a divorce. We will also look at some recent case law on this topic. So if you are wondering whether you will get to keep the boat in your separation or divorce, read on!

 

Assets in separation can be a very difficult thing to come to an agreement about. More often than not, both sides want what is fair to them and what they feel they deserve. This is where experienced legal professionals can help smooth out the process and help both sides come to an agreeable solution. When negotiating an out of court agreement, it is important to have realistic expectations and be willing to compromise. It is also important to be clear about what you want and be prepared to justify your position. With the help of a legal professional, negotiating a fair and reasonable outcome is possible.

 

The first thing that you need to do is figure out what your goals are. What do you want to achieve from the separation or divorce? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start looking at the different options available to you. One option is to go through mediation. This is where both sides sit down with a mediator and try to come to an agreement about who gets what. The advantage of mediation is that it can be cheaper and quicker than going to court. However, it does require both sides to be willing to compromise and reach an agreement. If mediation does not work, you should engage a lawyer to negotiate a deal that fits with your goals. A lot of clients prefer the path of lawyer-assisted negotiation before going to mediation. A lawyer can also assist you at mediation in giving you legal advice and then putting the agreement into a binding agreement.

If you are still not sure about what you want to achieve from the separation or divorce, then you should speak to a lawyer. They will be able to give you more information about your options and help you figure out what is best for you. Your first step would normally be an initial meeting with a lawyer. 

 

No matter what route you decide to take, getting the boat in a divorce in Australia can be a complicated process. It is important to seek legal advice early on so that you can understand all of your options and make informed decisions about what is best for you. An out of court agreement can be a much less stressful process.

 

In Australia, boat ownership is subject to the same rules as any other form of property during a divorce. This means that the boat will be considered part of the couple’s assets and will be divided between them according to their property settlement. However, there are some circumstances in which one spouse may be granted exclusive ownership of the boat. For example, if the boat was purchased by one spouse before the marriage, or if it was inherited by one spouse, then it is likely that the boat will remain in their sole possession. Alternatively, if the couple has young children, the court may decide that it is in the best interests of the children for one parent to retain ownership of the boat so that they can continue to enjoy family activities such as fishing.

 

If the boat was purchased during the marriage and was used by one spouse in the course of their business, it may be considered part of the marital estate and subject to equitable distribution. This means that it would be divided between the spouses in a way that is fair and equitable, taking into account factors such as each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and their future needs.

 

If you can agree on who gets the boat without involving the court or hiring an appraiser, it can save you time and money in the long run. To do this, you will need to come up with a fair value for the boat that both of you are comfortable with.

Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce: A Guide to Australian Pet Custody Laws

Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce: A Guide to Australian Pet Custody Laws

In Australia, pets are considered property and as such, there is no definitive answer as to who gets the dog in a divorce. In most cases, the courts will order that the pet be handed over to one of the spouses, but there have been some instances where both parties have been allowed to keep the pet. This can be a difficult decision for the court to make, as it often pits human emotions against property rights. In this blog post, we will take a look at Australian pet custody laws and discuss some of the factors that the court may consider when making its decision.

The best-case scenario is to come to an agreement

Pet custody can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce or separation. For many couples, their pets are like family members, and the thought of giving them up can be devastating. However, fighting over who gets to keep the dog or cat is often a pointless exercise that can only lead to bitterness and resentment. A better solution is to try to negotiate an out of court agreement. This can be done with the help of a mediator or a lawyer, who can facilitate communication between the two sides and help them reach a compromise where required. With some flexibility and creativity, it is often possible to find an arrangement that works for both parties. And in the end, that is what is best for the pet.

Mediation / Negotiation

One way to do this is to ask a mediator to help you and your ex come to an agreement. Mediators are neutral third parties who can facilitate discussion and help you reach a compromise.

The other way is to engage a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf to get the outcome you are wanting regarding the pet.

Worst Case Scenario

If you and your ex are still unable to agree, you may need to go to court. In court, a judge will make a decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of the pet.

Recommendations

No matter what the situation may be, it is important to remember that the well-being of the pet should always come first. If you and your ex can come to an agreement about who will care for the pet, that is ideal. However, if mediation or negotiation is necessary to reach a decision, make sure that the mediator or your lawyer understands how much the pet means to both of you and that their well-being is taken into account.

No matter where you are in the divorce process, Strategic Lawyers Townsville is here to help you find a lawyer who will work hard on your behalf. We have the most experienced, professional team of family lawyers in our area and we’re ready to help you get the best outcome for you and your pets! Give us a call or contact us online today

Post-Separation — Who Gets What?

Post-Separation — Who Gets What?

Separation and divorce are likely to be among the most challenging experiences you will ever face, both emotionally and financially. And, when it comes to dividing all that you and your ex-partner acquired together — potentially over many years — the challenges, stress and confusion only increase. There are important family and financial considerations to be made, and financial and parenting agreements to be formalised.

In even the most amicable of splits, it is crucial to obtain the services of an excellent family lawyer. If you’ve found yourself wondering, “What am I entitled to in a separation in Australia?”, we warmly invite you to make an appointment to talk with the caring and professional team at Strategic Lawyers Townsville.

How assets are divided in a divorce in Australia 

There is no definitive answer on how to split assets after separation. This is true for both married couples and de facto relationships. Under Australian law, each party is entitled to what is “fair”, “just”, or “equitable”. This ensures that neither party is given an unfair advantage or disadvantage in the property settlement, such as in the case of a parent having their ability to earn (and superannuation balance) reduced as a result of being the primary caregiver of any children of the relationship.

Property settlement and family law 

Property settlements (also known as financial agreements) are governed by the Family Law Act, and apply to both married and de facto relationships. Prior to making an application, applicants need to show that a genuine effort has been made to resolve the dispute. A lawyer needs to be engaged to negotiate how the property pool will be divided, draft binding Consent Orders, and obtain a court decree of consent.  

Although there is no specific formula for the calculation of property settlements and no guaranteed 50/50 or 60/40 split divorce in Australia, the courts have defined a framework to help achieve a fair and equitable division. When it comes to separation and divorce and who gets what in Australia, it generally amounts to the shared property pool, the contributions and needs of each party, and how to fairly implement the division as defined below:

  • Shared property pool — This is all of the assets and liabilities of you and your ex-partner. When it comes to the shared property pool, “personal” assets, such as superannuation, are also considered. This ensures a fair and equitable division of all assets.
  • Contributions — As well as financial contributions, non-financial contributions such as the care of children and homemaking contributions are considered.
  • Needs — Both your’s and your ex-partner’s current and future needs are considered. When it comes to financial division, the most common needs to take into account are your ability to earn (now and in the future), your age and health, and your child-caring responsibilities.
  • How to implement the division — Lastly, a just and equitable division needs to be determined, and a decision made on how the division will be implemented.

In court, it is ultimately up to the Judge, who has a wide discretion, to decide who gets what in the property settlement, and no two property settlements are ever the same.

Negotiating an out of court agreement    

It is not always necessary to attend court when finalising a property settlement. At Strategic Family Lawyers Townsville, we can negotiate both property and children’s matters outside of court on your behalf. These negotiations deal with the disputed issues, the law’s take on those issues, and proposals for settling the matter. Our negotiations are always professional and strategically focused — where possible, we believe in keeping your case out of the courts.

Agreement is usually undertaken via consent orders. Consent orders are binding agreements that are negotiated on your behalf by us. Consent orders save on both time and money spent in court, along with the stress that can come with protracted court battles. 

When negotiating out of court agreements, our highly skilled negotiators always stand by our mission to achieve life-changing outcomes for our clients. We demand high performance in all of our undertakings, and treat our clients as more than just a file number. As a leading family lawyer in Townsville, we are committed to understanding each of our clients’ stories and delivering superior service every time.

Custody of children in divorce settlements

The process of separation and divorce can be made even more challenging and emotional when there are children involved. There are, however, options available to you when it comes to sorting out the custody of your child or children. Coming to an agreement with your ex-partner over living arrangements will prevent the need to go to court. 

There are two ways to document any agreement made with your ex-partner — you can choose either a parenting plan or a consent order. There are pros and cons to both of these agreement options, and of course, your children’s best interests should be at the forefront of your decision making in this area. 

  • A Parenting Plan is a voluntary written agreement between you and your ex-partner and needs to be signed by both parties. It details all aspects of your child’s welfare, care, and development. A parenting plan allows room for flexibility and changes, but is not a legally binding document.
  • A Consent Order contains similar information to a Parenting Plan, and also needs to be signed by both parties. However, a consent order is a legally enforceable document, meaning that no changes can be made unless there has been a significant change to circumstances. And any contravention to the Order may result in penalties being imposed.

Contact Strategic Lawyers for your separation and divorce property settlement needs  

When it comes time to negotiate your post-separation property settlement, you’ll need a lawyer who has your best interests at heart. At Strategic Lawyers Townsville, you can count on us to get the results you need. Our team of highly experienced professionals are here to deliver a service that is tailored for you and your specific needs. Contact us to set up a meeting with our family lawyers in Townsville today.

There’s no need to google “family lawyer near me” — for your convenience, Strategic Lawyers also have locations in Charters Towers, Mackay, Cairns, Mission Beach, Mount Isa, Ingham, Ayr and Bowen.

Townsville in Queensland – Discover the Best of this Amazing City

Townsville in Queensland – Discover the Best of this Amazing City

Townsville in Queensland – Discover the Best of this Amazing City

Our very own Justin Ireland has fond memories of growing up in Townsville. So much so, that despite a successful career working for a top-tier law firm in Sydney, he was drawn back to his home city where he set up his own law firm Strategic Lawyers with a quest to help and give back to the community.

If there’s one thing to know about Townsville in Queensland it’s that there are so many things to do and see while you’re here. Whether you’re considering relocating to the area, planning a weekend break or a vacation, there’s something to cater to all tastes and ages. Take a read of our mini Townsville ‘best of’ guide’ and you’ll see why we all love it so much.

The Best of Townsville’s Natural Wonders

Castle Hill Summit
Castle Hill Summit

The first thing you’ll notice when arriving in Townsville is how the city is framed by lush greenery and crystal blue water. You know what this means don’t you? ….  plenty of hiking walks, waterfalls, and swimming spots.

No trip to Townsville is complete without journeying by foot or car to the top of Castle Hill. Falling just a few metres short of a mountain, the panoramic views across the city and to Magnetic Island are incredible.

Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island

Speaking of Magnet Island, or ‘Maggie’ as she’s affectionately called by the locals, you can’t visit Townsville without crossing the water to visit this tropical paradise island. If spotting wildlife is top of your list of things to do, this island promises Rock Wallabies Koalas, Brush Tail Possums, Little Bentwing Bats and Black Flying Fixes. Be sure not to miss Forts Walk where you’ll see two WW11 military bases as well as spectacular views of the Island’s 23 bays and beaches.

Enjoy a walk in the rainforest at Paluma
Enjoy a walk in the rainforest at Paluma

If you’ve more of a thing for freshwater then why not head inland to the Paluma Range National Park. Here you can swim in crystal clear waters at Crystal Creek, enjoy a walk in a rainforest, and take a step back in history at Paluma village. Little Creek is also known for its historic stone arch bridge and cascading waterfalls.

Meet JR - A Texas Longhorn you wouldn’t want to mess with
Meet JR - A Texas Longhorn you wouldn’t want to mess with

You don’t have to travel far from Townsville to experience the Outback. Just 138km west of the City is Charters Tower complete with red dirt and modern conveniences such as 4G mobile phone reception. Although it was gold that put this small town on the map, it’s the glorious colours and golden sunsets that maintain its popularity with visitors. Of course, your Outback adventure wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Leahton Park to meet JR, the proud owner of the longest horns in the world. Let’s face it, where else can you wear your cowboy boots by day and at night be sipping cocktails in the City overlooking the water!

TOWNSVILLE’S LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK SCENE

We put our heads together in the office and came up with our top cafe, bar, and restaurant from what was a pretty extensive list.

Best Cafe – Cafe Dominion

Enjoy patio season all year round at Coffee Dominion
Enjoy patio season all year round at Coffee Dominion

This was a hard one to call but we reckon it serves the best espresso and pastries in town. Since its inception in 1998, it’s grown into one of the most recognised coffee  brands in North Queensland.

Best Bar

Enjoy the best cocktails at the Hooch & Fellow
Enjoy the best cocktails at the Hooch & Fellow

Gosh, this gets harder….  

The Hooch & Fellow is an awesome bar with a great vibe, lighting, and amazing staff. You’ll like that they’re always changing their cocktail list and they serve great wine. It’s also a great place to sip a drink over a shared cheese platter.

Best Restaurant

City Lane

City Lane

Okay, so this is a bit of a cop-out. If you’re like us and can’t decide what you fancy eating until you see it or smell it, then City Lane has got you covered. Just head for the creative laneway precinct where you’ll find a plethora of options as well as small bars and shops – enjoy its friendly urban buzz.

Donna Biona is an Italian favourite and if you close your eyes you can imagine you’re sitting in a wine bar in Rome. Harri Dumpling is another popular restaurant serving Asian Fusion food. We love the steamed prawn and ginger dumplings but if you’re a vegetarian the honey soy tofu bao buns are too good to miss

Townsville Brewery - A popular watering hole for almost 20 years
Townsville Brewery - A popular watering hole for almost 20 years

Oh, and we almost forgot to include Townsville Brewery – the perfect place to enjoy award-winning craft beer. Its ice-cold beer is the perfect way to cool down and quench your thirst after a day spent exploring North Queensland.

WHERE TO STAY

The Ville

The King Ocean View Room at The Ville
The King Ocean View Room at The Ville

If you’re looking for classy accommodation – and why not, everyone deserves a treat once in a while, then it has to be The Ville. This $43 million development has completely transformed what was an under-performing casino in Townsville into a chic inviting resort.

Rambutan

Rambutan – The rooftop bar
Rambutan – The rooftop bar

Unlike any backpacker hostel you may have stayed at in your youth, Rambutan is a stylish boutique hotel with accommodation options to suit every budget. Conveniently located smack in the middle of town it boasts a rooftop pool and bar, in-house restaurant, air-conditioning and ensuite for every room.

So that just about covers our selection of the best attractions, eateries, and places to stay in Townsville which brings us to schools and local businesses.

Townsville is proud to have a close-knit community that bond well and look out for each other. Here are 3 of the best schools and some friendly local businesses to know about should you decide to put down some roots.

BEST SCHOOLS IN TOWNSVILLE

According to Better Education.co.au the best primary schools in Townsville ranked on their year 5 results in 2019 were:

Located at the base of Castle Hill, Townsville West State school is the second oldest school in Townsville and refers to itself as a ‘small school with a big heart’. It provides differentiated learning for a student population coming from a range of cultural backgrounds. Its small size also facilitates a genuine family feel where the staff feel a collective responsibility to help and support all of their students.

Located in Fryer Street, North Ward, St Joseph’s Catholic dates back to 1873. Over the decades it has served generations of families and has transformed into a modern and innovative learning community providing Kindergarten to Year 6. The school offers a friendly trusting collaboration between the principal, teachers, parish priest and parents.

The North Ward campus is within close walking distance to Castle Hill, The Strand beachfront and Queens Gardens. The school is heritage-listed and was established in 1888. It offers day and boarding facilities and a school bus providing morning and afternoon services that connect the 3 grammar school campuses.

SOME OF THE BEST LOCAL BUSINESSES AND THEIR PEOPLE

Well naturally we couldn’t miss this opportunity to plug our business but we’ve also listed a few other businesses that play a significant role within the community.

Strategic Lawyers

Led by local Townsville resident Justin Ireland, he and his dynamic team can assist with a wide array of practice areas including:

Justin and his team value every client and want to give them the best service possible. They do this by listening and understanding a client’s exacting needs, so they can assign the best-matched specialised lawyer to their case. Furthermore, they operate a fixed-fee service so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to settling the bill.

Chappell Accounting

Jeff Pringle knew from an early age that he wanted to be an accountant and have his own business which as an Equity Partner with Chappell Accounting, he has achieved. Jeff believes in communicating regularly with his clients to see how they’re doing, what’s happening with their family, and talking about business and the next step.

Time2Shine

You can count on Josh to keep your vehicle looking and feeling brand new. The team has over 12 years experience in the automotive detailing industry and a mission to save water, care for the environment and offer an experience and level of detail with a convenient mobile service that you and your car won’t forget.

IMCSteak House

If you like a steak there’s no better place to visit than IMC Steakhouse. Owner Tim is passionate about showcasing the finest produce from farmers around Australia and guarantees top-quality tender juicy steaks grilled perfectly to order and at a price that will keep you coming back for more.

BRI Ferrier

Director, Moira Carter, is a registered trustee in bankruptcy with 18 years experience in the insolvency industry. She has a particular interest in personal bankruptcy and insolvency agreements and gets vast satisfaction from helping people with their financial situations providing them with outcomes that are commercial, sound, and achievable. She also provides a free initial consultation so as not to add to their financial burden.

Well, that’s it ….. just a taster of the best of Townsville. but there’s plenty more where this came from.

We hope you enjoyed the read and if you decide to check out Townsville in Northern Queensland for yourself, then why not drop by and say hello. We’d love to meet you.