Family Law Facts


  1. After separating, a couple must wait a minimum of 12 months before making an Application for Divorce.  The separation period does not need to be continuous – a couple can reconcile for 3 months before restarting the clock on the separation period.
  2. There are time limits for filing an application for property orders in the Family Court.  De facto couples have 2 years from the date of separation and married couples have 12 months from the date of divorce.
  3. All parties to a family law matter must provide full and frank disclosure of all information and documents that may be relevant to the dispute.
  4. FIFO workers can be considered as being in a ‘de facto’ relationship with their partner even though they don’t live together on a full-time basis.  Cohabitation is only one factor that can indicate a de facto relationship.
  5. Superannuation is treated as ‘property of a marriage’.  This means that super can be split between a couple at separation (unless you are in WA where this is only applicable to married couples).
  6. In order to commence Family Court proceedings about children, couples must attempt mediation (unless there is an extreme urgency, domestic violence or significant risk to the children).
  7. Parents don’t have ‘rights’ only ‘responsibilities’ in relation to their children.  When making decisions about children their best interests must come first.
  8. Very few matters that commence in the Family Court actually reach trial mainly because the Court prefers mediated outcomes, there are long delays in matters being listed for trial and the high costs associated with doing so.
  9. Pre-nuptial agreements or binding financial agreements (BFAs) can be made by people contemplating a relationship, during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
  10. Consent orders are the same as a judicial decision made on behalf of a couple and are binding.
  11. If you die before updating your Will after a separation, your Will (which may leave everything to your former wife or de facto) is still valid.  Separation does not invalidate a Will.



If you would like to know more, please contact one of our friendly staff at Bambrick Legal today:

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