Going to Court

In most family law disputes, separated couples eventually resolve their matters through facilitated negotiation, mediation, or collaboration.

However, there are times when couples cannot resolve the matter between themselves, negotiations fail, or the matter is urgent and court proceedings are necessary to avoid an unjust or unfair outcome.

Should you find yourself in this situation, we can assist. Andrew Corish is an accredited specialist family lawyer with extensive experience across the full spectrum of family law property and parenting matters, from the less contentious, to the very complex.

Family Law Court Proceedings

Family law related court proceedings involve the Family Court of Australia (soon to be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia) hearing and deciding on matters that relate to families, parenting, and children.

What steps does the court take when determining an Application for Property Settlement?

In determining a division of property in family law property proceedings, a court will:

  1. Identify the assets, liabilities, and financial resources of the parties to establish and value the asset pool. This includes real estate and personal property, furniture, motor vehicles, investments, cash, shares, and insurance policies. Superannuation is also included and may be ‘split’ between the parties to give effect to property orders.
  2. Assess the direct and indirect financial and non-financial contributions made by the parties. This includes financial contributions such as assets brought into the relationship and the parties’ respective earnings, and non-financial contributions such as the care and welfare of the family.
  3. Consider any adjustment for the future financial needs of each party taking into account their respective ages and state of health, relative earning capacities, and the need to care for children.
  4. Make an overall assessment of the case and make orders that are just and equitable in the circumstances.

What does a Court consider when making Parenting Orders?

The court will consider various practical and other factors when determining an application for parenting orders, including children’s ages, maturity, and ability to cope with change, their relationship with other siblings, and the parents’ respective work commitments and location.

The overriding principles however are that the best interests of the child are paramount, and that:

  • children should have the benefit of a meaningful relationship with both parents in their lives;
  • children should be protected from physical and psychological harm and harm resulting from being subjected to family violence;
  • children should receive parenting conducive to them achieving their full potential;
  • unless a child is at risk, parental responsibility should be equally shared and children should have the right to spend time on a regular basis with both parents and other people significant in their lives.

The best interests of the child are also reflected in the manner in which proceedings are conducted. The impact that court proceedings may have on a child is always considered and cooperation between the parents is fostered with as little formality during the hearing as possible.

We use our knowledge and expertise to provide strong court representation and advocacy to assist you to obtain excellent results and get out of the court process as efficiently and successfully as possible.

If you need any assistance, contact one of our North Sydney family lawyers at [email protected] or call 02 8075 0141 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert family law advice.