Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer

According to the most recent statistics, 49,510 divorces were granted in Australia in 2020, representing an increase of 1.9%.

If you and your partner are beginning the process of a divorce, you may be wondering if you require the services of a divorce lawyer. While not all parties hire legal representation during this time, it’s highly recommended that you have the help and advice of an experienced lawyer throughout.

Here are just three of the main reasons why you need a lawyer when going through a divorce.

1. Keeping the Process Civil

Divorces are often laden with powerful emotions. You may experience feelings of anger, betrayal, or grief throughout the process, and while these are expected, they tend to make it difficult to converse with your ex-partner.

Effective communication is crucial throughout a divorce. The more respectfully the two parties communicate, the quicker and more amicable the divorce will be. However, because of the emotions you’re likely experiencing, you may be more likely to react in frustration.

A divorce lawyer can speak with your spouse and their legal team on your behalf. Handling the matter professionally, and if you need to speak to your ex-partner, they’ll advise you on how to go about it.

2. Splitting Assets, Liabilities and Superannuation

Recent studies and news articles suggest that many people do not have enough assets to cover their living expenses for old age.

It can be very competitive for separating couples to divide their assets, liabilities and superannuation.  Some unscrupulous former spouses even go to the extent of hiding their assets while incurring inflated or scam liabilities.  It takes a skilled lawyer to expose a former spouse that is not engaging in the separation process with good faith. The Court can also impose penalties against a spouse who is not cooperating or abusing the dispute resolution process, including failing to honestly disclose their assets, liabilities and superannuation.

Superannuation is considered an asset and, therefore, can be divided during a divorce either by consent or by a Judge’s ruling.

This means that a portion of one spouse’s superannuation can be reassigned to the others. They won’t be able to retrieve it as “cash”, but it will remain in their superannuation account alongside their own superannuation entitlements.

It’s particularly important for stay-at-home parents to receive a just and equitable outcome in this scenario, as they may not be receiving the regular superannuation payments that their spouse would otherwise have been entitled to as an employee.

The amount of superannuation transferred, if any, is determined by various factors. In long relationships, both parties may receive 50% of the entire superannuation benefits. However, this is not always the case, which is why you should seek professional advice from a divorce lawyer regarding your unique circumstances.

3. Protecting Your Children

When children are involved in a divorce, the situation becomes more complex. Divorcing parents may disagree on who should retain custody of the children. These custody battles often end up in court.

Lawyers help to guarantee that everything remains as reasonable as possible.

The Court’s view is that:

  1. The children’s rights are paramount;
  2. Neither parent has a legal right when it comes to the interests of the children;
  3. The children have a right to a relationship with both parents; but only when it is safe to do so.

If you feel your former spouse is a safety risk to your children, you can seek mechanisms to protect your children. In extreme cases, the Court may even prevent one parent from accessing the children.   Your lawyer will assist you in proving to the court what is in your child’s best interests.

You must also pay child support if you are not the primary custodial parent. Your lawyer will help you to ensure that this sum doesn’t exceed your means.

In Summary

Most individuals find divorce difficult and stressful, and they are thankful to have the assistance of an experienced family lawyer. You’ll have to make a lot of decisions that will impact the rest of your life at a time when emotions can cloud your judgment, so having your trusted lawyer by your side to guide you through the process is essential.

Although some may not require the services of a divorce lawyer, hiring one is often in your best interests – especially if your divorce is complex, contested, involves children, you have considerable assets, or your former partner has hired one.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us at (03) 9422 5439 or email laurie@irvinelawyers.com.au.

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer in Melbourne? We have lawyers in South Morang and lawyers in Warrnambool ready to help you