Divorce papers inside the courtroom

A divorce lawyer in Sydney, also known as a relationship solicitor, is a legal professional who specialises in providing legal advice and services relating to the breakdown of relationships. The definition of a de facto relationship is stipulated in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975. Indeed, the Act prescribes that the individual and their former partner (heterosexual, same-sex, etc.)  were in a relationship where both parties had cohabitated (living under the same roof). Importantly, married couples are not contained in this definition.

Considerations that affect these relationships

Divorce lawyers Sydney free consultation help you understand various circumstances that affect relationships (in terms of definition, characterisation and legality). These include:

  • Financial dependency
  • Marriage status
  • Time spent together
  • Whether the relationship with non-platonic or platonic
  • Degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
  • Registration of the relationship
  • Property ownership
  • Support and care for the children (if applicable)

If you are confused about any of these aspects, which could affect the legal definition of your relationship, then make sure you reach out to a divorce lawyer in Sydney as soon as possible.

Making an application

Divorce lawyer in Sydney meeting a client

If your relationship ends with your partner, you can make an application through the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. Financial matters are dealt with in the same manner as married couple separations.

The application must be filed within two years of the end of the relationship; however, there are circumstances where a late submission can be approved and accepted by the Court. In consultation with your divorce lawyer in Sydney, you and your former partner must adhere to the following set of criteria:

  • Mutually agreed that the relationship has come to an end; and at least one of the following further criteria points:
    • The relationship must have been at least two years in length
    • A child must be present in the household
    • The relationship was or is currently registered per the applicable state or territory legislature
    • It is accepted that significant contributions were made by one party and it would be a major injustice if the situation were not rectified

What happens if one of the partners passes away?

If you are in a relationship (not married) and your partner passes away, then you are entitled to the rights stipulated in the legislation for married couples. What do these include? On top of asking your divorce lawyer in Sydney, here is a brief overview of these rights below:

  • A claim to social security (or welfare) entitlements
  • A right to contest their will if provisions not deemed appropriate
  • A claim to compensation entitlements if your partner passes away while still employed
  • A share of your deceased partner’s estate (if they don’t have a will)

How to hire a reliable divorce lawyer in Sydney with free consultation?

If you have split from your partner and you are eligible for an application via the Family Court, then it is in your best interest to have reliable and effective legal representation. One of the most important things you need to do is do your research. Don’t just hire the first solicitor you come across; compile a list, set up interviews and come to the consultation prepared with questions to ask.

Types of questions to ask

We all know that solicitors can be expensive, so it is critical that you ask from the outset how much your divorce lawyer in Sydney will charge. Ask for written confirmation of the pay policy and how billing/invoicing will work (flexibility, invoice dates, etc.). Furthermore, it is also vital that you verify their specialties – are they well-versed in relationship frameworks, or do they specialise in criminal or civil cases? Make sure you know before making the final call.

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