4 Common Myths About Divorce

You Don’t Need Legal Advice

While you can prepare your own divorce application, we strongly recommend you seek legal advice before doing so. This is especially the case when you have children or hold joint property together. Making the initial decision to get legal advice will ensure your rights are represented.

You Can Get Divorced Whenever You Want

The only grounds for divorce are that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and you must have been separated for at least 12 months and one day. If there are children under 18 then proper arrangements need to have been made for them. In Australia, if you have been married for less than two years you will need to attend counselling and provide the court with a counselling certificate.

Mothers Always Get Custody

When a court determines who will have physical and legal custody, they take the best interests of the children into consideration.

Assets Are Split Equally

The division of assets is more about fairness rather than an equal split. Once the asset pool has been compiled, the process involves measuring the contribution that each party made to the assets. There are a number of factors that are taken into account, and the division must be just and equitable under the Family Law Act.

We are here to help

Please call us on 07 3278 1888 for your no obligation FREE quote and initial advice

HELPFUL TIPS FOR EXECUTOR/S

A loved one has died and you have been appointed executor of his or her estate.  You are grieving and don’t know what the next steps are.

Here is a suggested list of who you may need to contact when it comes to administering a deceased person’s estate:-

  • Accountant
  • Ambulance Services
  • Australian Tax Office
  • Banks/Building or Friendly Societies/Credit Unions
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Church or Religious Organisations
  • Clubs, Organisations and Associations, Libraries
  • Companies (eg. Directorships)
  • Department of Social Security/Centrelink
  • Department of Transport- Car Registration
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Doctors, Specialists, Hospital, Dentist or Chemist
  • Electoral Office/ Local Government for Rates Etc.
  • Employer/Former Employer
  • Financial Institutions /Loan Companies/ Credit Card Providers
  • Home Appliance Rental
  • Home Delivery Service- Newspapers, Milk, etc
  • Home Nursing Services or Meals on Wheels
  • Household Help, Gardening Services
  • Insurance- Life, Accident, Home or Vehicle
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Medicare/ Health Benefits Fund
  • Phone, Mobile, Internet, Electric and Gas Companies
  • Post Office for Mail Delivery
  • Schools, Universities or Colleges
  • Service Organisations: RSL, Lion, Red Cross, Rotary, etc
  • Solicitor and/or Public Trustee
  • Superannuation Companies
  • Trade Unions or Professional Associations

Documents You Need To Settle Outstanding Property Matters

After you separate and before negotiations can commence to settle property matters you will need your former spouse or partner to provide you with all relevant information regarding the value of the assets and liabilities, and his or her financial position.

The Family Law Rules provide that parties have a legal obligation to provide the details of all relevant financial information and documentation that is or has been in the possession, or under the control of the party disclosing the document  and is relevant.

Therefore you will need to request copies of the following types of documents:

  1. Three market appraisals  (from three different real estates) in relation to any real property that is owned solely or jointly with any other person;
  2. A market appraisal and full description of all motor vehicle/s or vessels owned;
  3. A market appraisal of any other asset owned;
  4. Taxation returns and assessments for the three (3) most recent financial years;
  5. Superannuation documents for superannuation interests;
  6. In relation to any business, company, corporation, partnership or trust you will need financial statements for each, tax returns and assessments, bank statements or other financial institution statements of account (credit and debit) for the three (3) most recent years; a copy of any trust deed, corporate constitution or partnership agreement;
  7. In relation to liabilities (debts) including but not limited to home loans, vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards or any other loan, loan account statements for the three (3) most recent years, loan document or contract, loan application form for each debt;
  8. Documents regarding financial contributions (including value of assets) made by you at the commencement of cohabitation, inheritances/ gifts or any compensation payments received during cohabitation or expected to be received in the future, any purchase or disposal of property in the 12 months prior to and since separation, any increase or reduction of liabilities since separation;
  9. A list of all bank accounts (or credit union/ building society accounts), details of account numbers, passbook and bank statements for the three (3) most recent financial years, and current balance of each account, records of any investments (stocks or shares), details of any social security pension or payment details, details/ records of any long service leave accrued, records relating to life assurance or disability insurance;
  10. List any other relevant documentation.

Can you dispute a Will?

Do you consider you should have received an inheritance or were treated unfairly in a will?

If so, you may be entitled to make a claim against the estate under the Succession Act 1981 (QLD).

Under the Act, the following categories of “eligible persons” are entitled to challenge a will and seek further provision from the Estate:

  • A Husband or Wife of the deceased person;
  • A de facto spouse of the deceased person provided that person was living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis for a continuous period of at least 2 years as at the date of the deceased person’s death;
  • A child of the deceased person (including an adopted child or step-child);
  • A former spouse of the deceased person. For instance, a separated spouse who is not yet divorced and was continuing to receive maintenance from the deceased person; or
  • A person who was wholly or substantially maintained by the deceased person, who was a parent of the deceased or a parent of a child under 18 years of the deceased person or a person under 18 years of age.

In Queensland there are time limitations in which an eligible person may challenge a will:

  • An eligible person has an obligation to notify the Executor of their intentions to challenge the will within 6 months from the date of death;
  • If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiations, then the eligible person must file and serve court proceedings on the Executor within 9 months from the date of death;
  • If the eligible person does not comply within those time limits, then they may be prevented from contesting the Estate without first obtaining the Court’s permission to institute legal proceedings, which is very difficult to obtain and only granted in exceptional circumstances.

We are offering a 10% discount on our professional fees for new clients during December 2018. Call us now on (07) 3278 1888 for a FREE no obligation quote and initial advice.

What should I do if my Builder goes into liquidation?

You might find yourself in a situation where you have engaged a builder to carry out work at your home, but before the work has even begun or is completed the builder goes into liquidation.  You have no idea what you should do.

Here are a few simple steps for you to consider………

Seek Legal Advice

To protect your interests, and BEFORE taking any steps you should obtain legal advice as to your options.

Make contact with the Liquidator

The Liquidator may be able to assist you in some cases in advising possible options.

QBCC’s Dispute Resolution Process

For residential construction work you may be able to resolve your complaint via the Queensland Building and Construction Commission resolution process.

Assistance under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme

If you are not able to satisfactorily resolve your complaint under the QBCC’s resolution process, you may be eligible for assistance under the warranty scheme.

As part of the building process your builder should have arranged insurance for the construction for which you may be able to lodge a claim.

Strict Time Limits

These apply to some claims so make sure you do not delay in seeking advice otherwise your claim may be prejudiced.

Solicitors at Hogan Stanton Lawyers have been successful in obtaining satisfactory outcomes for clients who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

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