If you are facing the experience of separating from your life partner, then even if the separation is something that you want, you may find that this time in your life can be confusing, challenging and often overwhelming. Having the right guidance and legal support can make all the difference in protecting your family, your interests, and your future. If you want your transition to be as smooth as it can possibly be, then you would be wise to have a team of professional, skilled, and supportive people in your corner to assist you with the emotional, financial, and practical aspects involved in making your life-change. Some of the factors you will face involve ensuring that you have a financial agreement and/or parenting arrangements in place so that you and your former partner enjoy certainty and finality as you move forward. Engaging the right family lawyer for you can be an asset to ensure your agreements, negotiations and outcomes are the best they can be for you, in your circumstances.

At a time when your life is an unsettled roller-coaster of feelings and important decisions to make, it may well bring you peace of mind know the right questions to ask. If you have an idea of what to ask, you are on your way to ensuring that you fully understand your legal rights so that you can establish your best path to achieve your settlement, whether your separation is amicable or not. This article suggests fundamental questions for you to ask your family lawyer if you are thinking of separating or if you are in the process of separating from your partner. Your unique situation means that you will, of course, have your concerns and queries that you can add to the questions that our expert family lawyers are frequently asked  so that you can make informed decisions throughout the process.

Separating? Essential Questions to Ask Your Family Lawyer

1. What is the legal process and what are your rights?

Firstly, ask your family lawyer about the legal process involved in separation. Make sure you understand steps and timelines specific to Queensland to ensure you have a clear understanding of what lies ahead of you. Diarise any dates that relate to you. Additionally, ask about your legal rights and responsibilities, including how shared assets, liabilities, and superannuation might be divided during your property settlement process. Gaining in-depth knowledge about your rights and the legal procedures involved will enable you to make informed decisions and adequately prepare for what’s to come.

2. What out-of-court dispute resolution methods are available?

Enquire about the various dispute resolution alternatives available for your situation. You can explore multiple options beyond traditional court proceedings, such as collaborative law, mediation, child inclusive mediation and family dispute resolution. In the context of your separation, ask your family lawyer about the pros and cons of each method and their recommendations for the most appropriate option in your circumstances. By understanding the different dispute resolution methods, you can make a well-informed choice that best aligns with your needs, desired outcomes, and your financial circumstances.

How Mediation Can Assist You to Settle Your Family Law Dispute

3. If you have a child or children: What about Parenting Arrangements and Child Support?

If you have children, navigating the arrangements for care of your child or children and child support matters will be a top priority. Ask your family lawyer about the legal considerations for determining suitable parenting arrangements in Queensland. Make sure you know about your parental rights and obligations in relation to making significant decisions for your children and the criteria used by the court to establish what is in the best interests of the child. Additionally, you can enquire about the process of arranging child support and the factors that influence the amount required to be paid or received.

4. Your Finances: What are the options available regarding achieving a financial settlement?:

It is important that you are aware of your options in terms of achieving a property settlement with your former partner. Ask your family lawyer about the process involved in negotiating and finalising your financial agreement or Consent Orders, and also be clear about what happens if you reach agreement in terms of the division of your property pool.

5. Estimating Costs and Time: What are the estimated legal costs and what is the likely duration of the separation process?

For you to have realistic expectations of any legal, mediation or Court costs to you and time that it could take to settle your family law matter, ask your family lawyer for an estimate of the legal costs associated with your separation, including fees and any other associated expenses, such as mediator’s fees, filing fees or court costs.  If you know what the likely costs are going to be you can plan and maintain control of your budget.  Furthermore, you can request an estimated timeline for the completion of your separation agreements, on the understanding that variables such as dispute resolution methods, property settlement negotiations, and parenting arrangements can impact the duration. By gathering this information, you can make better financial plans, mental preparations, and practical decisions for your separation process and after.

Separating? Further Questions to Ask Your Family Lawyer

Questions 1 to 5 above are essential for all separating couples, however your situation may require further exploration so that your family lawyer can provide the most accurate and tailored advice. You could consider asking your family lawyer the following questions:

Does spousal maintenance apply to your case?

This could include understanding your eligibility to receive spousal maintenance or your obligation to pay spousal maintenance, and the factors that influence the amount and duration of these payments.

What are the implications for your estate planning and your will?

Your impending change of circumstances means that it is wise to seek advice on updating your will, Enduring Power of Attorney, and superannuation beneficiary nominations. Take your time to find out how your separation process might impact your estate.

What are the potential impacts on your business?

If you have business interests, understanding how the separation might affect your company or companies and strategies for protecting business assets may be crucial.

How can you protect your assets in complex property settlements?

If you have substantial or intricate property holdings, it’s essential to seek tailored advice on protecting assets, managing capital gains tax implications, and the valuation process. You may need to seek the advice of an accountant or financial planner as well as your experienced family lawyer and reliable commercial lawyer.

Your Successful Resolution of Your Separation

If you are well prepared and you ask the right questions and therefore seek tailored advice from your family lawyer, you can make your separation process better aligned with your personal goals and interests, smoother and more manageable. Effective communication, knowledge, and preparation with your trusted legal professional are the keys to navigating a complex, emotionally challenging, and life-changing transition with confidence and peace of mind.

When you separate, expert advice and experienced legal assistance is the best recipe for positive, practical outcomes for you and your children, and your family. Anumis Legal, a reliable, responsive provider of strategic solutions and streetwise legal advice, is here to support you throughout your separation or your divorce, offering you compassionate, and tailored assistance as you navigate the process of your separation. Our approachable, experienced Anumis Legal Family Law Dream Team will ensure you are well-informed of your rights and obligations, providing the thorough legal advice you need to reach a resolution as promptly and cost-effectively as possible.

The Ultimate Australian Separation Checklist

Are you looking for reliable guidance about your separation? Contact our expert family lawyers, right now!

If you are feeling confused, overwhelmed, or uncertain about the separation process and your legal rights and obligations, reach out to our approachable Family Law Dream team. The Anumis Legal Family Law Dream Team are here to help you to navigate your most difficult transitions with confidence, compassion, and empathic, expert guidance tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Anumis Legal provides dedicated support, expert knowledge, and tailored solutions to navigate the complexities of family law disputes. Reach out to Anumis Legal today to take the first steps to find the clarity and peace you deserve. For your complimentary chat call Anumis Legal now on 07 5455 6347 or email admin@anumis.com.au.


Nadine Love

Nadine Love is a lawyer and part of “the dream team” at Anumis Legal. She completed her law degree at Southern Cross University and received the New South Wales Bar Association Prize for Evidence and Civil Litigation. In addition to her passion for family law and therapeutic jurisprudence Nadine is also a celebrated international author, personal & business coach, drama therapist and motivational mentor. Nadine’s interests encompass swimming and walking in the rainforest with golden retriever Anu, and Australian Shepherds, Lex, and Onyx. She combines her strengths of advocacy, empathy and out-of-the box problem solving to support her clients to achieve their best legal outcomes.

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