When a divorce situation is about to take place, there is a distinct possibility that one of the marriage partners might be extremely upset or even bitter about the impending event.
The best way to ensure the right thing is said and done at the right time is to seek legal advice. In NSW there is free legal advice available through Law Access NSW, Legal Aid NSW and certain community legal aid centres. Of course, your situation will determine if there are likely to be any obstacles surrounding your divorce. There are issues about property, care of children and spousal maintenance.
If you and your ex-marriage partner can’t agree on certain issues, then your legal situation will be very important. The only person who will ensure that you both benefit and follow NSW’s legal requirements is a family lawyer.
A lawyer will tell you your rights and assist you to reach an agreement with your ex-partner over children and property. He or she will also gather together any documents required on your behalf and present them to the court.
There is no legal requirement to hire a lawyer, but it may ensure that financial matters are sorted out sooner rather than later that may be more cost-effective for both you and your ex-partner in the long term.
If there is a lot of money and property involved as part of a divorce settlement then handling it on your own may not ensure that agreements made are binding. A lawyer will ensure that any agreements reached will be signed and sealed.
Consent orders are very important, too. A lawyer will prepare the order for you, and this ensures that it is legal and enforceable by the court for both parents. You can do this yourself without the help of a lawyer, and it will not cost you anything. Often, seeking legal help is a matter of your own confidence and of course what is at stake for you.
If you have no children and little or no shared property and a partner who agrees to the divorce, then legal advice will not be necessary.
However, a long-standing marriage with some dependent children involved and a substantial family home can get quite complex, and it is important that you know your legal rights and that they are upheld.