Under the Family Law Act 1975 parties can enter into financial agreements in the following circumstances:
For couples contemplating marriage (a pre-nup) (section 90B)
For married couples (section 90C)
For divorced couples (section 90D)
For de facto couples there are similar provision under sections 90UB - 90UD of the Act.
When parties are contemplating entering into a binding financial agreement under the Family Law Act it is imperative that each party signs the agreement and receives a certificate of independent legal advice certifying that the party has been advised on the effects of the agreement on the rights of that party and about the advantages and disadvantages, at the time that the advice was provided, of making the agreement.
At Southern Legal we take the provision of providing a certificate of independent legal advice as a serious task that requires far more than just providing a signature on a piece of paper but one that requires the provision of considered advice after taking into account such things as the history of the client, past financial and non-financial contributions, the current assets, plans of the future (including provision for children), medical needs, future expectations and prospects, possibility of future litigation, etc.
Our professional fees for providing independent legal advice start from $495.00 (including GST) but varies with the complexities of the parties' assets and liabilities.
As part of the PEXA electronic conveyancing system and to satisfy NSW Land and Property Information Verification of Identity (VOI) requirements, Southern Legal has entered into an arrangement with Australia Post to allow clients to attend any local post office that processes VOI applications.
As the American Statesman, Benjamin Franklin, once said, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." Whilst we know that there many who go to great lengths to avoid the latter, none of us can avoid the former.
Despite a commonly held notion, there is no proof that making a Will is inviting our demise to come a little sooner. Dying without making a valid Will can create stress, uncertainty and expense for loved ones and can result in your estate being distributed in a way that you had not contemplated.
Making a valid Will is not an onerous task for most people. A simple Will is usually sufficient. However, if you have significant assets and wish to create trusts for children or other family members then the sevices of a legal professional are essential to ensure that the appropriate laws are complied with and that the drafting of the Will can optimise its survival against any possible legal challenge.
Once a Will is made we recommend that it be reviewed at least every three to four years, or sooner if there is a significant change in yourcircumstances.
When we take your instructions for your Will we will also discuss with you the need for Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship so that your financial and personal affairs can be attended to by a trusted person should you become ill or incapacitated and unable to look after these matters for yourself.
Southern Legal accepts instructions to act as agent for other solicitors at conveyancing settlements in the Southern Highlands and also to appear before the Local Courts in Moss Vale and Goulburn for mentions, call-overs and hearings.
We are experienced in representing other solicitors in criminal matters, Roads and maritime Sevices matters, NCAT matters and examination of judgment debtors.
Family law includes not just married couples but also those who live in de facto relationships and also same-sex relationships.
The reality of the traditional nuclear family is disappearing and being replaced by a range of of relationships and blended families. The legal rights and responsibilities of couples is a dynamic matrix with which the law sometimes struggles to keep pace.
Forunately, statistics show that a large majority of separating couples are able to come to a consensus when determining what is to happen to property and financial matters when the relationship comes to an end, and, if there are children of the relationship, they are able to put aside their own wants and needs and concentrate on what is in the children's best interests.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is by far the better way of dealing with family law disputes and litigation, with its associated high costs, should always be regarded as the last resort in the most intractable cases.