We have all been guilty of taking legal advice from a neighbour or assessing our prospects in a dispute on google. Here is Family Law Accredited Specialist Samantha Sticklan’s top 6 urban myths in family law.
If you live together for 2 years you are entitled to 50% of your partners assets.
While the length of a relationship can play a role in the division of assets there is no one rule that gives any person an entitlement to 50% of the others assets. The Family Law Act 1975 provides for many factors to be taken into account. These factors are given different weight depending on the circumstances. While we ultimately reach a percentage division, it will range in what that percentage actually is depending on the other relevant factors.
When a child reaches the age of 12 they get to choose who they live with.
The child’s wishes are one of the many factors that the court must take into consideration when determining what is in the children’s best interest when parties separate. The age of a child is relevant to how much weight is placed on these wishes, but that is just one of many factors. Certainly, as the child gets older, more weight is placed on the wishes of the child but there is no age that a child is able to choose.
Property I purchased post separation is not in the property pool.
The property pool for family matters consists of the assets and liabilities at the time that any property settlement is determined. Even if there is a post separation purchase it will be part of the property pool – but may be weighted differently depending on how it was purchased.
If I separate from my partner I automatically get to have my children 50% of the time.
The law says that the paramount consideration when determining where children should live is that any decision is in the best interests of the children. Normally this means that the living arrangements for children should result in them being able to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. While equal time is not always in the children’s best interests, if there is an absence of domestic violence this should be the first consideration of the parents, though it is not always reasonably practicable to have equal time.Arrangements should be reached having consideration to the circumstances of each individual family unit.
Property in my name belongs to me.
Traditional ownership of property is rarely a relevant consideration unless it is an asset purchased prior to the relationship – and even then the lines can be blurred depending on the length of the relationship. All assets are part of the property pool.
My partner cheated – this must affect the division of assets?
In Australia we have a no fault system – why parties separate is not relevant to a property settlement unless in extreme cases of domestic violence where it may be taken into account under section 75 (s).