Specialist family lawyers Benjamin Bryant and Heather McKinnon and their special guests answer your questions about divorce, separation, children's matters, property settlement and family court. They empower you to make wise decisions for yourself and your family.
New Court. New Rules.
This month Ben and Heather had a look at the new rules governing the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia which merged in September 2021. While the Family Law Act has not changed, the newly merged Court has been given increased resources and has implemented new processes to speed up the Court process which has been mired in logjams for a number of years.
Ben and Heather cover off the following questions:
•Why have the Courts merged?
•How do the new Court rules actually affect separating couples who head to Court?
•How does the new "case management pathway" work?
•How has the increased emphasis on dispute resolutions impacted proceedings?
•What is the affect of additional Court resources?
•How do the new rules impact on Property Settlement disputes?
•How do the new rules impact on Children's Matters?
•How is the Court using electronic hearings to fast track proceedings?
Divorce & Children on the Spectrum
Ben and Heather welcome special guest and child psychologist Amy Sketcher to talk about divorce and children on the spectrum. Amy practises with Seasons Allied Health in Coffs Harbour, and has many years' experience in the non-government and education sector. She works with children as well as supporting and up-skilling parents and caregivers. Topics covered include:
•The psychological and emotional difficulties that all children can suffer as a result of divorce.
•The impact of divorce on children on the spectrum - how this may impact on behaviours.
•How to differentiate between behaviours triggered by the trauma of divorce and those associated with autism.
•What parents can do to make divorce and separation easier for children on the spectrum.
•Managing a situation where one parent is in denial about an autism diagnosis.
•How to know when psychological help is needed.
•How to choose the right psychologist for your child.
How To Get The Most Out of Your Family Lawyer
This month Ben and Heather talk about family lawyers: how to choose one that's right for you and how to make sure you get the best out of the lawyer you've chosen. Collectively they deal with a wide range of questions, including:
•What is an accredited family lawyer, and do I need one?
•Can I use the same lawyer or law firm as my ex-partner?
•Do I have to pay for an initial consultation?
•Should I shop around for a family lawyer?
•What should I be looking for in a family lawyer or law firm?
•How should I prepare for an initial meeting with a family lawyer?
•What should I expect from a family lawyer and when should I think about moving on?
Do It Yourself Divorce
This month Ben and Heather step you through how to manage your own divorce and identify when you may need to seek additional legal advice.
The questions and topics covered included:
•What is divorce (legally speaking)?
•Who is eligible to divorce in Australia?
•Choose a joint or sole application?
•When do separation legally start?
•Counselling requirements if married less than 2 years.
•What does the Court look for when approving your divorce?
•What if you want a divorce but can't find you ex?
•How best to serve divorce papers on your ex.
•Signing and finalising divorce paperwork.
•What to expect in Court?
•How soon after divorce can you remarry?
•Does divorce affect parenting or property arrangements?
•When is DIY divorce a bad idea?
•Is it a good idea to DIY property and parenting arrangements?
Financial Planning During and After Divorce
In this episode, Ben and Heather turned their attention to money, assets, debts and the importance of financial planning during and after divorce. They were joined by financial planner Brett Martin from Harbour Wealth Management. A certified financial planner for over 12 years, Brett has been helping clients on the Coffs Coast to manage their wealth since he became principal at Bridges Financial Services in Coffs Harbour in 2011. Recently Brett has moved from under the Bridges umbrella to establish his own practice, Harbour Wealth Management.
Brett's financial planning expertise combined well with Ben and Heather's specialist family law knowledge to answer these critical questions:
•How can couples avoid disagreements about money that may eventually lead to divorce or separation?
•How best to audit and value a shared asset pool?
•How to protect your credit rating through the separation process?
•How to stay within superannuation rules when splitting super after divorce?
•Are there advantages to keeping your super intact and using other assets to balance out property settlement?
•How to manage and divide a self managed superannuation fund through separation?
•What are the tax implication to be aware of when deciding how to divide the assets after separation?
Community Questions - Take 5
This is an excellent resource that I can tell already from the first episode will be invaluable for me and my children.