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8 January – Divorce Day?

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By Amanda Humphreys, Special Counsel, MST Lawyers

In the UK media, 8 January is reported as “Divorce Day” with a spike in the number of people seeking assistance from lawyers and family support services following the holiday period and commencing divorce proceedings.

It is true in Australia that many couples separate and seek legal assistance in January, often due to:

  • Relationship difficulties and disputes over the holiday period;
  • Holding off on a decision to separate until after children finish school or getting through the festive season and pre-arranged family holidays; and
  • Reflection over the holiday period and re-assessing personal goals for the new year.

For those who have recently separated or are considering ending a relationship, it is important to seek early expert legal advice.

Seeking legal advice does not necessarily mean “going to court”, “getting lawyers involved” and hefty legal bills. Legal advice can be as simple as a one-off meeting to seek information.

In fact, good early legal advice can help to avoid protracted family disputes, promote early settlements, support cooperative post-separation parenting relationships, and reduce legal costs.

Our family law team at MST Lawyers can:

  • Provide expert legal advice to assist with decision making before or after separation;
  • Assist separating couples to negotiate parenting plans and orders, property settlements and financial agreements;
  • Help to obtain necessary information (for example, information about family finances);
  • Arrange mediation with skilled and effective mediators, including family dispute resolution (FDR) mediation;
  • Efficiently prepare documents formalising an agreement reached directly with a partner or spouse (including parenting plans, consent orders and financial agreements);
  • Identify those cases where a strong advocate and court proceedings may be required to protect our clients and their interests, or to protect children, sometimes with urgency; and
  • Connect families with other support services where appropriate, including – counsellors, psychologists, accountants, tax experts, financial planners, barristers and other specialist lawyers both in Australia and overseas.

MST Lawyers’ Family Law team specialises in all areas of family law.  We have four accredited family law specialists who are supported by two additional lawyers. Each of the lawyers in the team practices exclusively in the area of family law.

Drawing upon our expertise, external relationships and other specialist teams within MST Lawyers, including our Corporate and Commercial and Litigation team, we provide a responsive, efficient and integrated service for our clients. Each case is unique, so we listen to you to provide the right path for you – whatever that might be.

If you would like additional information, please contact our Family Law team by email or call +61 3 8540 0200. We happily arrange Skype and telephone appointments for our interstate and overseas clients, accommodating time differentials where required.