Divorce Lawyer Who Doesn’t Believe in Court
Marguerite Picard is a Melbourne based family divorce lawyer practising as a collaborative lawyer/mediator and after 25 years in the legal system, no longer goes to the Family Court.
Divorce Lawyer Melbourne | Family Lawyer Melbourne
Divorce Lawyer Melbourne | Family Lawyer Marguerite Picard, Melbourne based divorce lawyer and accredited specialist family lawyer, speaks about her views on divorce in Australia today
Marguerite passionately believes that there are very few cases in family separation where going to the Family Court is necessary. The belief that lawyers are the appropriate way to proceed in family separation is widespread in Australia. When you engage, that is instruct, a traditional lawyer, you are likely to get what they have on offer: litigation, or adversarial negotiation, which runs the very high risk of ending up in Court. Couples undergoing a divorce these days are able to find alternatives to Court and lawyers that practice in an alternative manner. These alternatives often choose to work with psychologists and financial planners in order to reach the kind of agreements that become necessary after separation or divorce and work towards keeping family ties viable. There is a one in three chance that couples will have personal involvement with the Family Law System, and many of them will be unfortunate enough to be involved in litigation. The following questions and answers may assist someone you know to take a different more conciliatory path to their divorce or separation.
What is the difference between separation and divorce?
The terms are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, Divorce is the Order dissolving a marriage, made by the Family Court. Separation is the parting of ways of two people, whether married or living in a de facto relationship. Unlike Divorce, it does not require any formal action.
What are the grounds for Divorce?
In Australia, the sole ground for Divorce is the irretrievable break down of a marriage, evidenced by one year of separation. Fault is not considered.
Does the law see de facto couples and married couples differently?
For de facto couples who separate after 1 March 2009, and married couples, the law is the same. The exception is for people in Western Australia where different laws apply. What is the definition of a de facto relationship? Generally a couple are considered to be in a de facto relationship when they have lived together for two years, or commonly if they have a child together. There are circumstances that might qualify a couple as de facto in the eyes of the law, such as combining their finances, even if they have not lived together. Surprisingly to most people, a sexual relationship is not a necessary part of the definition.
If you are thinking of divorce or separation and want to keep your finances in place then a divorce that avoids court is the path you should go down. If you are thinking of divorce or separation and want to expose your children and yourself to as little stress as possible then look for a divorce lawyer that engages in collaborative manner with you, your partner and your partner’s lawyer.
You may also like to read these posts about collaborative divorce practice.
by Marguerite Picard, Family Divorce Lawyer, Melbourne, VIC