I have just thumbed through a Choice Book described as a guide to separation and divorce. Chapter 1 begins, 'To start any action
in the Family Court, you must make an application.
Another book on my shelf is titled, 'Making Divorce Work'. This book starts on a much more positive note, 'You can get divorced without ruining your life.'
The difference in the 2 approaches is that one assumes you need an application in the Family Court to resolve disputes arising out of separation and divorce. the other way allows your divorce to be a way to redefine and rebuild your family and improve your quality of life.
There is a misconception that to get justice you need to go to court. The law is a safety net. You should work with your former partner to shape an agreement that meets both of your goals interests and concerns. Most people need help to what they want and how to get it but the answers to those questions wont be found in the Family Law Act.
The answers to how you should move forward co parenting your children can be found with the help of a family relationship specialist; your future financial needs with the help of a financial specialist.
Collaborative Practice using an interdisciplinary team where each party is supported by their own Collaboratively trained lawyer providing legal advice working with a neutral Collaboratively trained family relationship specialist and a neutral Collaboratively trained financial specialist in joint meeting must be a better way than expecting an old lady who has never met you before to make the decision!
It is a myth to think any family lawyer can tell you what outcome you will achieve in Court.
Unequal divisions of property and debt are not uncommon. No one can know what will be considered "just and equitable" in the circumstances of your marriage. There is a long line of appellate cases that support this principle. This is a long way of saying that what might be considered "just and equitable" on Tuesday in one courtroom will be different from what might happen on Wednesday in that same courtroom let alone, in another courtroom. The waiting after the hearing of a trial has only just begun as it may take another year for judgement and then there is always the prospect on an appeal!
I strongly advice planning how to get your best divorce and not wait to land in the safety net of the law which does little more than catch you after a terrifying fall.