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Australian Family Law Articles

Changing back to your maiden name after separation or divorce
Danielle Hadida | 10 August 2018

Although there is no legal requirement to do so, many separated or divorced women revert to using their maiden name more...

Changing my child's name without the other parent's permission
LGM Family Law | 5 April 2018

Following a separation, it sometimes happens that a parent wants to change their child's surname more...

Mothers warned not to tell the truth in Family Court

Mothers warned not to tell the truth in Family Court
Maurice Kriss | 9 October 2016

One of the most mind bending decisions for a family lawyer is how to advise a mother whose child has suffered child abuse by a father or partner more...

Mothers being forced to agree to shared parenting or lose their child

Mothers being forced to agree to shared parenting or lose their child
Maurice Kriss | 29 September 2016

I noticed a distinct pattern of corrupt conduct of the Family Court - mothers were called liars and accused of coaching their children to lie more...

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance - what is it?
Rebecca Barron | 14 February 2016

Spousal Maintenance is often not considered properly in family law matters. A consideration of whether a party is eligible to receive Spousal Maintenance has 2 elements more...

What to tell the children when you are separating

What to tell the children when you are separating
Julia Brierley | 29 October 2015

Telling your children that you and your ex partner are planning to separate is one of the hardest things you are ever likely to do more...

10 steps to take before you tell your children

Parenting After Separation
Julia Brierley | 12 October 2015

10 steps to take before you tell your children more...

Sole Custody

How to apply for sole custody of your child
Grace Lawson | 22 September 2015

Traditionally, when a parent gained 'custody' of the children it meant that they were responsible for the care of the children and made all of the decisions affecting them more...

How to write a Affidavit

How to write a Affidavit
Grace Lawson | 17 January 2015

As affidavit is a sworn or affirmed document that is filed in court together with, and in support of, your application or response more...

How to self-represent in Australian Family Court

How to self represent - Part 2 - going to Family Court
Grace Lawson | 28 December 2014

This part of the article tells you what to do, and what to say, when you do finally arrive in court more...

How to self-represent in Australian Family Court

How to self represent - Part 1 - preparing for Family Court
Grace Lawson | 1 December 2014

Going to court without a lawyer is one of the most daunting experiences you can go through more...

Are mothers and children being silenced in the Family Court?

How to access your superannuation funds early
Grace Lawson | 19 October 2014

Not many people are aware that superannuation funds can be accessed early on grounds such as compassionate grounds or financial hardship more...

Are mothers and children being silenced in the Family Court?

Are mothers and children being silenced in the Family Court?
Professor Freda Briggs | 01 July 2014

Stats show that if the fathers seek residence in the Family Court, the chances are high that they will succeed. The chances are so high that Family lawyers and Womens Legal Services are advising mothers more...

ICLs - Independent Children's Lawyer Do's and Don'ts

ICLs - Independent Children's Lawyer Do's and Don'ts
Clarissa Rayward | 22 June 2014

Whether you have a lawyer acting on your behalf or you are self-represented, there are a few things that you can do to both assist the ICL but also more...

What is an ICL - Independent Childrens Lawyer?

What is an ICL - Independent Childrens Lawyer?
Clarissa Rayward | 22 June 2014

An ICL is appointed to provide assistance to the Court by representing the best interests of the children in the proceedings. The ICL is not a direct representative of the child more...

How do you change your child's name?

How do you change your child's name if the other parent refuses or has gone?
Poppy Matters | 21 February 2014

Following a separation where there are children involved it is not uncommon for mothers, who are more-often-than-not their childrens primary caregiver, to ask whether it is possible to alter the childs name to match their last name more...

What do you do when your child's father won't sign their passport...

What do you do when your child's father won't sign their passport?
Stephen Page | 19 February 2014

For those who haven't separated, the process of taking a child overseas is pretty straightforward, you get a passport for the child, you buy a ticket and then get on the plane more...

Ten steps to consider when leaving a relationship...

Divorce and Separation - When Should you Split the Assets?
Sarah Bastian-Jordan | 10 December 2013

If you have been married or in a de facto relationship, you (or your former partner) may have a right to seek an adjustment or division of assets held by the other person or held in joint names more...

Ten steps to consider when leaving a relationship...

About to leave him? Ten steps to consider before walking out the door
Sarah Bastian-Jordan | 09 November 2013

When you have decided to end a relationship there are some practical steps you can take to protect your interests. Here are my top ten suggestions for women more...

Sperm donors rights...

Beware if you are a single mum through a known sperm donor
Stephen Page | 03 October 2013

...(the father) is therefore liable to pay child support but also presumptions under the Family Law Act apply as to equal shared parenting, and the possibility of equal time more...

what is mediation?

What is Mediation? And How to Prepare
Saranne Segal | 30 August 2013

The main issues that mediators can assist with are parenting and financial issues. Custody is now referred to as "shared parental responsibility" and both parents are encouraged to play an active role in the child's upbringing. This does not necessarily mean equal time for both parents more...

Divorce school decisions

Parenting after Divorce - who chooses the school?
Pamela Cominos | 28 August 2013

When parents separate, it is often the case that many areas of parenting decisions such as choice of schools for children which had been agreed upon in the relationship, are now matters that are in dispute more...

Divorce tips

10 Tips to Help You Get Through Your Divorce
Pamela Cominos | 18 August 2013

Anyone who has been or is going through a Divorce knows how incredibly stressful this period of one's life is. Often it is not just that we have ourselves to care for but we have children, pets and financial obligations to third parties that we must meet more...

Relocation child custody

Can you have a meaningful relationship with a relocated child?
Pamela Cominos | 28 June 2013

The court has a positive obligation when using its discretion to make parenting orders, including where it considers making orders whether a child should relocate, so as to ensure that the child’s best interests are paramount. In order to determine this, it must consider primarily 2 issues more...

Lesbian separation

12 do's and don'ts for lesbians splitting up
Stephen Page | 21 May 2013

Sometimes there is an assumption that because a couple have lived together that each is entitled to half more...

Divorce and compromise over child custody at Christmas

Compromising with your Ex at Christmas
Lorrie Brook | 21 December 2012

It is that time of year for separated parents to remind themselves to act with empathy and sharpen their compromise skills to protect their children during the lead-up to the Christmas break more...

Divorce Parenting Arrangements for 0-4 year olds

Divorce Parenting Arrangements for 0-4 year olds
Pamela Cominos | 9 November 2012

Do you have a child between the ages of 0- 4 years? Are you struggling with parenting arrangements for your child? One of the most difficult tasks I confront as a legal practitioner on a regular basis is drafting, proposing and filing parenting orders for children in the 0-4 year age group where parents have separated more...

Go to the 8 Steps To Take When Separating article..

8 Steps To Take When Separating
Bruce Provan | 31 October 2012

Having practised in Family Law for over 20 years, I have seen my clients and their former partners make some terrible mistakes when choosing to separate. Unfortunately sometimes these mistakes prove costly. Here are 8 simple things to do to avoid common mistakes more...

Go to the how to find a good lawyer article..

How To Find A Good Lawyer
Richelle Hampton | 14 October 2012

If you are planning to end your marriage, have instigated the separation or it has been initiated by your partner, it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The legal process of divorce is not always straightforward and can involve a number of complications more...

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How to successfully negotiate family law matters
Pamela Cominos | 8 July 2012

Whether it is true or not, many people hear the words "divorce" and "family law" and conjure up images of long drawn-out court room battles, huge legal bills and bitter parties. This perception does not, thankfully, have to be the reality for the many people whose marriages and/or intimate relationships break down more...

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Relocating with a child? No such thing!
Pamela Cominos | 28 April 2012

It is not uncommon for parents who have separated to want to move away, sometime a few hours away from the other parent, sometimes interstate and sometimes even overseas and nothing causes parents more grief than this scenario.Often and unfortunately with separation and divorce comes a lower standard of living more...

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All About Divorce
Poppy Matters | 20 April 2012

Divorce - what it costs, how long it takes...and some common misconceptions. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage that has been recognised in Australia. It has a finite legal meaning and relates only to the dissolution of a marriage and not the potential surrounding issues of property settlements and custody arrangements more...

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Shared Care and Parental Responsibility
Erin Smyth | 17 February 2012

In 2006 changes were made to the Family Law Act that refocused the law towards what is in 'the best interests of the child' and also introduced the notion of 'equal shared parental responsibility' more...

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Making A New Will When Splitting Up
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Stephen Page, Lawyer

In the process of pain and shock of separation and divorce, often a will and related documents that concern death are the last thing on your mind more...

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Adding Back Assets in Family Law Property Matters
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Pamela Cominos, Lawyer

A common issue that arises in property matters and one that causes the greatest of angst to most people are circumstances which involve one party using joint funds or property for their personal use and or benefit more...

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Child Support - taking matters into your own hands
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Erin Smyth, Lawyer

When it comes to child support most mothers initially think of utilising the Child Support Agency to determine the amount of money the father should pay and also to monitor this process and review the amount if need be. There are however, two other options that can be utilised by single mothers more...

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Parenting Orders –What can you do if one party breaches the Order?
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Pamela Cominos, Lawyer

It is the case that parenting Orders made by consent or by the Court are sometimes breached by one of the parties and the reasons for this can be varied and many more...

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Children's passport issues
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Stephen Page, Lawyer

It would be a serious mistake to think that you could have a passport issued for your child without the father's consent when the father has not been named on the birth certificate. It may be an even bigger mistake to remove the child from Australia more...

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Changing the name of your child after separation
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Erin Smyth, Lawyer

You can change your child’s surname following separation but only if you follow the correct procedure and you comply with legal requirements. A Court will stop any attempt to change your child’s name if the Court is satisfied that the change was done without the written consent of both parents and if it does not promote the welfare of your child. What then are the legal requirements and steps to be taken? more...

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Family Violence Matters
Family Violence within the current Family Law Act
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Pamela Cominos, Lawyer

Currently, Australia is in a state of change with respect to family violence and children’s matters under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). This change is coming in the form of the Family Violence and Other Measures Bill 2011, which is now before Federal Parliament more...

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Relocation - Whose Rights Prevail?
Consent Order and Court Order info
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Erin Smyth, Lawyer

The need for one party to relocate with the child of a marriage or relationship can be one of the most difficult issues to deal with after separation. Relocation occurs when one parent wants to move residence after separation more...

Stock photo - Renjith Krishnan

Binding Financial Agreements – To Sign or Not to Sign?
Property Settlements
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Pamela Cominos, Lawyer | 18 July 2011

Have you and your ex agreed on a property settlement? Thinking about whether to sign a Financial Agreement? There are some very important matters that you should know about financial agreements before you agree to sign more...

Photo credit: Stock.xchng - Claudio Jule

Money Matters - Maintenance and Child Support
De facto entitlements
Single Mum Australia Exclusive!

Erin Smyth, Lawyer | June 25 2011

The end of a relationship marks the beginning of the necessity to make new lifestyle decisions. Where will I live, who will care for the children, who will pay the children’s school fees, how will I manage financially and how will assets be divided? more...

Children and Separation, Protecting You and Your Children

Children and Separation - Protecting You and Your Children
Erin Smyth, Lawyer | June 04 2011

Wanting your child or children to maintain a relationship with your ex partner or spouse once you have separated can be difficult for mothers. If the separation is not amicable then the problems can multiply and many mothers may have fears for the children’s welfare when with the other parent more...

Go to the article - How do you get a childs passport?

When the Father is out of contact how do I get my child a passport?
Stephen Page for | May 2011

I am a single mother of a five-year old. I was in an on-off relationship with the child's father until i found myself pregnant. I have had no communication with the father and have no idea of his whereabouts more...

Go to superannuation article

In a break up - do you say goodbye to Super?
Erin Smyth, Lawyer | April 21 2011

Prior to December 28, 2002 people’s superannuation entitlements were not considered ‘property’, rather considered to be a financial resource. Due to this, superannuation entitlements were not able to be divided. Following the passage of new legislation in December 2002 superannuation entitlements are now considered property and can be properly divided and transferred more...

Go to domestic violence article

Government Acts On Domestic Violence
Stephen Page, Lawyer | April 19 2011

New laws proposed by the Gillard government directly tackle domestic violence in the family law arena. They are contained in one of the shortest bills before Federal Parliament, but will most likely tilt the playing field in the Family Court towards the protection of children from violence and abuse, and away from the emphasis of the child’s right to have a relationship with the other parent more...

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a


or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.