Family & Divorce

Is atypical the new typical for families?

Do you remember the car ads that were prevalent in the 90’s showing mum, dad and the 2.5 children? The typical Australian family. But is that still a representative of the Australian family?

In Australia 1 in 3 Marriages end in Divorce and the average marriage length is just over 12 years. With the average age to get married in Australia being about 30 years multiple marriages or de facto relationships are starting to be the new normal. With multiple relationships also come blended families and an increased need for a more flexible understanding of family in the community and under the law.

Your family can be what ever you make it. For example:

  • Husband and wife (of defacto male/ female) with children together or separately;
  • Husband and wife (of defacto male/ female) without children;
  • Grandparents caring for grandchildren;
  • Same-sex couple with or out without children;
  • Two same-sex couples (male and female) with children;
  • A same-sex couple with a person of the other gender (partnered or single) with children;
  • Single parents;
  • A polyamorous relationship with or without children.

And a part from a lot of love what do these relationships have in common? They all have their own unique and sometimes significant legal issues and consequences so if you are in a relationship or planning to enter a new relationship consider having a chat with one of the TGB lawyers to make sure your family, however it may look, has the best protection possible.

To protect your family you should consider whether you, your partner or children would benefit from:

  1. A Financial Agreement – to document the distribution of assets in the event of a breakdown of a relationship including preserving assets for children of a previous relationship
  2. A Parenting Plan or Parenting Orders – to ensure the arrangements and agreements for the care of children are secure but most importantly that any person, who is not a parent, who has the ongoing care of Children has the power to make decisions necessary for the Children best interests
  3. A Will – There are strict guidelines for the distribution of your estate in the event that you die without a valid Will which may not reflect your desires. There can also be significant additional expense and stress to your loved ones which can be avoided by the making of a Will
  4. A Power of Attorney – to ensure your family finances can still operate in the event you are incapacitated or unable to make financial decisions
  5. An Advanced Care Directive – to remove the uncertainty around your wishes or potential for a family dispute in the event of a medical emergency or terminal illness.

Families today come in all sorts of combinations and every family is different. To make sure your family is taken care of, no matter your circumstances, book an appointment at your nearest TGB Lawyers office here or call our head office on (08) 8212 1077.