Why go online ?

Need divorce advice? Find out why you should go online.

Divorce Logistics is a specialised online family law service. We strive to bring quality family law advice taking advantage of technological advances.

It is fair to say nearly everyone has access to the internet, email, social media accounts and mobile telephones. Our aim is to make use of some of these.

Let’s face it, not many people relish the thought of making an appointment to see their family law solicitor in some posh legal office in the city or suburbs. There’s the hassle of actually getting to the office, either by car or public transport, parking, walking etc and so an hour face to face consultation is about two or more hours out of the day gone.

If you use an online family law solicitor the first advantage is you don’t have to go anywhere. You don’t even have to dress up to speak to us, or communicate by email. Appointments can be scheduled at your convenience, including after hours and on weekends.

Another reason people find going to a law office daunting is costs. Big flash offices cost a lot of money to maintain. Hourly rates of family law solicitors these days range from at least $350 an hour and up (some charging as much as $660 an hour inclusive of GST). Seeing a solicitor for two hours to find out basic information about your family law problem can cost anywhere from $350 to near $1,000 (particularly if you spend over an hour withe the solicitor).

Going online has the advantage of lower hourly legal fees and we offer fixed fee services, depending on your particular case.

Our initial consultation is charged at $250 flat fee (even if you spend two hours talking to us).

When you have finished we will send you an email with a summary of what was discussed and options offered to you.

By going online you also don’t have to commit to hire our services for the entirety of your case. You may only want to schedule a phone call from time to time to discuss the way your case is going. Or you may only want to hire us to help draft court documents for you.

We are here to help you with your family law problem, be it property settlement, children disputes (custody arrangements) or your de-facto matter or your divorce. No family law problem is too small, nor dispute too large.

Still not convinced? Check out or website and drop us a line. What have you got to loose?

On the subject of separation, remember there is no need to resort to the act of charientism. Keep it civil between the two of you and life will be a lot more pleasant.






We’ve reached agreement – now what?


Often couples reach agreement after their separation about children or property matters, and don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Some turn to lawyers, and unfortunately find that their agreement that’s been reached after possibly weeks of negotiations, blood, sweat and tears, is frowned upon by the lawyer and one of them is talked out of doing what they themselves thought was a good idea.

Okay, so sometimes it probably is the case that the agreement you reached is unfair toward one party and more favourable to the other.

Whilst it should be the job of a lawyer to point out where the disadvantages lie, it should not be the job of the lawyer to talk you out of the agreement, if that’s not what you want. Remember, you are in control at all times.

When you think about abandoning the agreement you reached with your ex, you have to remember the following:

If you take the matter to court how much are you really fighting over?

Whilst it is a clinical way of approaching things, you have to work out, how much you are fighting over in real dollar terms, factoring in the amount it is going to cost in legal fees.

Remember, it can cost anywhere from $7,000 to start proceedings to $100,000 and two years in the court system.

There is a long delay in the court system. Some couples find themselves fighting over a small pool two years after commencing proceedings.

If you have reached agreement now, more than likely it means that you can finalise your property matter, or kids case, within the next few weeks. If you decide to go to court to see if you can get that little bit extra out of your ex, you can be in the court system from anywhere of six months to 2 years.

Some people find that very wearing, time-consuming, and costly. The cost is not only from an actual dollar point of you, it’s also the emotional toll it has on people.
If you have reached agreement and you’re confident that is what you want to do you can document the deal by what is called application for consent order and a minute of order.

These documents can be found on the family court website, and I’ve attached a link here for you.


There is no need, in most cases, to get independent legal advice, and the two of you can draft the documents yourself.

Once you’ve completed the documents, they get lodged with the court and the registrar looks over them. If it’s blatant that one part is really being done over, the registrar tends to requisition that party, to find out a little bit more.

If you want to have a quick no obligation chat to a lawyer why not call Divorce Logistics for a 15 minute free no obligation consultation to just discuss your particular matter, and see if you need help with drafting the documents, or just want to have a general chat about the agreement you’ve reached.

We are here ready to assist you with your family no problem.

Remember this should not be taken as legal advice. The blog is general in nature and you should see a lawyer about your particular situation.


How to Streamline Your Co-Parenting Communication

How to Streamline Your Co-Parenting Communication

Woman Writing Journal at Window Seat in Coffee Shop

A communication book can be a device for separated parents to keep communication between them short and to the point. Parents can choose to use a communication book or a court may order them to use it, particularly if the parents seem unable to communicate with each other.

Being a separated parent is not easy and it can be downright impossible if you and your ex are still feuding. Harsh words and criticism can continue long after parties have separated, with the kids stuck in the middle. Acrimonious separations come with low levels of trust and high levels of criticism and abuse. No one likes to be criticized and so communication from both sides usually involves mud slinging. What should be a civil exchange of information about the children from one parent to the other can become an accusation of poor parenting or a criticism about the other parent’s life, from what they watch on television to the types of friends they have.

Communication is not only about actual words said, it includes body language, tone of voice, and facial expression. An exchange like this can lead to a barrage of verbal abuse:

Parent one: “The kids were really tired last time I picked them up. Make sure they go to bed on time.”

Parent two: “Why should I listen to you when you don’t send them to bed on time at your house. What’s more, Sophie tells me you let Josh watch M-rated movies, he’s only eight for crying out loud.”

Looking at this dispute from an emotionally detached position, it is clear that parent one might not have meant to convey anything other than that the kids were tired and might need to go to bed a bit earlier. The emotionally-attached parent, however, reads veiled criticism into the comment.

Using a communication book reduces the need for face-to-face communication. (If used inappropriately, it can lead to more problems.) Remember when using a communication book, less is best.

Stick to the following five rules to avoid the communication book failing in its purpose.

Keep it Short and Simple

It’s a communication book to communicate important things about the children. It is not an invitation to express your opinion about the other parent or their parenting practice.

For example, enter the date (and time if appropriate): Vicki vomited after lunch. Kept an eye on her for the rest of the afternoon but she seemed fine. Not taken to the doctor.

Keep it short and simple, don’t veer off track.

Avoid a Lecture

If Emma and Oscar are with you for the weekend and you notice they have nits, don’t use the communication book to lecture your ex about hygiene.

Or if George has come for his weekend stay and doesn’t have his sneakers, don’t go on a tirade in the communication book. It will serve no purpose to start your entry (if you actually make a note of it in the book) with “once again you have failed to pack George’s bag properly. This is not acceptable.”

Stop and think. Perhaps you could take the opportunity to buy George a second-hand pair of sneakers, which you might keep at your house.

Nothing but the Facts

Making an entry about giving Isabella some panadol/neurofen (or another type of pain medication) because of a headache should be written like this: Date – at about three o’clock today I gave Isabella some panadol as she complained of a severe headache. About an hour later she felt much better.

This is a precise account of what transpired.

While it may be tempting, the entry should not follow along these lines:

Date – at about 3 this afternoon I gave Isabella some panadol. She complained of a severe headache, probably brought on by the fact you fill her up with sugar before sending her to spend time with me and when it wears off she suffers withdrawal symptoms in the form of a headache. How many times do I have to tell you to feed her properly?

This entry serves no purpose. At best you will experience short-lived satisfaction at having vented. Then you too will feel worse, anger spreading through your body like a cancer as you recall all the other things your ex does that annoy you.

Accept that your child has a headache, treat it, and move on.

Keep it About the Children

Let’s face it, your ex does not want to open the communication book and read what you got up to during the week, or what you think of him/her having gone to the movies and left Granny in charge of Eva. Remember, the two of you have separated and there is no need for you to comment, abuse, or harass your ex about any personal or parenting matter. The communication book is purely there for important issues relating to the children.

It may be that on some visits there is no need to make any entries into the book. It is not a diary for each parent to describe in minute detail what they did with the child (or children) when in their care.

Offer No Opinion

If you stick to the facts, you will not fall into the trap of offering an opinion. If you find nits in your child’s hair, treat them, tell the facts, and don’t tell the other parent how they should treat nits. Nits are one of those creatures kids will bring home from school no matter how clean a child is or what preventative strategies are taken, hence there’s no point in you making things worse by offering your opinion.

Or, if you have to treat Sophie for a cold, tell the facts of how you treated her before sending her back home but don’t tell the other parent why you think Sophie keeps getting colds. It will fall on deaf ears. Everyone tries to be the best parent they can be and some things are out of a parent’s control, like how many colds a child catches.

Before pulling the communication book out of your child’s bag to make an entry, stop, think, and wait. Does the other parent really need to know what you are about to write in the book? If, after some thought, you think they do, make your entry with the above points in mind.

A general rule of thumb is an entry should only be a few lines in length, not several pages. You are making an entry about some aspect relating to your child, not writing a novel.

Do you have suggestions on how to better communicate with a co-parent? If so, please leave them in the comments section below.

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Tanya Thistleton

Tanya Thistleton is a freelance writer and family law solicitor. She is also a mother to two children and tries to be a devoted wife. Horses and a standard poodle also form part of the family. She has had non-fiction work published as well as short stories in magazines including the Quadrant. She is also author of two novels (“Just and Equitable” and “Counsel’s Objection”) and has written a summary of the Australian Family Law in German for a German Loose Leaf legal text. Managing relationships for separated parents is a topic close to her heart, witnessing first hand how destructive toxic communications can be.

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How to use a contact book with your ex partner and what to write in it


After parties separate communication goes down the toilet. It is amazing how two people who once loved each other now cannot stand each other. Not a nice word is said. The air around them is toxic. Any attempt at communicating ends up in a mud slinging contest.

In cases where there are no children this does not really matter much. Once property matters have been sorted between the two people, it is all over. There’s no need to keep the communication between the parties going.

If there are children, it becomes a different story. Mother and father, despite hating each other’s black guts, will need to continue to communicate about the children. This does not mean you have to talk to each other all the time. No. There may not be much communication, but some will be necessary from time to time.

In the early days, when you are trying to work out the arrangements for the children it may be that there is more communication between the two of you than is necessary, but once you have a parenting plan or a set of court orders, there will be very little to communicate about.

However, it would be nice for the sake of the children that when you do communicate with your ex, it is done civilly and cordially. Kids should not be exposed to yelling, abuse and threats by their parents.  child-1439468_1920

Things that may need to be communicated to the other parent are things like:

  1. Birthday parties (or sleep over invites etc.) that are to occur during the other parent’s time. To be fair you should communicate the invitation to the other parent and the child’s wish to go. It should then be that parent that tells the child they cannot go if they do not want to take the child there. There may be valid reasons for not going to the party and the parent making the decision should tell the child (something like ‘sorry you cannot go the party Matthew but I have already booked tickets to [insert sport event].)
  2. Medication. You will always need to communicate any medication the children are taking to the other parent.
  3. If the children have been sick before going into the care of the other parent.

In high conflict break ups there is usually too much communication going on between the parents. Phone calls, text messages and emails about minute details.


After your separation your parenting will change. You no longer have control over what happens at the other parents’ home. Unless there are safety concerns there is nothing you can do about this. If bedtime at the other house is at 8.30pm and your house at 7.00pm, so be it. You cannot dictate to your ex how to parent. Similarly they cannot tell you how to parent.

This is where a communication book comes in. Judges in the Family Court do not like to see conflict, particularly if it occurs in front of the children. If parties cannot communicate face to face, use a contact book.

The contact book is usually an exercise book going between the parents’ home in the children’s bag.

Just because you have agreed to use a contact book does not mean you have to write in it all the time. In fact, you should not be writing in it much at all.

The contact book is not an invitation for you to comment on:

  1. The parenting style of the other parent. Do not write in the contact book things the other parent should or should not do. This is not what a contact book is about. Few of us respond well to criticism, even less so after a separation. Keep your opinions to yourself.
  2. Write a novel about what the children got up to at your house and how happy they were. It goes without saying the children enjoy seeing both parents and they have fun with them. If you have re-partnered and your partner has children, again there is no need to go into chapter and verse of how the children got on and how wonderful the new partner is with the kids. Chances are your ex does not want to know this, nor does he or she need to know this.
  3. Nothing personal should go into the contact book.

Things that should be written in the contact book include:

  1. Any medication administered at your house. For example: John fell off his bike at 10am. Afterwards he complained of a sore head. I gave him Panadol at midday. He is due for another does after 4pm if he is still complaining of pain. Was not bad enough to take him to the doctors.
  2. If you send the child with medication make sure you note this in the contact book. Example: Mary saw the GP on Thursday with her cold not getting better. The doctor believes she is dealing with a secondary infection and prescribed antibiotics. She needs to take 5ml three times a day with food. She’s not keen on taking it but needs to make sure she finishes the dose.
  3. If the children have been sick whilst in your care, again this should be noted in the contact book. Example: Emily started vomiting around mid morning. She had no lunch and whilst she was feeling better by 3.00pm I did not give her any solid food. She has had some water, which she seemed to be able to keep down. It was not serious enough to take her to the doctor.

If you stick to facts in your communication book chances are it will be better received than if you are critical and judgmental. As kids get older beware they might read what has been written in the book. If you are clinical and factual this is not a problem. However, if there has been abuse leveled at the other parent this may not be received well by the children. Remember, criticizing the other parent in front of the children is never a good thing to do. Children feel as if they are being criticized.

If at any time you are not sure if you should write something in the contact book, chances are you should not. Read it out aloud. Does it offend? Does it judge? Does it criticize? If the answer is yes to any one of these (or all them), you should not be putting it in.

Communication etiquette is a two way street. If the other parent does not adhere to it you are entitled to stop using it all together.

Remember to seek legal advice for your particular situation. This article is of a general nature and should not be taken as legal advice.

7 Quotes from Mother Theresa to help you through your separation

Do you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Don’t worry. Your feelings are not surprising; bearing in mind your relationship has come to an end.

Relationship breakdowns are emotionally traumatic times. You will feel like you have stepped onto a giant roller coaster and no one has told you how to get off.

We want you to remember though, this will end one day (hopefully soon). You will move on. Your life will get better.

To help you on your journey of healing and self-discovery it might pay to remember some of Mother Theresa’s motivational quotes. Mother Theresa became known for her humanitarian work in India where she helped the poor and starving.

  1. ‘Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love’.

Have you noticed how you instantly feel better when someone smiles at you? Try and smile more often. Smile at yourself in the mirror; smile at the stranger you walk past in the street and the shopkeeper at the grocery store. If you smile more you will start to feel better.

  1. ‘The future is so much in the hands of God, I find it much more easy to accept today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not come and I have only today.’

It does not matter if you are a believer or not. What matters is that you should not waste your time and energy on living in the past. You will not be able to move on with your life if you do not let go off the past. Enjoy today. Focus your energy on today. Make the most of it and start to grow.

  1. ‘We fear the future because we are wasting the today.’

After separation it can be daunting to face the future on your own. You long for the security of someone to hold your hand, share life’s adventures with you. But that someone is gone. Stop thinking about tomorrow. Take each day as it comes. You will surprise yourself how strong you really are. By focusing on today you will grow and prosper and before you know it, you will have met someone else, someone who appreciates you and wants to be with you.

  1. ‘Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do.’

Approaching tasks with love makes those tasks more enjoyable. There will be tasks you will not approach with love and it is those things you should eliminate from your life. Don’t hang onto anger. Let it go. Give in to love. Look around you, there are still plenty of people in your life who love you and support you. Return their love and support by giving back with love and support.

  1. ‘Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.’

No matter how bad things seem there are always people worse off than us. Find someone needy to give them a hand. Make a donation, volunteer at your local op shop or soup kitchen. Giving, when we ourselves feel down, is a great gift and will help you feel better.

  1. ‘When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.’

In today’s world we seem obsessed with possessions. The more we have the better we will feel. It is however the complete opposite. If you have no material possession but a life filled with love, you will be rich. Don’t mourn the possessions you have lost, embrace what love you have left (family, friends).

  1. If you judge people, you have not time to love them.’

After the break down of your relationship it can be tempting to run down your ex and everyone who associates with them, their family, friends and so on. The negativity spirals out of control and drags you down.

Stop judging anyone and everyone. Accept people are all different. Eliminate contract with negative people and surround yourself with those who love and accept you for what you are.

During the emotional time of separation it can be difficult to remember what is important in life, to love and be loved. Look around, there are still plenty of people who love and respect you. Spend time with them and give back the love they give you.

It won’t be long before your separation is but a memory and you will have moved on.


7 Things You Should Know About Your Family Law Dispute Before You Commence Proceedings in the Family Court

Separations are highly emotional times and you need to work out a property settlement that works for you.

Ok, you have separated and despite your best efforts it is no longer amicable between the two of you. Communication is toxic. Both of you have hired a lawyer

(a really expensive one) and viscous correspondence is being traded between the two to them. Your last bill has you choke on your morning coffee. You feel like you are going nowhere. In fact bashing your head against a brick wall seems a real option to you right now.

Your lawyer has suggested you go to court. You are not sure this will solve anything. And of course your legal fees will keep going up.

You are right to question this next step.

Here is a list of 7 things you must know before you decide to agree to commence proceedings in your property dispute.

  1. Going to Court is costly. It is not unusual to be looking at spending at least $5,000 – $10,000 to start proceedings. Some lawyers may be able to do it cheaper, but this is the range. And remember, this is to start proceedings. It may not even cover your lawyer or barrister appearing with you at the first court date.
  2. Once you are at Court your legal fees will continue to soar like a jumbo jet taking off. Each time you have another court date you are looking at spending thousands of dollars. As your matter progresses through the Court system there will be times when your lawyer suggests you hire a barrister. Barristers are specialized lawyers who go to Court. It is always difficult for clients to understand that when you hire a barrister the lawyer will also come along, which means you will be paying for two people to be at Court with you. It pays to remember, in the legal world there is no two for one prize.
  3. Court is not fast. Matters can take anywhere from 12 months to two years before they are finalized. American television has much to answer for. Many clients cannot understand that cases do not get sorted on their first court date, like they do on television. Once your case is started there will be multiple court dates, from the first court date to a conciliation conference to more mentions and eventually a final hearing date.
  4. Nothing much happens on the first return date. Clients often come to court on that first date expecting the Judge to have read their material and make a decision. This is not the case. On the first return date the Judge will find out what the matter is about (by asking the lawyers) and see where it needs to go. And your case will not be the only case listed before the Judge. List days are very full days, with usually at least fifty or so matters before the Judge.
  5. Court is stressful. Hardly anyone likes the idea of going to Court. It is stressful. Very personal aspects of your life will be discussed in a public forum. This can be intimidating and demeaning. People often approach Court full of bravado, busting to tell their side of the story. However, when it actually comes to the crunch and they need to get in the witness box, courage deserts them. Being a witness is not a walk in the park. It is not something you would want to do voluntarily.
  6. You may not get the outcome you are after. Going to Court means a third party will make a decision about your property or children. This may not be a good thing. Being creative in your negotiations may get you a better outcome than getting the Judge to make a decision. A Judge will not be interested that one of you wants to try and keep the former matrimonial home. It is quite usual for the Judge to make orders to sell property and proceeds be divided a particular way.
  7. Once you are at Court a strict timetable will have to be followed. You can no longer ignore the case. The matter will proceed through the Court system with a view to be finalized. Whilst it can take time, it will move toward a final hearing.

Unfortunately, some matters need to go to Court for parties to move forward and be of a mind to settle the case. And of course some cases do not settle and need the final hearing date. Those however are in the minority. Most cases settle at some point in time during their time at Court.

If your case has reached a stale mate it might be due to you or your ex not being in the right frame of mind to settle. Before you go to Court you might want to try mediation. A solution reached by both of you, even if it is one you are not 100% happy about, may be better than a Judge imposed decision after you have spent forty or fifty thousand dollars (or more).

Remember to get legal advice for your particular family law problem. This is a general article only.



Read more about the Family Law system in the novel Just and Equitable, which follows Melvin Goodheart through his separation (a humorous look at Australian Family Law).

40 Powerful Mantras to Help you Think Positive

A list of 40 powerful mantras to help anyone think positive to use on a daily basis.

Let’s face it, separating from your spouse sucks, particularly if you did not initiate the separation. You feel like Linus when his blanket gets taken off him. You want your blanket back. You want life to go back to the way it was, a time when you were happy. But this won’t happen.

With things looking bleak all around you, you need to do something. It is time to embrace the change and start getting out of the victim mode.

Here are 40 mantras to help you think positive:

  1. I will forgive myself and get rid of negative thoughts.
  2. I am a good person.
  3. I am a caring person.
  4. I have achieved a lot in my life.
  5. I will bounce back from this.
  6. I will stop comparing myself to others.
  7. I am grateful for what I have.
  8. I am a beautiful person.
  9. I will be a stronger person for getting through the struggle.
  10. I will stop looking over the fence where the grass appears greener and start fertilizing my own patch of dirt.
  11. I am in charge of my life.
  12. I will make positive choices.
  13. I will make decisions that are in my interest.
  14. I will acknowledge my feelings and then focus on all the good things I have in life.
  15. I will embrace the change I am faced with and make the most of it.
  16. It is better to move on from something no longer working than staying with something that is broken.
  17. There are no failures, only opportunities to learn from.
  18. I will learn from mistakes and try again.
  19. Successful people are productive people. I will be productive.
  20. I will not let go of my dreams merely because others cannot see the importance of them. I will dream.
  21. I will start working toward my dreams today.
  22. I will start moving today. Moving makes sure I’m not stuck in a rut.
  23. As long as I believe it will be all right. I will believe
  24. I will light a candle to keep the glimmer flickering within.
  25. I will not give up on myself.
  26. I believe I can change my life.
  27. I am not a victim. I am a human being. I am important.
  28. I will stop worrying and approach situations with the knowledge it will work out.
  29. I don’t always have to be right to be happy.
  30. If things get tough I will get tougher.
  31. I will have faith things will work out.
  32. I will try new things in life.
  33. I will face challenges head on.
  34. I will focus on beauty and magnificence around me during the day.
  35. I will say I can more often.
  36. I will work through my struggle and be successful.
  37. I will smile instead of frown.
  38. I will laugh and find joy in things.
  39. I will grow as a person and learn from mistakes.
  40. I will listen to Yoda’s principle: ‘Do. Don’t do. There is no try.’ I will do.

Have a special mantra to help you think positive? Drop us a line or let us know below what it is. We’d love to hear from you.


And don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers from time to time.

What is the difference between a property settlement and a divorce?

Clients often come to see their lawyer and say ‘I need a divorce.’ After some questioning it emerge a divorce is not what the client wants or is able to apply for. Instead the client is really after a property settlement.

So you know lets look at what a divorce is and then examine a property settlement.


A divorce is something you apply for after your marriage has broken down and there is no likelihood of the two of you getting back together.

The divorce has nothing to do with working out with whom the children will live or how property is to be divided between the two of you.

You can apply for a divorce if:

  1. You have been separated and living apart for more than 12 months; and
  2. There’s no likelihood of the two of you reconciling.

If you have separated under the one roof you can still apply for a divorce, but you will need to file additional material to convince the court the two of you have separated.

Instead of preparing the additional material some people wait until it is 12 months of living apart (for example for the first six months of your separation you lived under the one roof and then you lived separate you may wait 12 months before you apply for divorce from living apart, even though date of separation is still the date you actually separated). We will cover additional requirements for divorce if you have been living under the one roof in another post.

Once you file your application for divorce the court allocates a date. This date is the date when the court hears the application. If there are no children under the age of 18 you do not need to attend the hearing. Where there are children under the age of 18 the court likes to have at least one of the parents (the applicant) present to make sure proper arrangements for the children are in place. The divorce will still be granted, even if there are not proper arrangements in place for the children. It will however be noted on the court record that the arrangements for the children to see the other parent are not proper. (something like ‘and the court notes that the arrangements for the children are not proper but…).

The divorce will be effective 31 days after the hearing date for the application for divorce.

Property Settlement

A property settlement is not a divorce. Property settlement is about dividing up the assets available for division.

You can negotiate and finalize a property settlement any time after separation. There is no minimum time before which you can sort out the financial matter between the two of you.

If you have filed for divorce, you need to remember that you only have 12 months from the date of divorce to finalize property matters between you. If you do not manage to sort out the property dispute between the two of you and you need to commence proceedings you can only do so with leave of the court.

Example: Maria and John separated 1.1.2015. John applied for divorce on 1.1.206 and the decree nisi became absolute on 1.4.2016. Maria decided on 30.6.2017 she wants to sort out the financial dispute between them. John does not want to give her anything. Maria wants to apply to the court. Its then that her lawyer discovers that it has been more than 12 months since she has been divorced Now an application has to be made to the court to give Maria leave (the court has to agree to hear the case), before she can actually apply for property orders.

Lesson – sort out your property settlement before the 12 months from the date of divorce is up.

Remember this advice is of a general nature and you should consult with your lawyer to obtain advice about your particular situation.


Don’t waste your money – get some sound legal advice.

Each and Every Separation is Unique

Once you have separated you will be inundated with well meaning advice from people who have ‘gone through it’. This means they want to burden you with their experience.

As a lawyer you hear it time and time again ‘my mates been through it and he told me she got the lot,’ or ‘my mates just been to court and spend a hundred grand and got nothing,’ or ‘someone told me the Judge gave him half the school holidays.’

The stories are offered as well meaning signposts to you, so you do not even think about:

  1. Taking a particular position with respect to your children/property dispute.
  2. Going to court. Or
  3. Participating in mediation because it is bound to fail.

Not to take anything away from what your well-meaning friends/acquaintances/work colleagues/family tell you, it pays to remember that this is what happened in their separation and their family law case.

Does this mean it will happen in yours?

Probably not.

First, not two cases are alike. Each case has different facts, different figures, different parties, different lawyers and so on (you get the picture).

No two cases ever follow the same pathway. The facts might be similar, but this does not mean they move along the same way.

Then, if your matter is at court, no two judges are alike. Each judge comes to a case with his or her own unique approach (and no day is the same). It is not unknown for the same judge to make a different decision on cases that on the face of it might seem similar.


Mother A moves about 5 hours away from her usual place of residence with the children. Father makes urgent interim application for the children to come back. Judge does not bring the mother back.

Two weeks later there is a case with similar facts in front of the same judge. Mother B moves with children about 5 hours away from the father. Children still see their father every second weekend. Bearing in mind the judge’s decision two weeks earlier there is a good chance the mother will get to stay. Not so. Judge makes the opposite order and mother has to come back with the children.


There is no such thing as knowing what is going to happen when couples separate or what orders a court might make or what the final outcome will be.

We can look to the past and other cases to obtain an understanding of what might happen. But you should never believe just because someone tells you of what happened in his or her case, that this is going to happen in yours.


Make decisions that are right for you. Instead of listening to well meaning people close to you get some sound legal advice. Think about the legal advice. If you are still not sure get a second opinion. Then make up your mind of what you are going to do. You should also get some counseling to help you deal with the separation.
There is nothing wrong with going against what your lawyer advises, as long as you are making a decision in your interest. At the end of the day a lawyer can only give you legal advice. You still have to lead your life once the dispute between you and your ex is over.

Remember and informed decision is a good decision. Never make a decision if you are under pressure or are asked to do it in a hurry.

And get legal advice for your particular situation.


To Do List

It is another day, as far as you are concerned another day of doom and gloom. You have an appointment to see your solicitor because that SOB (feel free to add your own version of appropriate name) has made some new demand. You don’t really want to go and waste more money. Let’s face it every time you talk to your lawyer (in person or on the phone), it is like flushing money down the toilet (no disrespect to lawyers). But you have no choice. The SOB is not coming to the party.

Chances are the dispute has been dragging on for months now, cost over teen thousand dollars in legal fees with no end in sight.

As far as lawyers are concerned it sounds like your typical family law dispute. To you no doubt it is a nightmare.

To keep your sanity during these rough times we suggest you start to write lists. You read right, lists. No, this is not about legal solutions, but strategies to keep your head above water and hopefully give you the strength to keep going until the two of you finally reach agreement or a judge hears your case and makes a decision.

Trouble is,, it is not unusual for acrimonious disputes to last years.

Some days are going to be easier than others.

Have a list of motivational quotes for the days you are feeling depressed.

For example:

List of top 5 motivational sayings:

  1. Reach for the stars so you may land upon the moon.
  2. Smile today for you do not know what tomorrow brings.
  3. A good laugh is sunshine in the house (William Makepeace Thackeray).
  4. You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind (Joyce Meyer).
  5. Delete the negative; accentuate the positive ( Donna Karan).

Make several copies of this list and pin in to visible parts of the house so you can be reminded of the sayings as you mope about at home. Feel free to use this list, make your own or even add to it. Simply rewriting positive sayings will help you feel better already.

You might also want to write a list of things you want to do when the dispute between the two of you is over. For example:

  1. Go on a trip around the world.
  2. Learn to draw.
  3. Take up a new hobby [insert something specific you want to do].
  4. Visit the theatre.
  5. Go camping for a weekend.

These are just suggestions and can be tailored to what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Creativity fosters positivity. And this all about you taking charge of your life, sweeping negativity out the door to embrace the change and look forward to a new life with a positive attitude.

The thing about lists is, they calm the mind. Writing also tends to focus ones mind on a specific task. You may find you start writing down other things, like all the good things in your life you could be greatful for.

And of course there are many more lists you can do.

Daily to do list:

  1. Have cup of coffee.
  2. Take dog for a walk.
  3. Vacuum the house.
  4. Check the mail box.
  5. Write summary of relationship highlights for lawyer.

Hopefully you get the idea. As soon as we put pen to paper the writing juices start to flow and words flow like a river. Go with it. Write many lists. Remember an active mind is better than one who constantly dwells on the past.

Your dispute with your ex will one day be over.

You can help it end faster by taking charge and organizing your thoughts. Banish negativity and embrace positivity.

Remember you are in charge of your life.


Feeling a little blue? Add a little yello to your day and watch the blue move away.