The Team at O’Neill Family Law are proud to announce the promotion of Louise Black to the role of Associate. Louise, supported by her paralegal Alex and the rest of the team will continue to obtain the best results for her client with her careful and pragmatic approach.
Meet our latest Solicitor Louise Black
Louise specialises in all aspects of family law including parenting and property settlement matters.
She commenced work in the legal profession in 2002 and has been exclusively working in the area of Family Law since 2005. Louise strives to provide high quality legal advice to clients to ensure that each and every client feels supported throughout their journey. Relationship breakdowns are never easy and it is important for anyone experiencing the difficulties that come with separation, to have the assurance that their legal representative is on their side and will do what they can to encourage a timely and cost effective resolution.
Louise identifies the importance of working alongside other professionals such as Accountants, Financial Planners and Counsellors, in order to ensure clients receive support and advice in all aspects of their separation, so they can feel empowered to make informed decisions.
Louise is admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and is registered on the High Court of Australia Register of Practitioners. Louise is also a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Family Law Practitioners Association.
Meet the rest of Our Team
After separation both parties continue to have parental responsibility for the decisions relating to the children. Generally, this decision making power relates to long term decisions with each parent retaining autonomy for the day to day decisions whilst the children are in their care.
As a general rule, when negotiating, parents will always purport to have regard for the children’s best interests. In a legal sense the children’s best interests are dictated by Section 60CC of the Family Law Act which encourages a Court (or parents when they are negotiating) to consider a range of aspects of the parental/child relationship and circumstances of prospective parenting arrangements in general.
These include: –
- The benefit of the children having a meaningful relationship with both parents;
- The need to protect the children from abuse, neglect or family violence;
- The children’s views;
- The relationships the children have with each of their parents and other persons and the nature of those relationships;
- The extent to which the parents have taken into account the opportunity to participate in their children’s lives;
- The extent to which the children’s parents have fulfilled their obligations to maintain the children;
- The likely effect of any change of circumstances on the children’s lives;
- The practical difficulty and expense of children spending time with each parent;
- The capacity of each of the children’s parents and any other person of relevance;
- The maturity, sex, lifestyle and background of each the children’s parents;
- Whether the children are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and their right to enjoy that heritage and culture;
- The attitudes to parenthood exhibited by the parents;
- Any family violence considerations.
Generally, if parties can come to a consensus as to what are in the children’s best interests they will enter into a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.
A Parenting Plan is a non-binding agreement although it will be taken into account in the event that any further litigation ensues. It is a document that is reduced to writing and signed by the parents.
Parenting Plans are often useful when the parents desire flexibility without the potential of contravention Court Orders by trying to achieve that flexibility.
Consent Orders occur and are enforceable by the Court by further litigation.
Generally, both documents contemplate similar issues with the three of the main ones being: –
- The allocation of parental responsibility;
- The allocation that each party spend time with the children; and
- Any specific issues which arise from specific circumstances.
There are further qualifications upon the children’s best interests which are outside the scope of this article. For further information, contact a member of O’Neill Family Law on 07 4690 1700.
There are countless times when people have said to me that their understanding is as soon as two people are together for two years, they are obligated to split their net assets in half if they separate.
Other people have said to me, “I have been dating X for two years so now I am entitled to half of their assets”. There have been others who have said to me, “We are now married so I get 50% of everything Y has”.
The reality is that the family law system is much more complicated than a simple 50%:50% split based on time together or marital status.
An assessment of how parties’ assets are split takes into account a variety of considerations including:-
- How much is in the asset pool;
- What each party contributed to the asset pool (and not only in a financial sense);
- What each party needs going forward.
For more information on the process or to check whether your longstanding belief is accurate do not hesitate to give the team at O’Neill Family Law a call 0746 901 700
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. They are all here to stay. But what role do they play in separation and do people create problems by not fully thinking about the consequences of posting?
A few questions constantly plague the mind of a family law solicitor. Why people cannot appreciate the pitfalls in social media is one.
Take for example the client (let’s call him Bert) whose partner left him and he is devastated by the split. His ex-partner wants to relocate her place of residence with the children from a small town. Bert can’t think of anything worse than being away from his children.
A part of Bert’s case may be that his partner can be happy living in the small town. Bert however, torn apart by the separation, decides to post on Facebook. He taunts his ex, accuses her of affairs, mismanagement of money and of being a bad parent. Suddenly, without realising it, Bert has created a viable reason as to why his former partner can no longer live in the small town and weakened his case. Bert is silly.
Or how about Gwen. Gwen sits in front of her lawyer and cries poor. Then the lawyer finds out that Gwen is driving around in a Mercedes worth $100,000 and posting it on Facebook (although it is her brother’s). Gwen, Gwen, Gwen.. No! It may not be yours but it is not going to help your situation if your former partner thinks you have financial resources you don’t!
Some will say if you are excited about it, or if you love it then express it on social media. After all that is what it is there for.
This family lawyer only encourages people to be mindful of the broader consequences before posting so as to not cause unforeseen problems during what is usually a particularly difficult time.
*names do not depict actual people
Family Law for Same Sex Couples.
At O’Neill Family Law, we are dedicated to providing solid legal advice to same sex couples. The practice of family law advice in relation to same sex couples covers a wide variety of areas such as surrogacy, parenting arrangements, property settlement and defacto maintenance.
[Read more…] about Same Sex Couples
A Family Lawyer you can trust
Family law deals with a wide scope of relationship and matrimonial matters. The Family Law Act and associated items of legislation contemplate disputes related to marriage, divorce, child support and parenting arrangements, spouse and de-facto maintenance, paternity, surrogacy, child protection and adult child maintenance to name a few. Generally, parties to a dispute will benefit from some input from a family lawyer.
[Read more…] about Finding a Family Lawyer
Sometimes the ‘days of our lives like sand through an hourglass’ line seems all too realistic in the family law sphere. At times, disgruntled lovers seek to hurt each other. At other times, one parent takes steps to ensure the other cannot see their children. There have been occasions when parents didn’t know their children had moved overseas with the other parent. There are even circumstances where one party finds out the matrimonial home is about to be sold when they have had no input into the sale. On each of these occasions, depending upon the circumstances, an injunction stopping a party from doing something may be sought from the Court. In simple terms an injunction serves as notice from the Court that a party is not to do a certain act or thing.
Can we agree between ourselves?
You and your former partner can agree on the future arrangements of your child or children after separation between you and without assistance. Contrary to some misconceptions, you do not have to go to court and most Australians finalise their own arrangements without the intervention of the Court or lawyers.
[Read more…] about Parenting Arrangements
A Respectful Separation – Possible or Myth
Divorce can be very hard on some people and the process is often complicated with other responsibilities such as managing social relationships which were previously managed in the context of a couple. Children can complicate the process even further emotionally and financially as often, despite the best efforts of both parents they are also directly affected. It is especially challenging when parties’ views are differing to the point that, despite their best efforts they cannot agree as to what is a just and equitable distribution of property or otherwise what arrangements are in the children’s best interests. This prolongs matters and often makes it more emotionally taxing for everyone involved.
[Read more…] about Divorce Lawyer