How To Apply For A Reduction or Exemption Of Legal Fees During A Divorce?

There is no getting away from the fact that divorce can be expensive, for both parties. There is the divorce lawyer to pay, court fees, and then there is the financial settlement, which can often create winners and losers, depending on which side of the marriage you are on,

However, it is not all bad news, because the legal experts at tell us there are ways in which you can reduce the amount you have to pay, and this is in relation to the cost of going to court if your financial circumstances mean you are struggling to pay, or are suffering from financial hardship.

As with any scheme of this type, there are a number of criteria that must be met, and the first of these is whether or not you are actually eligible to apply.

What Type of Employment Contracts Exist in Australia?

If you’re starting a new job in Australia, it’s important to make sure you sign a carefully drafted contract to ensure you’re protected by the full scope of the law. While there’s no legal requirement to have a contract in Australia, an employment lawyer at will tell you that you’d be silly not to have one – regardless of whether you’re an employer or an employee.

However, there are a few different types of contract, and it can be hard to determine which is best suited to your specific situation. It’s important to be fully informed before you begin contract negotiations, which is why we’ve outlined the different employment options available. As always speak to a trained employment lawyer if you have queries or would like help drafting a new contract.

What Are the Main Contract Types?

In short, there are two main types of contract in Australia. These can be further split into different types of employment – and we’ll go into that shortly – but first, let’s take a closer look at what they are.

  • Open-ended contracts are the most common and involve an employee being hired for an unspecified amount of time. They usually include information about contract termination, including how much notice needs to be given and what, if any financial payouts a dismissed employee is entitled to.
  • Fixed-term contracts are rare but certainly worth being aware of. They generally specify a hard end-date when employment will terminate. A good example of a fixed-term contract would be when you commit to working with a company for a year on a project, but don’t want to continue after this.

Now that you understand what types of contracts are available, let’s have a quick look at the most common employment types in Australia.

Why Should I Speak To A Lawyer When Putting My Will Together?

If you don’t already have a will, you should consider creating one. Nobody plans on dying, but accidents do happen. Without a will that outlines what should happen to your estate in the event of your passing, things will be a lot more complicated for your family and friends.

Unfortunately, putting together a detailed will can be a little complicated, especially if you have a lot of assets and a large estate. It’s therefore a good idea to speak with a good family lawyer when you’re writing your will, as they will be able to help you make sure that you get everything right.

With this in mind, I’ve put together a short list of the most important reasons why you should use a lawyer, such as Family Lawyers Perth, to create your will. They include:

It Will Give You Peace Of Mind

Hiring a lawyer to help you write your will can help ensure peace of mind for you and your family. If you’re not a confident person, you might experience nagging doubts about the quality and legal standing of a will that you’ve created on your own.

On the other hand, using a lawyer with experience and a detailed knowledge of wills can ensure things are done properly. Experienced lawyers will be able to help you make sure that your will is legally binding and created with the appropriate structure.

A Lawyer Can Help You Gain Tax Advantages

Since most lawyers are familiar with the ins and outs of creating wills, they usually understand how to write a will that’s effective as far as tax goes. If you’re wealthy and have a lot of assets, then this is a very important thing to consider.

For example, a poorly written will can result in a large percentage of your estate being taken as tax upon your passing. On the other hand, a will written by a lawyer who has experience in taxation matters can help reduce these taxes, allowing you to pass on a lot more benefits to your heirs.

Wills Can Be Complicated

Ultimately you won’t really know if you’ve got your will right until you pass away. Do you really want to take a risk that you’ve missed something important or misworded an essential phrase?

Using an experienced lawyer will help ensure that your will is properly written with the correct legal terminology. This will help make sure that it will stand up in court if it’s challenged.

Really, the more complicated your estate is and the more people you plan on passing things on to, the more benefits you will get out of using a lawyer.

All things considered, it’s never going to be a bad idea to consult a lawyer when you’re writing your will. An experienced lawyer with a sound knowledge of wills and estate planning can help make sure that your will is well written, that it’s tax effective, and ultimately, they will give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order.

Five Myths About Divorce You Should Never Believe

The Internet abounds with phony information about what someone can do to prepare for a divorce, some are even perpetuated by family lawyers.  These ideas range from the ludicrous to the illegal.  What’s important to remember is that if you are planning on applying for a divorce, common sense is still king.  If something seems too good to be true, illogical, or dangerous – it probably is.  Ultimately a judge is going to take a look at the specifics of your divorce and they are typically very bright people who have, as they say, “seen it all”.  The chances of you successfully fooling them are very low and once you’ve lost credibility with the court you will never get it back.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, here are five pieces of very bad advice you should avoid at all costs:

  • You’re going to lose the house, don’t worry about it.  Wrong.  Typically the house is the largest marital asset you will have.  In many cases there is a lot of equity built up in the home which will need to be divided in the divorce.  That doesn’t mean the house must be sold, but there will need to be an event where the equity is extracted and divided.  That might take the form of a refinancing, or an adjustment to other property given to one of the spouses, but rest assured, you are entitled your fair share of the equity in the home.  Also, pay close attention to how your mortgage is addressed in the divorce.  If nothing is done you will remain liable on the mortgage, even after the divorce, so make sure the agreement requires that your name be removed from the mortgage.

In some cases, it’s emotionally or physically beneficial for the couple to separate and not live in the same home.  Be aware that in some jurisdictions it will be more difficult to transfer the occupancy away from a spouse who is still living in the home while the divorce is pending.

Dumbest Things Criminals Do Online

We’ve all seen our fair share of criminal behavior online.  From people fencing stolen merchandise on Craig’s List or eBay, to someone live streaming a criminal act on Facebook.  If you’ve done something wrong, find a good criminal lawyer and don’t compound the error by engaging in any of the following activity. The Perth Criminal Lawyers compiled a list for us of the Dumbest Things Criminals Do Online….

Stop Talking

I’m serious, stop talking about what you did, to anyone, period.  This includes bragging about the crime on social media.  Do you think police won’t search your social media posts if they suspect you of something?  They will, I promise you.  Because of my profession I know many police officers, including detectives, and they have countless stories of finding criminals by doing searches online.  Also, do you think other people won’t rat you out once they see incriminating posts online?  Sorry, I guarantee you someone who as access to your social medial profile doesn’t like you and won’t hesitate to drop a dime.  There’s nothing to be proud of here, criminal behavior is not something you should boast about or even talk about.  The types of criminals who do talk about their crimes – those are the ones behind bars.

Smart Phones

These wonderful devices are your enemy if you’ve committed a crime.  Why?  They’re a walking talking trove of evidence about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.  These include GPS information about where you’ve been traveling and where you’ve made phone calls as well as providing police with time and date stamps on pictures you may have taken or texts you may have sent.  And they are so common most of us forget we even have them on our person.

Starting a Business? Business Lawyers can Clarify Doubts

If you are in the process of launching your own business, you are likely to have your hands full with planning products and services, organising finance and networking with prospective clients. Seeking the services of commercial lawyers such as Rowe Bristol can help prepare or even prevent unpleasant surprises like lawsuits and infringement. As you work hard towards getting your business off the ground, the last thing you need is to have to shell out valuable dollars towards legal expenses which could have been avoided by being prepared beforehand. In other words, hiring the services of a business lawyer could be a proactive step towards protecting your business from loss of reputation and monies.

Firstly, a trained commercial lawyer can help answer queries and doubts about starting a business in Australia. In addition, he or she can also help you decide if your company should be a corporation or a LLC (Limited Liability Company). These questions regarding business setup and start-up can be daunting for many first-time entrepreneurs. When you are just starting out with your own business, every decision contributes towards making the business a success. For example, LLC and corporate structures are taxed in different ways. A lawyer will help you understand the unique features of each type of business structure and this way, you can choose the structure that corresponds to your unique business requirements.

Expert Legal Guidance For Starting your Own Business

The prospect of starting your own business is often an exhilarating one. However, it’s extremely important to keep yourself and your business safe from the crippling risks of litigation. Seasoned commercial lawyers can help minimise the risks of lawsuits and liabilities in several important ways. Legal problems and headaches in Australia can severely impact your business and affect the bottom line. While starting or running a business is an extremely rewarding experience, you will feel more confident with an expert lawyer looking out for you. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to prevent the occurrence of legal issues which can sap any business of life, reputation and profit.

Regardless of the size or nature of the business, there are some common legal issues that should be never be neglected. These issues usually occur in relation to:

  • The structure of the business: Each type of business structure is managed, handled and taxed differently. The choice of structure involves knowledge of different types of taxation policies etc and it pays to seek expert legal advice because as a new entrepreneur, you don’t wish to inadvertently put your foot on the wrong side of law.
  • Contracts and agreements: Lawyers can help prepare and create contracts that you need in order to legalise your professional relationship with employees, contractors etc. Employment contracts should clearly spell out terms and conditions, salary, benefits, termination clauses etc. Experienced lawyers can help create watertight, comprehensive contracts for your business.

Nasty Divorce Proceedings can be Traumatic

A Competent Lawyer can help you Negotiate an Amicable Solution

If you or your partner are seeking a divorce, you may be tempted to use information from a book, court documents or the Internet. On the surface, this may sound like a good idea, but divorce proceedings are often much more complicated and reliable family lawyers such as Robinson Family Lawyers can represent your best interests. While a do-it-yourself approach may work in a few cases, a lawyer can help protect your best interests.

Divorce proceedings can often be complicated especially when dealing with issues like child custody, debt, assets, retirement benefits, future inheritance and so on. There may be several factors to take into consideration before you agree to sign an agreement.

Depending on the nature of the assets, properties etc, the financial resources may not always be split down the middle. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you understand the short and long-term implications of decisions. He or she can help keep the process smooth and proactive so that it is easier to move on after the process is over. An acrimonious process can make it very difficult to re-establish parenting relationships etc in the aftermath. In addition, the costs of a bitter divorce can eat way into your finances for months or even years after it’s over.

Looking for a Well-Structured Corporate Lease

An Experienced Lawyer can help you out

Sometimes, it’s well-worth the time and effort to seek legal guidance on certain issues. For example, it’s a sensible idea to look for competent property lawyers to negotiate a profitable corporate lease for your requirement. Corporate property lease contracts are often complex and lengthy documents. They are often replete legal jargon and may contain multiple clauses and so on that we may easily miss, if we tried to negotiate on our own. Hence, it’s invaluable to have reliable legal counsel looking out for your best interests. It’s crucial to completely understand the terms of the lease and request for any modifications (if required). A property lease agreement will usually contain terms that are favourable to the landlord and his or her convenience.

Read on for some useful tips regarding negotiating a corporate lease.

  • Companies and businesses may wish to look out for property leases that are valid for at least a year before they come up for renewal. This is especially useful for small businesses as you should not be obliged to move your business location every now and then due to a short-term lease. On the other hand, if you are on the look-out for more favourable locations or lower rents etc, you can also opt for a short term commercial lease.

General Legal Principles of Divorce Under Australian law

Divorce in Australia is regulated by the Family Law Act 1975. The statute establishes the principle of no-fault divorce. This means that it is not incumbent on the petitioning party to prove the other party’s fault in order to have the marriage ended by the court. Specifically speaking, the court does not take into consideration reasons why the marriage has ended, because the only ground for divorce under Australian law is the fact that the marriage broke down and there is no reasonable likelihood that the parties will get back together. In this connection, it needs to be pointed out that the Federal Circuit Court of Australia is empowered by Part VI of the Family Law Act 1975 to handle all matters related to the dissolution of marriage. That is, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia has the original jurisdiction to hear divorce cases. However, when the court grants divorce, it does not simultaneously rules on the matters of property distribution, financial support or arrangements for children. It merely recognises and formalises the end of the marriage.

To elaborate further, Australian law entitles an individual to apply for a divorce in the territory of Australia if (i) either the individual or his/her couple has domicile in Australia (views Australia as their home and have intent to reside in Australia permanently) or (ii) are Australian citizens by any lawful means or (iii) ordinarily reside in Australia for at least 12 months immediately preceding filing for divorce. Additionally, Australian law requires from the applicant to prove that the applicant and his/her spouse have lived separately and apart from each other for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. Here, it is extremely interesting to note that the court may recognise the fact of separation even under conditions when the couple lives separately in the same house. This is known as ‘separation under the one roof’. In case the couple has children aged under 18, the court can grant divorce only if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children.

3 Types of Criminal Offences

Criminal lawyers are kept busy dealing with all different kinds of crime, but in fact these all fall under one of three different categories. This is important because the kind of crime committed has to do with which kind of court the person will be tried under; a magistrate’s court or the Supreme Court.

The 3 type of criminal offences are: –

Summary or simple offences. These make up the majority of common offenses and are defined as

  • Having no term or imprisonment, but a fine of less than $120,000.
  • Having a maximum term of 2 years imprisonment
  • Most dishonesty offences of $2500 or less, not including robbery, violence or serial offences, or offences of more than $2500
  • Not including arson or bush fire offences

Examples are disorderly conduct, minor criminal damage to property, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. People who are charged with a summary offence must be tried in a magistrate’s court. They cannot be tried with jury.

Minor indictable offences. These are more serious than summary offences, but less serious than major indictable offences. They too, are tried in a magistrate’s court, but the defendant can ask to have them tried in a higher court with a jury. They should only do so after taking counsel from a lawyer, as they could easily be given a harsher sentence. Examples of these offences are: –

  • Theft
  • Deception
  • Serious criminal trespass
  • Aggravated and indecent assault
  • Stalking
  • Gross indecency
  • Property damage less than $30,000

Five Tips For Dealing With A Divorce

If you are going through or have ever gone through a divorce, you will know that they are extremely difficult. You will find that you get very stressed very easily, that your emotions might bubble over from time to time, and that sometimes things will just become too much to handle. Although decent family lawyers can help the divorce process run smoothly (especially if there are children or a lot of assets involved), sometimes they aren’t enough.

The following five tips should help you deal with your divorce on an emotional level. Yes, it can be hard sometimes. However, remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  1. Make sure that you choose a decent family lawyer

You don’t necessarily have to choose the best lawyer, nor do you have to go for one who charges stupidly high prices. Ultimately, what you really need to do is choose a family lawyer who treats you like a human, and who can help you through the emotional turmoil of a divorce. Sure, a lawyer’s job is to help sort out the legal side of the divorce, but if they are nice, compassionate people then you will find everything becomes that much easier!

Community Based Correction Orders Explained

Criminal lawyers will tell you that being sent to prison is not always the best way to help a person who has broken a minor law. If you have committed an offence for which you should be punished but not sent to prison, community based correction orders may be instigated. This teaches you that there is always some kind of consequences for your actions, whether they are good or bad.

When you have community based correction orders applied to your case as a punishment, it usually means you have to do some kind of work to help and improve the community you live in. It may also include taking part in human development courses, educational or vocational training and undergoing rehab or some kind of treatment to address your problems.

To ensure you do what the court has ordered, a correctional officer will be assigned to you. You usually have to report to your correctional officer during the period of your orders. It is wise to do everything you have been ordered to do, otherwise worse punishment may be given.

Useful Estate Planning Strategies can Help you Establish Control over Disposal

Worried about your Hard-earned Assets?

In simple terms, the term ‘estate’ refers to your net worth in the eyes of Australian law. Estate planning lawyers will explain that a comprehensive estate plan will include much more than the Will. It’s important to understand that the word ‘estate’ includes much more than real estate. Estate not only includes property but also includes bank accounts, vehicles, homes, boats and jewelry and so on.

A legally valid estate plan will include advanced directives such as trusts for children and grandchildren, for pets or charity organisations as well as power of attorney (POA). By choosing to plan your estate while you are sound of body and mind, you are in a position to eliminate any uncertainties over the administration of your estate after your death. Specifying the POA helps another individual take care of decision-making if you are unable to do so due to health reasons etc.

Looking to File a Complaint against Breach of Contract?

Seek Competent Legal Expertise

Disputes between shareholders can often be highly complex and sensitive in nature. Knowledgeable lawyers that specialize in commercial  matters can help the parties resolve issues within the framework of Australian corporate law. Shareholders may find it particularly difficult to reach agreements regarding evaluation, finance and other related issues. A shareholder is an individual who owns stock in the company. Shareholder disputes often involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty or fraud.

In simple words, fiduciary duties refer to fairness and loyalty in commercial practices. Directors and other employees of a company are expected by law to put the interests of the business first. Breach of fiduciary duty occurs when an individual acts against the best interests of the company or business or performs an action that is perceived as conflict of interest.

Should You Use A Will Or A Trust?

Writing a legal document which details your wishes after your death can be difficult, especially with the range of choices that you have. Many people decide to go for a simple will, while others choose to use complex estate planning to make sure that their affairs are sorted. The alternative to using a will is to set up a trust. Here are a few of the factors which will affect your decision when it comes to deciding between the use of a will and a trust, but you should always consult an experienced wills lawyer before making any significant decision.

So, what things do you need to think about when choosing whether to use a will or a trust?

The size of your estate:

Generally, trusts are more suitable for people who have a relatively large estate and a lot of assets. This is due to the fact that it does cost money to set up an estate, and it simply isn’t worth doing if you don’t have a significant amount of assets.

The Real Cost of Buying a Home in WA

When looking for a home to purchase, most people look at the sale price to ensure the home is within their budget. But property lawyers will tell you that there are many other costs to consider as well. If you’ve never bought property before you may not be aware of these costs and finding out later will mean your budget may be shot to pieces.

Here is a list of the other costs you are likely to meet along the road to your first home.

  • The deposit, although not an extra cost, will be required up front before the remainder of the price. If you decide not to go ahead with the purchase, you’ll lose it, so be sure before you pay up. It is usually about 10% of the purchase price of the home, but if you can afford to put down 20% you may get a better deal on the loan.

Worried about your Rightful Entitlement?

Legal Settlement of Property after Divorce under Australian Law

During marriage, spouses usually share a common pool of assets and resources that is collectively known as ‘property’. Family Lawyers will explain that the process of divorce has far-reaching financial implications for both partners. If one or both partners own property individually, jointly or along with others, either party is entitled to request a property settlement from the other. The objective of the Australian property settlement law is to ensure fair distribution of property after separation and divorce.

In fact, property settlement laws not only govern marriage but also de facto relationships, i.e., couples who live together on a domestic basis. In Australia, the Family Law Act of 1975 determines property settlement after divorce or separation. Property, in general, may include assets and resources that are owned or controlled by either one of the partners. Thus, property may include:

Representing Yourself in a Divorce Proceeding

The worst has happened and you find yourself served with divorce papers… what should you do?  Family Lawyers can be expensive, and you’re not sure how high the bill might go.  Should you hire a lawyer, or should you try to navigate the ins and outs of family court on your own?

The answer might surprise you because handling your own divorce is sometimes the right thing to do.  Remember, I said ‘sometimes’.

Family law courts see thousands of cases a year, and handle divorces of all shapes and sizes. Most of them are prepared for you; relatively inexperienced, hardworking people who just want to make it through the proceeding with as few scars as possible.  Most jurisdictions have forms on-line that can walk you through the step-by-step procedures of what documents to file, how to respond to the opposing side, and some even waive filing fees if you meet the income requirements.  Simply search for: ‘[your county name] divorce forms’ and you’ll find them.

Taking A Traffic Infringement To Court In Australia

Traffic infringements can be annoying things, especially if you feel that you didn’t deserve the penalty that you got. Perhaps you got booked for something that you didn’t think that you were doing, or perhaps you feel that the penalty for your offence was overly harsh. Whatever your situation, decent criminal lawyers can help you get around your traffic infringements. Unfortunately, this usually means that you have to go to court to have your case heard.

What are your rights?

As a citizen of Australia, you have the right to challenge any traffic infringement – be it a speeding fine, a parking ticket, or even a drink driving charge – in a court of law. Although you can go into a court without a lawyer supporting you, the chances of winning your case will be strengthened if you employ a high-quality criminal lawyer.

Nine Tips For Making A Watertight Business Agreement

Strong business agreements are extremely important, especially if you are in charge of creating them. There are many things that you can do to make it easier to draft an effective agreement, but one of the most important is to consult experienced commercial lawyers. Below are 9  top tips for creating a watertight business agreement:

  1. Talk to a professional

Again, the most important thing that you can do is talk to a professional commercial lawyer. They will make sure that you have all the legalities sorted out, which will protect you from problems in the future.

  1. Discuss the agreement with both parties

If you are in charge of drafting the business agreement, make sure that you talk to representatives from both (or all) parties involved. This will allow you to get an idea of their expectations, and will help you get started.