My Partner did the Wrong Thing – I Should Win!

by Bree Staines on May 2, 2016

Bree Staines

We family lawyers have tissues in our office for good reason. A client going through a relationship breakdown, especially when there is/are a child / children of the relationship, is one of the most tumultuous experiences a person can have. The feelings surrounding this event in one’s life can be heightened if the breakdown is due to a party having an affair, or another form of betrayal and unjust action during the relationship. 

When negotiations about parenting or property settlement post separation are not going well, a party to the relationship may seek legal advice. However, when that party is experiencing the emotional turmoil due to the factors set out above, when seeking the legal advice, the party may think that it is important to put on the record, whether in correspondence to the other party or an affidavit filed at court, the reason why the relationship breakdown and it’s flow on effects have occurred. That is, to blame the other party, and by default, receive some ‘points’ to try and win the matter.

The family law system in Australia is a no fault system with respect to both marriage and de facto relationships. The concept of “no fault divorce” was introduced with the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and replaced any existing provision that a person’s actions in relation to the end of a marriage (as de facto relationships where not part of family law at that time) could cause the other party to win the matter. While it is relevant for your legal representative to understand the background of your matter beyond what the property pool is made up of, it is not necessarily a factor that the law takes into consideration.

Furthermore, if such issues are put forward, especially in affidavit evidence, you may be sabotaging your own legal case. The reason for this is that you may be viewed by the court as not being child focused (in relation to parenting matters) or not being reasonable in property settlement negotiations as you are too concerned with the reason for the break-up and are using the family law matter to be vindictive and revengeful.

After a relationship breakdown, engaging a legal representative can be a positive step to provide you with a pragmatic framework to take the necessary next steps (whether we do so on your behalf or by giving you advice in the background). You can use your lawyer as an empathetic but objective third party who is on your side to put your best case forward in law.

If you are having a difficult separation and need to know what is and what is not important to your case, our team at Armstrong Legal can give you the emotional support you need at this difficult time, while simultaneously making your case to the other party or to the Court to ensure you have progress your legal matters.

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