Common Mistakes People Make in Family Law Matters: A Guide to Avoiding Them

August 5, 2023
Our suite of integrated construction services ensure the highest degree of quality, safety, efficiency and innovation on your projects.

Family law matters whether it is a divorce or a separation from a de facto partner or spouse can be incredibly challenging. The decisions that need to be made such as dividing assets and parenting arrangements can be stressful and emotional, which can cause people to make mistakes that can have significant consequences.

As family lawyers in Sydney, we have seen many instances where people have made simple mistakes that have led to serious issues. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes that people make during family law matters and how you can avoid them.

Relying on Informal Agreements

One of the most common mistakes that people make is relying on informal agreements. When a couple separates, some agreements must be made, such as dividing assets and parenting arrangements. These agreements can be made privately between the former couple or through mediation or court. When these agreements are made outside of court, they can either be informal or legally binding agreements through an Application for a Consent Orders through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

When an agreement is informal and not legally binding, you are unprotected and reliant on the other person to hold up their end of the arrangement. If they do not, there is not much that you can do. Whereas, if you formalize the agreement and make it legally binding and if the agreement is not adhered to by either party, there may be consequences. Some people may be hesitant to ask their ex-spouse to make the agreement legally binding for fear of damaging their relationship. However, the legally binding agreement can be by consent and offers protection to both parties and can minimize any future hassles.

Not Providing Full or Accurate Information

When you are involved in a family law matter, it is important to provide truthful and accurate information. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 provides guidelines on disclosure in family law matters. The duty of disclosure means that all parties involved in a family law dispute must provide all information that is relevant to the dispute to the other parties involved.

Both parenting and financial matters have requirements for full and frank disclosure. For financial matters, there must be total disclosure of a party’s direct and indirect financial circumstances. While in a parenting matter, there must be full disclosure of all information that is relevant to the parenting case at all stages of the case. Some people may try to hide the truth of their situation, such as their financial situation, to avoid paying their ex-spouse more than they think they should have to or to try to get more money from their ex-spouse. However, failure to disclose information may affect the evidence that is used in the matter and could lead to the matter being dismissed, costs ordered against you, fines, and even imprisonment.

Letting Emotions Take Over

The breakdown of any relationship is emotionally challenging, and during a separation there are many decisions to be made usually about important things in your life such as your living arrangements, how you will parent your children, what happens to your pets, and financial arrangements. As you will be experiencing a lot of change, it is understandable that you may fee many emotions including anger, sadness, frustration, and even exhaustion more than usual.

While feeling all these emotions is completely normal, when it comes to making important decisions, it is best to do so when you are not feeling these things. Even when an ex-partner has done something to hurt and/or upset you, when making these life-changing decisions, you need to take your time, seek the assistance you need like engaging an experienced family lawyer to assist you in making legal decisions and settling the matter. Understanding the overall bigger picture will help you to make a decision that is going to be right for you, rather than making one out of frustration or spite.

In conclusion, family law matters can be complex and emotionally challenging for all parties involved. Seeking the guidance and support of a family lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you are in Sydney and need legal assistance for divorce or separation, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced family lawyer in Sydney who understands your unique situation and can provide the right legal solutions.

At the heart of family law is the desire to protect the best interests of the family, especially children. At Meredith Lawyers we have a wealth of experienced family lawyers who specialize in all aspects of family law, including divorce law, and separation law. With our expertise, we can guide you through every step of the legal process, provide practical advice, and ensure that your rights are protected.

If you’re facing a family law matter in Sydney, it is important to choose a lawyer who is committed to helping you resolve your dispute in the most effective and efficient way possible. At Meredith Lawyers we have a team of tenacious family lawyers ready to assist you to navigate the complex legal system, negotiate with the other party, and represent you in court if necessary.

For more information on Family Law Matters, please contact our experienced specialist family law team today on 1300 537 306  or send us an email at

Book a