Q: My children have just been taken away by the Child Protection/Department of Communities officer. What do I do now?
A: Take details of the Case Officer in charge (eg. Name, Office contact number, email address). Work closely and co-operatively with the Officer as much you can. Arrange with the Officer to spend time with your children, if possible. Then, seek legal advice soon.
Q: Do I really need a lawyer when I attend the Children’s Court for my own matter?
A: It is best to seek independent legal advice before deciding if you need a lawyer to represent you in your matter.
Q: I just had a visit from the Child Protection/Department of Communities officer. I am worried my children will be taken away from me.
A: First, get in contact with the officer in charge of your matter. Engage with the officer and work through with the officer about the Department’s concerns of your children.
As much as it depends on you (and any other support you can get), work closely with the officer to alleviate the Department’s concerns of your children’s welfare, development, safety & wellbeing.
Q: My husband and I no longer want to be in a marriage relationship, and would like to separate. However we both live together, can we separate while sharing the same residence?
A: Yes, one can separate under the same roof (family home). Some of the examples of separation under the same roof are sleeping in separate bedrooms, no marital relationship, living separate lives (not cooking, cleaning & washing for each other), informing friends and family of the separation, not seen as husband and wife when attending functions and activities.
Q: I have separated from my husband/wife recently. I want to file for divorce, how do I go about doing that?
A: You would need to be separated for 12 months before you can file for divorce with the Family Court of Western Australia.
You can find the brochure – Marriage, Families & Separation on: (https://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Information_Kits_Brochures/Brochure_Marriage_Families_Separation.pdf) and an outline of the process for applying for a divorce on https://familycourt.wa.gov.au/A/application_divorce.aspx
Q: My long-term de facto partner and I have just separated. We have joint assets together, what is the time limit for us to finalise our property settlement?
A: For de facto relationships, you have 2 years from the date of separation to finalise your property settlement. A minute of consent orders can be signed by both parties if a settlement is reached/agreed between the both of you.
You then can file the minute of Consent Orders with the Family Court of WA to make it into a formal Consent Orders. However, if no agreement can be reached between the both of you, then one of you can commence property settlement proceedings with the Family Court WA within the 2 years of separation.
Q: My fixed term residential agreement has ended, and I am still residing in the property and paying rent. However, my landlord has not provided me with a new lease agreement. Why?
A: This probably means that your fixed term agreement has reverted to a periodic agreement. Don’t worry, you are still covered by the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987.
Q: How much written notice must be given for a no grounds termination of a residential lease?
A: The time is not less than 30 days for a fixed term lease, and not less than 60 days for a periodic lease.
Q: Is there any legislation in Western Australia that governs boarders and lodgers?
A: No. However, boarders and lodgers have some rights under common law.