Layla’s story illustrates the important role a small property settlement can play in creating financial security for vulnerable women and children after a family separation.
Our client Layla is the primary carer of her three-year-old child after she separated from the child’s father. When Layla sought legal help, she was unemployed, experiencing mental illness, spoke limited English, and required an interpreter to communicate.
Layla’s marriage had been arranged while she was living overseas. After Layla migrated to Australia to live with her husband, there was family violence in the relationship and a family violence intervention order was ultimately made to protect Layla.
At separation, Layla’s husband had stable employment, $60,000 in superannuation and owned a property in his name with equity valued at over $50,000. Layla had little in the way of assets or income and had few family supports of her own.
Victoria Legal Aid assisted Layla to apply for child support through the Commonwealth Department of Human Services (Child Support) and obtained consent orders to receive a superannuation split of nearly $20,000 and $50 per week spousal maintenance for two years. This made a significant difference to Layla being able to re-establish herself and her child post-separation.
Without legal representation, Layla would likely have not pursued her entitlements as there were no joint assets of the marriage and the husband had accrued significant credit card debts post separation.
Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.
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Reviewed 17 March 2022