‘Bully-shaming’ a key element of divorce – ABC News
Posted On July 28, 2021
The divorce settlement has drawn criticism from experts who say it has been used to create an atmosphere of bullying.
Key points:Legal services lawyer, psychologist and psychologist director-general David Womack said he was disappointed with the dealThe ABC has spoken to experts and found there was no evidence to suggest the settlement would have prevented a spouse’s deathThe deal does not require a spouse to have a disability or be blindThe legal services agreement covers everything from the cost of the divorce, to custody arrangements, custody support and parenting time for the children.
A divorce settlement is the legal arrangement between two parties in relation to the dissolution of their marriage.
If a settlement is not reached within 12 months, the parties must make a “living and breathing agreement” about how their marriage will be ended.
But the deal also does not have to be a binding agreement.
It has been criticised by divorce lawyers and others for creating an atmosphere where it was impossible for spouses to have the same rights as one another.
“It’s very much the bully-shame of a separation agreement that you see and hear all over the place,” said legal consultant David Womsack, the legal services director-General at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
“The divorce settlement will now effectively create the bully in that you’ll be forced to go along with whatever the bully has to say about you.”
Mr Womacks told the ABC he was not surprised by the criticism of the deal, but hoped the court would be able to find the right balance.
“I’m quite disappointed that this settlement has been made at all, because I think that’s a huge opportunity for a very good outcome,” he said.
“If it doesn’t work, there’s a chance that you’ve got a lot of issues with a lot more issues that need to be addressed.”
Legal experts say there is no evidence that the settlement will prevent a spouse from dying.
However, Mr Womackers said it was a significant concession from the court.
“You can only take so much, and it’s important to be mindful that this is not going to be an agreement that’s going to protect your spouse’s rights to the full extent of the law,” he told the program.
“But it’s an important compromise that we think would allow us to avoid this kind of problem going forward.”
What is divorce?
A divorce is a legal separation between a couple, usually over financial issues.
It can last anywhere from a few months to a decade.
If you want to find out more about divorce, check out our guide.
The deal includes a “pending order” that requires the parties to work out an agreement on how they want to deal with the divorce.
It says the parties may discuss the issue of custody or the children, but only in a “live and breathing” manner.
The agreement also requires the spouses to keep each other up to date on how the divorce is progressing.
The divorce agreement must also contain a “final agreement” to set out how the parties intend to resolve all other issues, including any parenting time and any legal challenges.
If the parties do not reach an agreement by the deadline, the court can decide that they should go to mediation.
But if mediation fails, the divorce will continue, and there is an appeal process.
If mediation fails to work, the judge may grant an adjournment for two weeks so the parties can try to work through the issue again.
In cases where there is a deadlocked divorce, the agreement can be extended until the deceased spouse can be found.
But Mr Womsacks says that would not be a good outcome, because it could cause a “frighteningly high” level of anxiety for the other party.
“We are dealing with an incredibly stressful issue in a very complex situation,” he added.
“This is not a happy settlement, and this is the best compromise we can have.”
He says the court should not be allowed to extend the deal until the death of the deceased partner, so it is unlikely that it would have any effect.
“What we’re dealing with is not about whether the deceased was a good person, it’s about whether they were an entitled person,” he says.
“So we don’t want to give them that much more, and I think it’s very important to not be giving them a very unfair settlement that might lead to them dying.”
The deal comes after the Supreme Court ruled in March that it was unlawful for a court to extend a settlement of more than a year.
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