This video story provides legal information about family law.
It is the part of a series of videos about the law for people who have recently arrived in Australia.
Family Law Student Kit -210KB PDF File (2 pages)
Family Law Teacher Kit -187KB PDF File (2 pages)
Transcript of Video
Yonani is married to Maria and they have children. They are both unhappy.
Yohani (thinking) : She’s always complaining I don’t give her enough money.
Maria (thinking): He’s always complaining I don’t cook the food he likes.
Yohani talks to a male friend.
Male friend: The children need a loving family.
Maria talks to a female friend.
Female friend: You should listen to your husband.
Male friend talking to Yohani: You should listen to your wife and help her.
Maria talks to another friend, Sora.
Maria: Sora, it was OK for a while, but now we are always fighting. I don’t want to live with him anymore. But I’m afraid I’ll lose my children. And I won’t have enough money.
Sora: I think the law’s different here in Australia. You need to talk to a lawyer.
Maria contacts Legal Aid and has a discussion with a lawyer.
Maria: What happens if I want a divorce?
Lawyer: You must be separated for at least 12 months, and you can get a divorce even if your husband doesn’t want one.
Maria: And what will happen to my children?
Lawyer: The law says children have the right to see both parents, as long as they are safe. And both parents should work together to make important decisions about their children.
Maria: What about money? How will we live?
Lawyer: We can talk about that now.
Yohani is also seeing a lawyer.
Lawyer: The law is the same for men and women.
Yohani: So what will happen?
Lawyer: The law says children should have a relationship with both parents.
Yohani: OK but what about the car and the furniture? And we owe money to the bank.
Lawyer: I can explain how to sort out your property and your debts. I'll write to Maria about the children and see if we can try mediation.
Yohani: What’s mediation?
Lawyer: Mediation is when we sit and talk and try to agree on things - for example, when YOU spend time with the children and how much time.
Yohani: Can I get an interpreter?
Lawyer: Of course.
Yohani: What if we can’t agree?
Lawyer: Well, then you have to go to court.
Some time later, Yohani, Maria and their lawyers, go to a mediation conference at their Legal Aid office.
Mediator: So, Maria and Yohani, the children will stay with Yohani every Wednesday night and every second weekend. The rest of the time they will live with Maria. Is that OK with both of you?
Maria’s lawyer: I just want to talk to Maria about this privately. Is this OK?
Mediator: Yes, of course.
Maria and her lawyer move to a private room to discuss things.
Maria’s lawyer: I just wanted to check that you are OK with these times? If you are not OK you do not have to agree and you can let the court decide.
Maria: I like the arrangement; it is a good arrangement for the children and for me.
They return to the mediation conference.
Yohani: Yes, I am OK with the arrangement.
Mediator: What about you Maria?
Maria: Yes, that’s fine.
Mediator: Would it help if we put this agreement into writing so we all know what would happen?
Yohani and Maria together: Yes, thank you.