A solicitor from Gold Coast Community Legal Centre assisted Paula*, who had two children. One of her children had seen their mother experience significant physical violence while they were living interstate.
Paula was forced to leave that state due to the violent situation and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She had to move to the Gold Coast to be with her family for ongoing support.
Her ex-partner had refused to make mortgage repayments, so the house they jointly owned was repossessed and Paula was forced to go bankrupt.
Her ex-partner had initiated proceedings to have the children returned to the state.
The Centre’s solicitor had several appointments with Paula and also opened a case to draft court documents relating to parenting proceedings and grant a domestic violence order.
Paula successfully argued against the recovery injunction and the children were able to remain in Queensland with her, with only school holiday time spent with her ex-partner.
Additionally, her ex-partner had to complete clean drug tests, parenting courses and an anger management course and regularly see a psychologist.
Once the parenting matters were finalised, her ex-partner commenced proceedings to seek half of Paula’s superannuation, which was the only remaining asset of significance in the property pool.
The Centre’s solicitor advised Paula on several occasions that no division of the property pool would be just and equitable and the parties should keep what they currently had.
Her ex-partner party eventually consented to such an order, leaving Paula to retain her full superannuation. She was then able to overcome her bankruptcy and seek employment on the Gold Coast.
*Not their real name