If you need a lawyer, I should be your first point of contact

If you are faced with a challenging legal circumstance, Nicholas Radich on the Gold Coast, is someone who, even in your darkest moments will listen to you in a friendly and professional manner and offer you advice about how to approach your legal situation for the best outcome.

Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions around different areas of civil law.

Wills and Estate Claims

Queensland law (and most other States have the same) allows for certain people to seek a provision or better provision out of an estate. However, there are strict time limits and requirements to be met, so don’t delay in contacting me. At our first meeting, I will get details from you about the estate and your relationship with the deceased. If I form the view that you have a legitimate claim, then that involves an application to the court, challenging the will. I will give you a full report and an action plan.

Yes, they can, but I can act for you in defending that claim.

Generally, the legal costs of people disputing a will are paid from the estate. However, a judge may decide otherwise if, for example, the claim was hopeless and should not have been brought. Most estate claims are settled without a trial with the costs being part of the settlement.

A building contractor has an effective ally in the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA). It sets out a process for resolving disputes and enforcing payment. Briefly, firstly you serve a Payment Claim, setting out what you claim to be owed. Then the recipient has 10 business days to respond. This is called a Payment Schedule and sets out his argument why you will not be paid or the amount owed is less than you claimed. If you still cannot resolve matters by negotiation, then it proceeds to adjudication. The adjudication process is designed for a quick resolution of the dispute. The adjudicator’s decision can be enforced like a court judgement. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. There is, at every step, a strict procedure to follow. There are time limits, formal requirements and service obligations which can trip up the unwary. Don’t miss out on what you are owed; contact me now.

There are two types of building contracts which must be in writing: A fixed price contract (which is what it says: the work to be done and the cost are agreed) or a cost-plus contract (which is where the builder can claim all his costs of material, sub-contracting, etc plus an agreed profit margin). Let’s be clear; whatever type of contract you have, it will contain means by which the price can escalate. Particularly, any change to what is being built as contemplated when the contract was signed (called a “variation”) will often cause dispute between the parties. If you want to make a change to the building under construction, ensure that it is carefully costed by the builder and you have signed off agreeing to the additional cost. So, the costs should not be going up without your agreeing to the increases. If you think that they have, contact me.

Anything in relation to building and construction such as:

  • Pre-contractual advice and advising on the contract.
  • Representing you in the courts in all construction or building disputes.
  • Advising in relation to disputes during the contract.
  • Advising and acting for you in relation to payment claims and schedules.
  • Recovering debts under the Subcontractor’ Charges Act.
  • Dealing with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission particularly in relation to your builder’s licence.

While you have to wait 12 months for a divorce, you can and should begin the process to divide property. Contact me.

If you are named in the mortgage, then the lender will expect monthly payments to be maintained. The last thing you need is for the lender to sell your house before you and your partner can settle your affairs. Generally however, the courts expect the person remaining in the house to pay the mortgage (akin to rent) but that will depend on many things, including an ability to pay.

Of course you can, but to finalise everything, you need either a Binding Financial Agreement or a court order. I can advise you on the best approach and can handle it all for you.

Then you can apply to the Family Law Court, which will decide on the evidence. Sometimes I find it necessary to commence a court application when the other side is being uncooperative or obstructive. However, most disputes do not go to final trial. There is court-ordered mediation (where I can represent you) and generally it is settled there.

There is no set percentage and it always depends on the individual’s circumstances. Together with you, I look at:

  • Financial contributions.
  • Non-financial contributions, such as child rearing.
  • The earning capacity of those involved, including their ages and heath.

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