About Family Law

If you have recently separated from your spouse or partner, you need practical, yet comprehensive legal guidance to ensure your rights and your family’s rights are protected to help you move forward. We have extensive knowledge in this complex and emotional area and can assist with all family law issues.

We can assist with the following services:

Marriage, De Facto and Divorce Law

  • Prenuptial agreements (prenups) and Binding Financial Agreements
  • Divorce in Australia including preparing and serving divorce papers
  • Annulment of marriages
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Property settlements
  • Family Mediation

Children’s issues

  • Child support and enforcement of payments
  • Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
  • Parental rights, father’s rights, and grandparent’s rights
  • Guardianship, adoption, and surrogacy arrangements
  • Children’s Court

Applying for a divorce

To legally end a marriage, an application is made to the court. Australia has a no- fault divorce system, and the court is not concerned with attributing blame for the relationship breakdown. There are requirements obtain a divorce order

Obtaining a divorce order is an exceedingly complicated process. There are multiple requirements, and they can be vastly different from one case to another depending on factors like children under the age of 12, the terms of the separation requiring professional legal help.

Dividing property after separation

A legal property settlement formalises the division of the parties’ assets and financial resources and may be obtained as soon as you separate. It is important to remember however that any court proceedings for a property settlement must be commenced within two years of separating from a de facto partner, and within 12 months after a divorce is granted.

Most family law property settlements are finalised by negotiation between the parties and their legal advisors, without going to court. Negotiations that you may need legal representatives for to better understand the process and requirements

Financial agreements (also known as binding financial agreements, pre-nups and cohabitation agreements) may be made before or during a marriage or de-facto relationship to predetermine how property will be divided if the relationship ends. A financial agreement does not require court approval but must meet the requirements and formalities prescribed by the Family Law Act. It includes specific terms regarding how property and financial resources are to be divided and the steps that each person must take to fulfil their obligations.

Consent orders are generally considered more formal than financial agreements as they require the court’s approval. Unlike financial agreements, consent orders may also include parenting arrangements for children of the relationship.

The parties do not need to attend court, and the orders will be approved if, on the information provided, the court considers it is just and equitable to do so. Full financial disclosure is required in the application for the orders and, once approved the orders will have the same force as if the orders were made after a formal hearing.

Parenting matters

Arranging for the future care and welfare of children after a relationship breaks down can be stressful for the parents, the children and other family members. The Family Law Act provides a presumption of shared parental responsibility unless extenuating circumstances exist. The best interests of the children will be paramount in all parenting matters. Parties should make genuine efforts to resolve disputes regarding parenting arrangements. Agreements may be set out in parenting plans or consent orders.

Parenting plans set out in writing the agreement reached between parents about the arrangements for their children. They are not legally enforceable however will be taken into consideration

Consent orders are legally binding orders with respect to child custody and parenting arrangements. Once granted they become legally enforceable as if made after a hearing and must be complied with.

Going to Court

In most family law matters, whether concerning children, property or both, issues can be resolved between the parties through negotiation or facilitated mediation. In some cases, however, where negotiations fail or a matter becomes urgent, court proceedings may be necessary as a last resort.

We are experienced advocates with extensive family law knowledge. We will guide you through the legal aspects of your property and parenting issues and provide cost-effective, workable solutions that consider your overall circumstances and result in the best outcome for you and your family. Should court proceedings be necessary for your matter, we can represent you and help you to navigate the legal processes involved to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

If you need any assistance, contact one of our lawyers [email protected] or call 03 9598 8699 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert legal advice.