Our team can advise and represent you in all areas of family law including separation and divorce, property settlements and Binding Financial Agreements, spousal and de facto partner maintenance and child support, parenting and custody issues, family violence and intervention orders
Separation and Divorce
A divorce is a Court Order ending a marriage. We can assist with all steps in obtaining a divorce including completing the Court application, serving the application on the other party and appearing in Court.
While the process to obtaining a divorce is generally straightforward, it is important that you also understand the consequences of applying for a divorce, particularly where you have not yet divided your assets. We can provide you with legal advice and help you navigate these issues.
Property Settlements and Binding Financial Agreements
We understand that dividing your assets when you separate, or divorce can be an extremely difficult time. We can advise you on how assets and liabilities should be divided, whether you were married or in a de facto relationship.
Taking a matter to Court is generally a last resort given the time and cost associated with litigation. As much as possible, we will assist you in reaching the most favourable outcome through negotiation and mediation between the parties. We can then help you to formalise any agreement reached by way of a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders filed with the Court. We can also provide independent legal advice on a Binding Financial Agreement that you might have received from your partner/spouse.
If the parties agree how assets and liabilities are to be divided following separation, we can help you to prepare and file Consent Orders with the Court. If the Court is satisfied the Orders are just and equitable, the Order will usually be made without the parties having to attend Court. Consent Orders have the same force and effect as Orders made by a Judge at the end of a hearing.
A Binding Financial Agreement is a contract entered into by the parties. This type of agreement can help you protect the assets that you are brining into a relationship or stipulate how assets and liabilities of the parties is to be distributed in the event of separation. You can enter into a Binding Financial Agreement if you are in a de facto relationship (before commencement of a de facto relationship, during a de facto relationship or after a de facto relationship ends) or if you are married (before marriage, during marriage or after a divorce). We can help you to negotiate an agreement, we can draft the Binding Financial Agreement and ensure that it complies with the Family Law Act.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, our lawyers can assist you in preparing Court documents, appearing in Court on your behalf and assisting you throughout your matter from start to finish.
Spousal or De Facto Partner Maintenance and Child Support
We understand the financial difficulties that often follow separation or divorce. If your partner has been financially supporting you throughout your relationship, you might be able to claim ongoing spousal or de facto partner maintenance. The Court will look at numerous factors in determining whether such maintenance is appropriate including but not limited to the age of the parties, income, property and financial resources of the parties, children of the relationship, the standard of living of each party and the duration of the marriage or relationship. It is important to obtain legal advice before considering making an application for maintenance.
We can advise you whether you might be entitled to such maintenance and guide you through the Court process in making this type of application.
We can also advise you on child support matters including Binding and Limited Child Support Agreements.
Parenting and Custody
When relationships end, there is sometimes disagreement as to who children of the relationship should live with and the time they should spend with each parent. Any arrangements for your children should be focussed on what is in the best interests of the children.
We can assist you in negotiating parenting matters and in formalising any agreement that might be reached. Arrangements for children can be formalised by way of Parenting Plans, although it is important to note that such agreements are not legally enforceable. We can also assist you in negotiating and preparing Consent Orders to be filed with the Court, and which have the same force and effect as Orders made by the Court at the end of a hearing.
In circumstances where agreement cannot be reached, our team can advise you on what care arrangements might be appropriate and guide you through the Court process including appearing in Court on your behalf.
Family Violence and Intervention Orders
Sadly, family violence can be a common element in family law matters. Our experienced lawyers can advise you in relation to matters involving family violence, including the implications for parenting matters and the process of obtaining protection by way of Family Violence Intervention Orders.
If you are experiencing family violence we can advise you on your legal options and help ensure you have the protection required. This includes assisting you with an Application for an Intervention Order with the Magistrates Court and appearing on your behalf in Court. We can also assist in referring you to other services that might be able to assist you such as Domestic Violence Victoria and Relationships Australia.
If you have been served with a Summons to appear in Court in relation to an Intervention Order, we can also assist you by appearing in Court and liaising with the applicant in an attempt to resolve the matter as efficiently and effectively as possible. This can include agreeing to an Undertaking, Consenting to an Order without Admission or appearing in a Contested Hearing.