Family Law

The breakdown of a relationship is a time of emotional turmoil, stress and uncertainty about what the future holds for you and your children.

You  may have concerns about whether you have sufficient funds to purchase a home, how matrimonial assets are to be divided as well as concerns about arrangements for the children, their financial support or any other aspect of family law.

Our family law team of highly experienced professionals are here to listen to your concerns, discuss options and solutions with you and provide practical and cost effective advice.

We are members of, and are represented by, the Family Law Section of Australia.

Our areas of expertise in Family Law includes:

  • Divorce
  • Property Settlement
  • Children’s Issues
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Adult Child Maintenance
  • Child Support
  • Drafting Consent Orders
  • Drafting Binding Financial Agreements
  • Drafting Binding Child Support Agreements

Family Law – what to expect at your initial consultation

Family law is a complex area and encompasses many issues such as “Who will look after the children? How will the assets and liabilities be divided up? Am I entitled to spousal maintenance? How do I apply for Child Support? What is a Binding Financial Agreement? What is an Independent Children’s Lawyer? Do I need to go to Court? Can I force my partner out of our home? Is a “Divorce” the same as a “Property Settlement”? Do I have to do a property settlement? What if I reconcile with my partner? How is our Superannuation treated? My name is on all the family business documents but I’ve never worked in the business, what do I do? I think everything is tied up in a trust – how do I access these assets? He/She is hiding assets – what do I do? Can I move interstate or overseas with the children?    And the list goes on!

Our experienced family law team led by Tracey Hayman (who practises exclusively in the family law jurisdiction) can answer all these questions for you.  Tracey understands that the breakdown of a relationship can be highly emotional and often daunting.   Sorting out legal matters is probably the last thing on your mind, however, getting the right advice in a timely fashion can often lead to a quick and amicable, no-fuss settlement without having to go to Court.  Tracey will give you expert advice and explain the options available to you to achieve a resolution that works for you and your family.  If an out-of-court settlement/children’s arrangement/s is not realistic or achievable, Tracey will explain to you the process involved if your matter ends up in Court.

Our Litigation Partner, Robert Macaulay (Rob), also endeavours to meet all clients during the first meeting, and he will oversee your matter generally and works closely with Tracey and the family law team.  Rob is an expert strategist with a corporate and commercial litigation background. Together, Tracey and Rob form a formidable family law team who will strive to protect your interests.

The first consultation in your family law matter is often the most important meeting you will have in respect of your matter.   It is at this meeting that we take a history and facts of your particular individual circumstances to enable us to provide you with quality advice, taking those facts and circumstances into account and explaining to you how they will be treated and assessed under Australian family law.

Do I need to bring anything?

In order to maximise time for advice during your first consultation, one of our staff members will contact you prior to the first meeting to obtain as much practical information from you as possible, such as your basic contact details, a brief relationship history, brief outline of what the assets and liabilities are and whether there are children under 18.  We will provide you with a list (by email) of relevant documents to provide to us prior to the first consultation or to bring on the day.

If your matter relates to a property settlement (ie financial matters such as how the assets and liabilities will be divided, spousal maintenance, child support etc) both you and your partner are required to provide each other with full financial disclosure and you will need to provide certain financial documents to us (and to your partner).  If your matter involves children/parenting arrangements, certain disclosure is also required in certain circumstances, for example – any medical and/or specialist reports/records, school reports, Applications for enrolment and the like.

If you don’t have the documents readily available (such as tax returns, current payslip, mortgage statement, super statement etc) then a simple list of current assets and liabilities will be very helpful.  We will send to you that table to fill out prior to your first meeting with us.

At the end of your first conference with us, you will be armed with knowledge, clarity and peace of mind about how your family law matter will be resolved.  We will discuss with you implementation of the strategy to achieve such resolution with a clear understanding of what you will do and what we will do to get your matter underway.

Costs

We will discuss legal costs with you frankly and openly so that you are fully aware of the expected costs you will incur in respect of your matter.

Your initial consultation will be charged at $350 p/h plus GST and is payable on the day.  Should you wish to then engage us to act on your behalf, we will send you a Cost Agreement and Disclosure outlining our estimated fees for your particular matter and setting out the various stages and costs involved if the matter proceeds to Court.

We will also provide you with a tip-sheet of our suggested ways to minimise your family law legal costs.