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Family Law

If you’re going through a divorce, need help securing child support or spousal maintenance, or have questions about related matters, phone our office today.

Because of the volatile emotions and relationships involved, family law is one of the most challenging areas of legal practice. The most successful lawyers in this area are not only well versed in the law, but they are also compassionate and sensitive to your needs. If you’re going through a divorce, need help securing child support or spousal maintenance, property settlement, or have questions about related matters, phone our office today.


Under the Family Law Act 1975, “the only ground for divorce is that the marriage broke down and there is no reasonable likelihood that the parties will get back together.” This is what’s known as a “no-fault” divorce.

The Family Law Act 1975 also authorizes the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to hear cases involving dissolution of marriage or divorce. By getting divorced, you are legally ending your marriage. Ancillary issues, such as child support, child custody and distribution of property are decided separately.

In order to file for divorce in Australia, you or your spouse must:

  • Have been separated for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce
  • Consider Australia as your home and plan on living here for the foreseeable future, or
  • Be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
  • Live here as a matter of course and done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

While you can file for divorce yourself, it is always best to consult a lawyer to ensure that all of your personal and emotional needs are addressed.

Property settlement

In a best-case scenario, you and your spouse are parting on (somewhat) friendly terms. This will make certain decisions, such as how to split your property, much easier. You may even be able to reach agreements without any legal intervention.

On the other hand, if you’re barely speaking and can’t agree on anything, you’ll have to apply for a financial order pertaining to the division of property.  To learn more about this process and related matters, schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers today.

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance is financial support that one person may have to provide in certain circumstances. Generally this is awarded in cases one of you can’t support yourself and the other has the means to provide financial assistance.

Applications for court orders pertaining to spousal maintenance can be made anytime within a year after the divorce is finalized. Once awarded, spousal maintenance payments can be made all at once or over time and end when the recipient’s overall financial situation improves.

Be sure to contact us if you want to apply for a court order for spousal maintenance more than one year after your divorce was finalized, or if you want to change it for any reason.

Child support

Child support is the term for payments made by one or both parents to cover costs associated with rearing children. The amount and frequency of these payments is established through an agreement between the parties or an evaluation conducted by the Department of Human Services. Because this is a complex area of the law, it is important to speak with one of our lawyers before you enter into a mutual agreement, or if you disagree with any decision made by the Department of Human Services.

Parenting Arrangements

As parents, each of you is responsible for every aspect of your child or children’s wellbeing until they reach legal adulthood (at age 18). This means that if you can’t agree on parenting arrangements when you’re divorced, the court will simply issue orders that all parties must abide by.

These orders generally pertain to issues such as:

  • Which parent the child/children will live with
  • How much time the child/ren will spend with each parent, and other relatives
  • Division of parental responsibility
  • Communications between the child/ren, the parent they don’t live with and other relatives
  • Any ancillary matters

Because there are serious consequences for failing to abide by these orders, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable, skilled lawyer about any questions or concerns.

Domestic violence applications

Domestic violence is the term given to numerous activities and behaviours in which a family member or partner is threatening, controlling, and/or physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually or financially abusive.

Anyone who has been targeted or victimized in this way can apply for a domestic violence order. This type of order is designed to curtail the abusive behaviour. Although you can apply for one at a Magistrates Court, it is best to get legal advice before you do.  If you are not in immediate danger, contact our office to learn more about this type of order.

Binding financial agreements

Binding financial agreements are any agreements pertaining to money matters that are made between you and your spouse in the context of your relationship. These include but are not limited to divorce agreements, separation agreements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements.

By entering into this type of agreement, you are giving up your rights to have the Family Courts to determine how your property should be divided if you get separated or divorced. Because of this, it is important to check with one of our lawyers before you make this type of commitment.

Superannuation agreements and orders

Under superannuation splitting laws, your superannuation money is treated differently from other property in divorce proceedings. Specifically, it allows you and your spouse to split your superannuation funds between you. This can be done through a formal agreement or court order if you cannot reach an agreement. As with any other financial matter, you should always consult with a lawyer.

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