Family Law
Family Law

If you are separating from your partner or spouse, getting the right advice from an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal implications.  We can assist with a range of matters relating to family law and de facto relationships, including:

  • Divorce in Australia including preparing and serving divorce papers
  • Legal separation issues
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Property settlements
  • Child support and enforcement of payments
  • Parenting plans and parenting orders for child custody and visitation
  • Parental rights and grandparent’s rights
  • Domestic and family violence and apprehended violence orders (AVOs)
  • Family mediation
  • Adoption
  • Children’s court


If you and your spouse share children who are under 18 years of age, it will be necessary to consider what sort of arrangements will be put in place for their care. A parenting agreement can address issues including who a child lives with, what time they will spend with the other parent, where they go to school, who will pay for what expenses, and several other particulars. Our team has experience in negotiating and drafting parenting orders to ensure that you and your ex-partner are on the same page.

If you are unable to come to an agreement, we can assist with applications to the Federal Circuit and Family Court and guide you through the process.

In all parenting matters, the law ensures that the best interests of the children are served first. When considering what is in the children’s best interests, the court must consider facilitating a meaningful relationship between the children and both of their parents, as well as protecting the children from harm. The protection from harm will be the overriding consideration.

Shared responsibility means that both parents have legal rights and responsibilities towards the child. It does not mean that the child will spend half of their time with one parent and half with the other, but that each parent has an equal say in decisions relating to the child in areas such as health and education. The court will consider a range of factors when determining the children’s living arrangements.

Property Settlements

In addition to deciding parenting matters, it is usually necessary to determine how to divide your assets, including real and personal property. While it might be easy to decide who gets heirlooms inherited from one of your families, things can be a little more complicated when property is shared. Taking a step back and having a lawyer advocate for you in these situations can help take some of the sting out of the negotiations (and protect any ongoing relationship that might be necessary).

You can make arrangements to split your property and debts as soon as you have separated – you do not need to wait until you are divorced, and most people will not need to go to court to finalise their property affairs.

If you need assistance with a property settlement or some advice on how to divide assets, speak with one of our experienced lawyers today.


The legal side of separating, if you are married, is to seek orders confirming your divorce. Those orders can be obtained from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. There is a minimum period of separation before you are eligible to apply for a divorce. It is also necessary that there are no prospects of reconciling the relationship. This is demonstrated through affidavit evidence from one or both of the parties. Once the court is satisfied that the preconditions have been met, a ‘decree nisi’ is granted. After a further month, the divorce becomes absolute. These dates are important if you intend to remarry.

Updating your Will after Separating

Something that you may not consider after separation or divorce is that you should update your Will. Although marriage generally makes an existing Will void, divorce does not have the same effect.

We can explain the effect that separation or divorce has on a Will and help you to prepare a Will that considers your new circumstances.


The decision to adopt a child is life changing and may stem from a range of circumstances. In New South Wales, orders for adoption are made by the Supreme Court. Such an order transfers all the parental rights and responsibilities, as well as guardianship and custody. Orders will only be made in circumstances in which the Court is satisfied that the adoption is in the ‘best interests’ of the child, not only in childhood but also in later life.

Prior to applying to adopt a child, it is necessary to attend a three-day Adoption Preparation Seminar. Once this has been completed, you may be invited to apply to adopt a child. The application process involves, firstly, a screening process once relevant documents (such as medical records, character references, and police checks) are considered. After this, a formal assessment process takes place, conducted by an independent assessor. The formal assessment process takes a minimum of three months.

Family Violence

If you have been or think you will be the victim of family violence, it is a good idea to seek assistance. The police may be able to assist you by applying for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on your behalf, although you can make this sort of application yourself. There are also various other local and online support services which can assist with family violence matters.

Alternatively, if you have been served with a provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, and you do not believe the allegations are true, you may wish to go to court to prevent a final ADVO being made.

If you need assistance, contact us at [email protected] or call 02 6964 9343 for expert legal advice.