Family & Relationships Law

There is no such thing as an easy divorce, but it can be made easier with the right lawyer on your side.

We believe in empowering our clients so they can think clearly and make informed decisions. Our family law team is compassionate, knowledgeable and very experienced.  We will spend time listening to you and your circumstances, to bring you closer to a fair and workable outcome for you and your family.

We can assist with:

  • Divorce and separation
  • De facto relationships
  • Property and financial settlements
  • Children’s issues
  • Child support agreements
  • Divorce and nullity proceedings
  • Pre-nuptial and separation agreements
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Property and financial settlements
  • Paternity/parentage issues
  • Domestic and family violence and Intervention Orders (IVO)
  • Family mediation
  • Child support and enforcement of payments
  • Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
  • Guardianship of children


Separation is when one or both people have decided that their relationship has ended. You can decide to separate from your de facto partner or spouse even if they do not agree.

Once you have decided to separate from your partner, you should notify relevant organisations such as the Department of Human Services (DHS), Centrelink, Child Support and Medicare (whichever is applicable to your situation).

It is recommended that arrangements are made for any children of the relationship, for example where the children will live.

Separated couples also need to determine what will happen with their property and finances, bills, debts, joint bank accounts, superannuation, or insurance and how their assets will be divided.


Divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. The only requirement for obtaining a divorce is an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage and separation for 12 months with no likelihood of getting back together with your ex-partner.

If the Family Court is satisfied that the grounds for divorce are established, the Court will make an order called a ‘decree nisi for dissolution of marriage’. The order of a decree nisi becomes absolute after one month, at which point the divorce becomes final.

Property settlement and children’s care arrangements

Divorce can become more complicated when assets are involved, and you may be concerned about your financial future. We have extensive experience in a broad range of financial family matters, including settlements of modest assets to more substantial asset pools involving complex business interests and trusts.

If a couple is unable to sort out their property issues, they must file a separate application to their divorce within 12 months of the date of the divorce.

When a couple is unable to agree on arrangements for children, they can attempt a settlement through family dispute resolution, otherwise they may have to commence Court proceedings. The family Court can determine disputes about children from a domestic relationship, including disputes about parenting arrangements and child contact. This also includes issues relating to children from a de facto relationship.

We focus on settling disputes in the most amicable, efficient and affordable way, so we encourage our clients to explore all available options before proceeding to Court.

What is a family violence/intervention order?

A family violence intervention order protects any family members being subjected to family violence.

Applications for Family violence intervention orders can be lodged at your local Magistrates’ Court. The Police can also apply for one on your behalf. If you need urgent protection, a magistrate can make an interim intervention order. An interim order provides protection from family violence until both sides can appear at Court. You can also include children who are under 18 in your application.

The person applying for an intervention order is called the ‘applicant’. The applicant may be a police officer, or anyone seeking protection from family violence. The person who the intervention order is being brought against (the perpetrator of family violence) is referred to as the ‘respondent’.

Once an intervention order is granted by the Court, the applicant becomes the ‘protected person.’

If the respondent breaks any conditions listed in an intervention order, police have the power to charge them with a criminal offence.

If you need any assistance, contact our lawyers at [email protected] or call 03 9670 7440 for expert legal advice.