WHY CHOOSE US?
Having a combined counselling and legal background, Serene [link to Our People] will provide you with the understanding and patience to navigate through the pain and trauma often associated with Family Law processes, focusing on early resolution rather than litigation. Serene has personally assisted many women, men and children escape abusive households. She is an accredited counsellor with Lifeline.
Unlike other law firms, we cap our family law fees on a case-by-case basis (excluding costs for disbursements and Barristers). There will be no surprises.
We understand that it may be necessary sometimes to run your own case. You may not qualify for Legal Aid or other legal support but you still can’t afford legal representation. Unlike other lawyers, we are more than happy to provide assistance and guidance in running your own case at a significant cost reduction to you. We will help you with preparing and reviewing your own material, providing you with templates and assist you with court conduct training & advocacy. This will not only save you money but also empower you at the same time.
To get you started, we have attached a comprehensive kit from Victoria Legal Aid which may be of assistance How to run your family law case..
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU?
We will help you with all aspects of disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth) including your children and property:
- alternatives to going to court
- family violence or child abuse
- how to apply to a court
- preparing for a court case involving children or property disputes
- disclosure and subpoenas
- trials and final hearings
- what happens once an order is made
- where to get help.
Preparing for a family law case takes time and can be hard. It is important to be organised, prepared and well-informed at all times.
When a relationship ends, the law says that parents must try to agree on arrangements for their children, and think about what is best for the children.
If parents agree, they can put this agreement in writing called a parenting plan, which can be made into legally enforceable consent orders by a court.
If parents cannot agree, they may have to try family dispute resolution.
If family dispute resolution does not work, a person can apply to the family law courts to make parenting orders. The court must make the children’s best interests its main consideration.
We will help you with all aspects of parenting arrangements and child contact:
- drafting parenting plans
- drafting parenting orders
- obtaining consent orders
- assisting with family dispute resolutions
- relocating children
- caring for children when you are not their parent
- supervised contact arrangements
- issues involving alleged abductions
- issues involving passport applications
- amending parenting orders or agreements
- breaches of parenting orders or agreements
If you want to prepare your own documents we are happy to assist and guide you through the process.
Separation is when you and your partner stop living together in a domestic or marriage-like relationship.
Your partner does not have to agree to the separation, however he or she needs to know that you think the relationship is over. There are no legal processes to become separated.
Divorce is the official ending of marriage. You must satisfy the court that:
- you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for 12 months
- there is no chance of reconciling your marriage.
A de facto relationship is when two people are not married but live together or have lived together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. The same laws apply to same-sex couples as to heterosexual (different-sex) couples. A family law court can make decisions if there is no agreement.
Annulment happens when a judge decides that there was no legal marriage.
If your relationship ends, property may be divided between you and your partner by:
Even if you are able to reach a property settlement without going to court, it’s a good idea to get legal help before you start negotiating, and again before you sign an agreement.
We will help you with :
- dividing your property
- reaching an out-of-court binding financial agreement
- getting consent orders approved by the Court
- going to Court to get financial orders
- amending financial agreements or orders
- applying for divorce
- going to Court to get a divorce
- applying for divorce when the other party is absent
- using family dispute resolution processes
- financial maintenance for partners
- annulment of marriages
- dealing with bankruptcy
- dealing with superannuation
- appeal processes
If you want to prepare your own documents we are happy to assist and guide you.
Child support is the financial support paid by one parent to the other, to help with the costs of a child aged under 18.
The law says that both parents have a duty to support their children financially, whether they are biological (birth) or adoptive parents, same-sex or otherwise.
We will help you with:
- making your own agreement about child support
- liaising with Department of Human Services to make a child support assessment
- appealing child support assessments
- getting your entitlements to childbirth expenses
- adult child support maintenance applications for over-18’s
- proving who Dad is
If you want to prepare your own documents or go to Court on your own we are happy to assist and guide you.
The law says that a child or young person at risk of harm or neglect, as a result of a single incident or a number of ongoing incidents, must be protected. Child abuse includes:
- hurting or threatening to hurt a young person physically, sexually or emotionally
- exposing a child to the risk of significant physical, sexual or emotional harm, such as:
- being caught in the middle of family violence
- allowing people with a history of child sex offences to be in the home
- having care of a child while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- having care of a child whilst living with an untreated mental health issue
- neglecting a child, for example:
- not giving a child enough food, clothing, shelter or necessary medical care
- failing to provide proper supervision.
If someone believes that a child is at risk of being hurt or neglected they can tell the Department of Human Services, a government agency. This is called a child protection notification.
Someone might think a child is at at risk if:
- someone is hurting or mistreating the child
- the child is being neglected
- the child has left home
- the child is behaving in a risky way or hurting themself
We can help you by:
- reporting the behaviour to the Police and ongoing liaison with Police on your behalf
- making a child protection notification to the Department of Human Services
- supporting you and your child during a child protection case in Court (where there is a Court-appointed lawyer for your child)
- negotiating to re-unite you with your child if there is a wrongful case made against you
A family violence intervention order protects a person from a family member who is using family violence.
Family violence is behaviour between family members that causes fear. It includes emotional and financial abuse, as well as physical violence and sexual abuse.
We can help you with all aspects of obtaining family violence intervention orders:
- applying for an interim intervention order pending final hearing,
- making and attending an appointment with Court Registrars,
- specifying the right conditions on an application form for an intervention order,
- including in the intervention order a child/children affected by family violence,
- applying on behalf of a child between 14-18 for an intervention order in their own right,
- requesting for the suspension, variation or discharge of a parenting order that is affected by the application for an intervention order for a child/children,
- liaison with the Police on your behalf to issue a family violence safety notice, seek an interim order or seek final intervention orders,
- assist you in getting a warrant of arrest from the court against the perpetrator,
- represent you at the final hearing for the application for an intervention order,
- help you make special arrangements with the Court if you fear for your safety,
- prepare the evidence for the final hearing including; witnesses & summonses, photos, letters or other evidence of threats or intimidation, medical evidence, police statements or other legal documents,
- assist you to report to the Police any breaches of an intervention order and seek enforcement.