FAMILY LAW

We are dedicated to achieving the best outcome for you.

Family separation can be complex and challenging and you need experience on your side. We protect your rights and offer focused realistic advice on what is the most likely outcome for you.

Client satisfaction is very important to us and we pride ourselves on our ability to assess issues quickly, advise you accordingly and move your matter in a direction that will benefit you and meet your needs.

We hope to avoid family law litigation and for parties to be guided towards a best outcome settlement. However it is not always possible to avoid Court proceedings and we are experienced family law litigators.

Come and talk to us and experience the difference.

Divorce & Separation

Divorce is the formal legal ending of a marriage.

It is separate and distinct from property settlement and parenting arrangements after the breakdown of a marriage.

You do not have to get a divorce when you separate unless you want to remarry but staying married may affect your legal obligations.

It is important to get legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected.

Property
Settlement –
Financial
Settlements

Property Settlement is determined primarily by what is referred to as consideration of the ‘Four Steps’. The Four Steps involve a determination of:

  1. The Property Pool – The Assets, Financial Resources & Liabilities of the relationship;
  2. Financial & Non-Financial Contributions;
  3. Future Needs of the Parties;
  4. A ‘Just & Equitable’ property settlement.

There are many matters that require careful considerations in determining a property settlement.

Property Settlement can be finalised by:

  1. Consent Orders;
  2. Financial Agreement; and
  3. By order of the Court.

Saunders & Co Solicitors are capable and experienced negotiators who will ensure the best outcome for you.

Pre-Nup Agreements – Financial
Agreements

It is possible for you to protect your assets & financial resources and to ‘quarantine’ your assets in the event of the future breakdown of your relationship.
However, it is extremely important to get quality advice to ensure that your Financial Agreement is fully compliant with the requirements of the Family Law Act 1975 and is not void or voidable in the future.
A good financial agreement can protect your wealth and also help to avoid the uncertainty, delay, stress and cost of future family law litigation.

Talk to us soon.

Parenting
Arrangement

Most separated or divorced parents are faced with new questions about their rights and parenting, where the children should live, how much time they should spend with each parent or other significant person in their life.

A parents responsibility for their children continues regardless of any changes in the parents relationship including separation or re-marriage. It is normal to have many questions and it is important to seek legal advice early.

Children have a right to enjoy a meaningful relationship with both their parents, and an absolute right to be protected from harm. When making decisions about children, what matters the most is that parents focus on what is in the ‘best interests’ of their child.

If parents can’t agree on arrangements for children after separation, specialist family mediation services can help parents come to a mutually agreeable decision or compromise.

If parents still can’t agree, a judge in a family law court will ultimately make a final decision. In most cases a ‘Family Report’ will be undertaken by a Court Specialist Consultant who will make recommendations to the Court.
We seek to minimise the emotional harm of marital breakdown for you and your children.
Arrangements for children are often finalised with:

  • Parenting Plans;
  • Consent Orders; and
  • By Order of the Court.

It is important to know and understand the options available to you with regard to parenting arrangements – including child support options. Talk to us soon.

Going to Court

At times when other options have been exhausted an application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Family Court of Australia for your property and/or parenting matter may be the best course of action.

In general, we believe that a party should only incur reasonable expense and/or time in negotiations and that sometimes it is best to get the matter in Court.

We are fortunate to work with many of the best Family Law Barristers available. Rest assured your matter will be in experienced and good hands.

Domestic
Violence

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is an order made by the court that prohibits someone from doing certain behaviours against you, such as harassment, stalking, intimidation, violence and/or the threat of violence.

The purpose of a DVO is to provide protection from this behaviour in the future – it usually states that a person (the respondent) cannot behave as such or go within a certain distance of the home or workplace of the person lodging the complaint (the applicant).

When a court makes a DVO, it sets out specific rules that must be obeyed by the person who has committed the violence.

If a DVO is made against a person who has a weapons licence the court will order them to relinquish their weapons and their licence will be cancelled and they can’t hold another licence for up to five years.

An order can have other conditions to stop someone:

  • approaching you at home or work;
  • staying in a home you both currently share or previously shared, even if the house is owned or rented in their name;
  • approaching relatives or friends;
  • going to a child’s school or day care centre.

You can object to a Domestic Violence Order being made against you and have the matter adjourned for trial at a later date. Under these circumstances, an interim (temporary) DVO will be issued until the trial date.
Whether you need assistance to make an Application for a Protection Order or to object to an application against you contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation with us to