Family Law

Family law is about relationships. It doesn’t matter whether the relationship is a marriage or de facto. There are still legal implications.

Family law covers care arrangements for children (including custody and access), financial support for a partner and/or children, and how property is divided when a relationship ends.

It also covers adoption, protection of children and young persons and appointment of welfare guardians or property managers for people who are incapable of looking after their own affairs.

Things to think about
If you’re about to marry or enter a de facto relationship, you should think about how your property will be shared. If you do not draw up an agreement and your relationship ends, the Property (Relationships) Act may impose equal sharing of all the property between you. If that is what you would want, you may not need an agreement. Otherwise, you should arrange one.

If your relationship ends and you have children, it’s important to get good legal advice on care arrangements for the children. Contrary to popular belief, there are no set rules for these arrangements – what’s important is that they are workable between the parents and focus on the child’s needs. Getting legal advice at the start can save a lot of expense and heartache later on.

How can we help
Knowing your rights and getting good advice early on is essential. Get our advice if:

• You are contemplating marriage or a de facto relationship – your property rights will be affected.

• You are thinking about separation. The Family Court offers counselling, and it is best to consider your legal position in advance if you can.

• You have separated. Custody and access, financial support and property division will need to be sorted out. Difficult as these things are while you’re also coping with separation, they are best addressed quickly for everyone’s sake.

If you can agree on care arrangements for the children and property matters, we can complete a binding agreement from approximately $1,200 inclusive of GST.

If you need to go to Court or if matters become more involved, we can provide an estimate of the likely cost.

Legal Resources:

Compensation for Economic Disparity on Relationship Ending
When a relationship ends, should the partner who is able to earn more, pay compensation to the other partner?

Inheritance Laws
Inheritance law, or (who gets what when you die), has changed dramatically in recent times. The most significant change has been the introduction of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“PRA”) which came into force on 1 February 2002. The PRA amends the law regarding property division between couples. Read more to see how you may be affected!

Key Divorce Rulings in the UK

The importance of a simple Will.
You should review your will when major events happen in your life. For example, the birth of children, the death of close relatives or other major changes in circumstances such as buying a new home, or transferring property to a trust etc.

What is a Bequest?
A Bequest can help your favourite charity. Charities and not-for profit organisations can benefit enormously from bequests – a gift in your will can make a real difference to the work that they perform in your community.

Why do you need a Will and a Power of Attorney?
What if you become mentally incapable and can’t look after yourself or make decisions about your own affairs? Who can make decisions about your welfare, deal with your property, operate your bank accounts or pay your bills?