Family LawFamily Lawyers

Providing Premium Family Law Advice

We understand that the breakdown of a relationship or a marriage can be stressful and traumatic.

Our lawyers will advise you of your legal rights, entitlements and obligations, and guide you through the various family law options available to you.

At Davies & Co Lawyers, we provide family law advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • Divorce
  • Division of Property and Assets
  • Spousal and De Facto Maintenance
  • Parenting Issues
  • Child Support
  • Financial Agreements

The Family Court will make a Divorce Order if it is satisfied that you have separated and have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, and that proper arrangements have been made for the care, welfare and development of any children.

In certain circumstances the Family Court may make a Divorce Order if you have separated but you have continued to live in the same home.

The Family Court has a wide discretion when making orders relating to the division of property and assets between parties to a marriage, or a de facto relationship (including same-sex couples). There is no presumption that property and assets are to be divided equally, or in any other way.

The Family Court will follow a four-step process before deciding what orders it should make.

  • Identify the assets and liabilities of the parties.
  • Assess the financial and non-financial contributions of the parties towards the acquisition, conservation and improvement of the assets, including contributions as homemaker or parent.
  • Consider each parties present and future circumstances to include age, state of health, income, property and financial resources, earning capacity, and whether a party has the care of a child under the age of 18, before deciding whether there should be an adjustment of each parties contribution based entitlements.
  • Determine whether the proposed orders are just and equitable having regard to the particular assets which each party will retain.

If an agreement can be reached without the need for Family Court proceedings, our lawyers can advise you on the most appropriate and cost effective way of formalising your agreement. This may include making an application for Consent Orders to the Family Court.

If agreement cannot be reached, we will represent you in Family Court proceedings in order to secure your legal rights and entitlements.

Maintenance is ongoing financial support, paid by one party to a marriage or de facto relationship (including same sex couples) to the other. It is payable when one party is unable to adequately support themself, and the other party has the capacity to pay after meeting reasonable living expenses. Maintenance and child support are not the same. Maintenance may be payable in addition to child support.

If an agreement can be reached without the need for Family Court proceedings, that agreement can be formalised by making an application for Consent Orders to the Family Court.

If an agreement cannot be reached, our lawyers will make or respond to an application for spousal or de facto maintenance on your behalf.

Except in limited circumstances, parents are required to attend Family Dispute Resolution, and to make a genuine attempt to resolve parenting issues by agreement, prior to issuing an application in the Family Court.

If an agreement can be reached without the need for Family Court proceedings, that agreement can be formalised by making an application for Consent Orders to the Family Court.

If an agreement cannot be reached, our lawyers will make or respond to an application for Parenting Orders on your behalf. Parenting Orders may deal with specific issues including:

  • Who the children live with.
  • Who the children spend time with.
  • What will happen during school holidays.
  • What will happen on special occasions such as Christmas Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays.
  • Travel arrangements including inter-state and overseas travel.
  • Each child’s education arrangements.
  • Medical treatment.
  • The extent to which the children can communicate with the other parent and the means of doing so.

When making Parenting Orders, the Family Court will act in the best interests of the children. The Family Court will take into account a list of primary and additional considerations before making Parenting Orders.

Primary Considerations:

  • The benefit to the children of being in a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.
  • The need to protect the children from physical or psychological harm and from being subject to, or exposed to, neglect or family violence.

Additional Considerations include:

  • The children’s age, maturity, attitude, sex, lifestyle, background, and any views expressed by them.
  • The nature of the relationship between the children and each parent and any other person.
  • The willingness or ability of each parent to facilitate the relationship between the children and the other parent.
  • The capacity of each parent to provide for the children’s needs.
  • The likely affect on the children of any changes to their current circumstances.
  • Each parents attitude to the children and the responsibility of parenthood.

Parents (including same sex parents), have a responsibility to financially support their children.

The Child Support Agency (CSA) is responsible for calculating the amount and distribution of child support from one parent to the other. The CSA will not automatically make a child support assessment on separation.

As an alternative to making an application to the CSA for an assessment, there are two types of child support agreements that parents are able to agree privately:

  • Binding Child Support Agreements.
  • Limited Child Support Agreements.

Child Support Agreements may be either unregistered or registered with the CSA. In most cases Child Support Agreements are binding, and can only be varied by reaching a new agreement or by making an application to court.

Our lawyers can assist you to negotiate a Child Support Agreement, which allows for increased flexibility in relation to the amount, frequency and method of child support payments. Child support payments under a Child Support Agreement might be paid to provide specific support for items such as school fees or medical expenses.

We can also assist you with the preparation of a CSA application and provide general advice about your child support liabilities and entitlements.

A Binding Financial Agreement is a document setting out an agreement in relation to financial matters between a married or de facto couple (including same sex couples).

Binding Financial Agreements can deal with the division of property, assets and maintenance.

Binding Financial Agreements can be entered into:

  • Before a marriage or de facto relationship commences.
  • During a marriage or de facto relationship.
  • After separation.

A Binding Financial Agreement will not be binding unless both parties take independent legal advice prior to signing the agreement.

Binding Financial Agreements provide certainty on separation, and avoid the need for costly and time-consuming Family Court proceedings.

Our family law lawyers can assist you to prepare or review a Binding Financial Agreement.