We are the only Accredited Family Law Specialist Firm in Moonee Ponds, Victoria and we have been providing specialist family law services to the Moonee Ponds and wider Melbourne community since 2007, so you can be assured that we know family law and our local community very well. Our Principal Lawyer has been working exclusively in the family law area since 2001 and is also an Internationally Certified Life Coach who prides herself on delivering empowering family law advice in a practical, realistic and cost effective manner.
We are a specialist family law firm offering all family law services, including providing initial advice and exit strategy planning to clients and ensuring they are empowered to then make informed decisions about what matters most; their children, their property and their financial resources. We are passionate about ensuring that the people we represent feel supported to make the best decisions for themselves and their families as can be made during a very challenging time in their lives.
We assist our clients by negotiating interim and final parenting and property matters, out of Court with a view of agreement being reached wherever possible. When we are successful in reaching agreement between parties, we formalise those agreements into legally enforceable Orders of the Court by consent, Financial Agreements of Child Support Agreements providing our clients certainty as to their future financial positions.
We also assist our clients to advance their matters by applying to either the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or Family Court of Australia seeking financial disclosure from their former spouse, interim financial matters such as spousal maintenance Orders or sole occupancy Orders and interim and final parenting and property matters wherever agreement cannot be reached. We provide full family law services from initial advice through to the formalisation of Orders and Financial Agreements through to trials after the commencement of Applications or Responses where agreement cannot be reached.
We have a strong referral network and work closely with barristers, psychologists, counsellors, financial advisors and mortgage brokers and assist our clients to connect with the appropriate professional at the appropriate time.
We also assist our clients to recover or relocate children both domestically and internationally and assist with Divorces, Wills and Conveyancing services.
Our practice is to tailor our services to the specific needs of our clients and issue Applications in the Court or attempt to advance discussions by negotiation as is most appropriate for our clients and their children. Our focus is always on supporting our clients to reach agreement amicably and out of Court in the first instance wherever possible and to then formalise their arrangements by way of enforceable Orders or Financial Agreements, with a focus on keeping fairly amicable family law matters also cost effective. We also assist our clients to apply to the family law Courts or to respond to an Application that is already before the Court in relation to parenting, interim financial, spousal maintenance, property settlements and in relation to specialist applications such as litigation funding, sole occupancy Orders, urgent or interim spousal maintenance applications, airport watch list Orders, domestic and international recovery Orders or relocation Orders and in relation to family violence Intervention Orders.
We have run many contested trials in both the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia.
Our focus is always on being practical and giving each one of our clients realistic advice about their rights and entitlements factoring in potential legal costs focussing on the most effective way to advance a matter and resolve a dispute. Our advice is realistic and our clients are reality tested and given case specific, achievable advice. Our clients are not surprised about outcomes when they find themselves before a Court.
Our practice is to have two solicitors and a paralegal assist each client so that you have a team available to service your family law requirements.
Speak to us and see if we can assist you. There is not much we haven't seen or heard and as problem solvers, we love a challenge!
We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist Firm.
Services areas include:
- Confidential initial advice;
- Exit strategy planning;
- Negotiating parenting, interim financial, property settlement, spousal maintenance, child support and other family law matters;
- Financial disclosure and subpoenas;
- Preparation of Orders of the Court by consent;
- Preparation of Financial Agreements to resolve property matters, spousal maintenance matters and child support matters;
- Applications and Responses to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or Family Court of Australia seeking interim and final parenting, financial and property Orders;
- Divorce applications;
- Location Orders;
- Domestic and international relocations of children;
- Domestic and international recovery of children;
- Family Violence Intervention Orders in the Magistrates Court of Victoria;
- Wills / Powers of Attorney;
- Property Conveyancing.
Our advice and services are always realistic, honest and practical.
Our Principal Lawyer is an Independent Children's Lawyer who is appointed by Victoria Legal Aid on the request of Judges of the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia to represent the interests of vulnerable children in Court litigation.
The role of an ICL is critical to ensuring that children's wishes and best interests are put before the Court and the ICL is instrumental in data and information collection and planning children's matters that are disputed before the Court.
We can assist you if you wish to privately appoint an Independent Children's Lawyer if agreement is reached to privately fund your child's representative.
Independent Children's Lawyers are funded by Victoria Legal Aid. However, if you do not qualify for funding but want your children's opinions and voices to be heard and to have someone directly involved with your children to assist them to understand the how's and why's, then you can appoint Rebecca McGowan to act as your ICL. She connects really well with children and as a mother of young children is up to speed with what makes the child of today's mind tick!
If agreement is reached before, during or after a defacto cohabitation or marriage, the Family Law Act provides a framework for couples to formalise how their matter will be resolved in the event of a future separation. Many couples, particularly those who have been involved in family law in an earlier relationship, make the informed decision to have that difficult conversation with their partner and then formalise their agreement by way of a Financial Agreement. Parties can also formalise spousal maintenance and child support Agreements.
Provided these Agreements are drafted correctly, meet the statutory requirements and are entered into at appropriate times, a Financial Agreement is a common sense and cost effective approach to asset protection and resolution.
We consider a Financial Agreement to represent commercial common sense particularly in subsequent relationships or where one party holds a disproportionate amount of property or liability. This is where these Agreements can be used at the start of a relationship to have direct impact in the way that a later separation is handled along with significantly less costs.
A Financial Agreement is not appropriate in all circumstances and requires specialist advice.
We offer Child Support Agreements because children cost more than the administrative assessment of child support. These Agreements are used so that both parents know how school fees, medical expenses, extracurricular and other expenses that children incur will be paid until the child finishes secondary school.
We often recommend Spousal Maintenance Agreements to ensure that all financial matters are finalised once a property settlement is achieved.
Before a Parenting Order is made for a child, the Family Law Act requires that regard be had to the best interests of the child as the most important or paramount consideration.
The Family Law Act focuses on the rights of children and the responsibilities that each parent has towards their children. Children have rights, rather than parents who have responsibilities. The Family Law Act aims to ensure that children can enjoy a meaningful relationship with each of their parents provided they are protected from harm, neglect and abuse.
The Family Law Act makes clear that:
There is no "magic" age where a child can decide which parent to live with. The weight applied to a child's wishes depends upon each child's maturity and a number of other factors.
Parties to financial matters are required to follow a 4 step approach to the resolution of property:
Step 1: identify and value the property in the asset pool requiring parties to disclose financial documents and value any disputed property or business interests.
Step 2: consider the financial, non financial and parenting contributions that each party has made towards the asset pool in terms of a percentage of the final pool.
Step 3: consider each parties future needs, their capacity to support themselves and any other person they are required to support.
Step 4: use discretion to achieve a "just and equitable" settlement.
We like to think we are very helpful people. We service everyone; married, defacto, single, same sex, living in Melbourne, interstate or overseas. We are flexible and very tech savvy so no matter where you are, we can assist you.
We are really useful people to know. We can be of assistance to you:
* At the start of your relationship to consider if a Financial Agreement is right for you.
* During your relationship to consider if a Financial Agreement or exit strategy could benefit you.
* Prior to separation occurring to empower you to know how to proceed and what the likely outcome will be.
* Following separation to assist you reach an interim parenting and financial arrangement.
* Following separation to assist you to finalise parenting, property and superannuation matters.
* Following separation if your parenting arrangements aren't working well.
* if you are considering reverting to Court or filing a Contravention Application to consider if there is a better way to resolve the issue.
* When you are ready to start a new relationship.
Our Principal Lawyer is a Certified Life Coach. This means that our services are different. We are traditional lawyers, in the sense of the word, so we will deliver the service expected from an expert, but we are mindful & empathic and offer genuine support & guidance through your family law matter & beyond.