Be it divorce/separation (including de facto separation), property disputes and division of assets or parenting arrangements we can provide that support and knowledge which can make all the difference.

At VP Lawyers we recognise that family law disputes, whether they involve property, divorce or children are often highly emotional and complex, demanding a high standard of skill and care. We are pleased to offer a service dedicated to going above and beyond. We are focused on engagement on a deeper level with our clients — resulting in a world of positive change, growth and experience for all.

Family law matters may include:

  • Divorce Applications;
  • Separation including de facto and same sex couples
  • Parenting agreements and disputes; for example shared parenting arrangements;
  • Child Support;
  • Spousal Maintenance;
  • Property disputes and division of assets.

We aim to work with you in order to devise strategies that are realistic and will lead to the most effective conduct of your matter from the very beginning. We are dedicated to seeking an early resolution of disputes. Our key to success is candid communication with our clients from start to finish combined with meticulous planning and thorough preparation. The three pillars of our service are ABILITY, BENEVOLENCE and INTEGRITY.

In certain circumstances, we may even be able to delay issuing our invoice for our fees until after the finalisation of your property settlement. Call us to discuss your specific situation and how we can assist you.

Family Law Property and Finance

Family law property settlements are easier when you have the right lawyer in your corner. Most couples acquire assets (like real estate) and liabilities during their relationship and deciding who gets what when they separate can cause significant financial and emotional stress.

The law sets out how separated couples, whether they were married, de facto or same sex can go about dividing their property and we can help you navigate the process with confidence.

The purpose of a property settlement is to bring to an end the financial relationship between the parties. A property settlement should therefore cover all of the property (both assets and liabilities) between the parties and should take into account the whole financial situation of each party.

We are pleased to offer a service dedicated to going above and beyond to ensure that each client has the best chance of a positive outcome be it by negotiating an agreement with the former spouse/partner and filing Consent Orders or following a trial. We are dedicated to ensuring that you get a fair share.

We can answer all your questions, including:

  • What am I entitled to?
  • What is property? Does it include Superannuation?
  • Does having children affect me finalising my property?
  • What is the process?
  • Who should leave the home?
  • What if we agree? What are the advantages of negotiating a property agreement?
  • What if we can’t agree?
  • Can we be separated under the same roof and still finalise our property agreement?
  • Who will pay the bills if one of us moves out of the house?
  • What about my will after I separate?

At VP Lawyers we understand that separation can occur suddenly and that paying our fees can be an issue, ask us about our deferred payment options for property settlement matters. Call us to discuss your specific situation and how we can help.

Divorce Applications & Applications for Annulment

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. We are here to help guide you through your divorce application from start to finish. We can help you apply for divorce on your own called a sole application or together with your spouse called a joint application.

In Australia the only ground for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. A marriage is taken to have broken down irretrievably when you and the other party to the marriage have not been living as a married couple for at least 12 months and there is no chance of you getting back together again. It does not matter who was at fault.

If there are children of the marriage, the court must be satisfied that “proper arrangements in all the circumstances have been made for the care, welfare and development of children” before granting divorce.

Please note that, a divorce is generally taken to revoke any gift or power conferred under a Will made by either party to the marriage.

Further please note that a divorce does not resolve other issues that arise upon separation, such as the division of property, the provision of maintenance or the parenting arrangements for children. These issues are to be resolved separately.
It’s important to remember that you only have 12 months after a divorce order takes effect to resolve any issues regarding the division of property or the payment of maintenance or make a separate application to the Court for such orders to be made. You can apply for an extension of time within which to make the application, but the Court may or may not grant you the extension.

All this can be overwhelming and stressful especially at such an emotional time, however it doesn’t have to be, let us take the stress away, call us to discuss how we can help.

What is an annulment?

An application for an annulment (also called a decree of nullity) is an application for an order from the court that the marriage be declared invalid.

Family Law – Children and Parenting Matters

The law encourages parents to resolve disputes about the children without going to court and where possible, to have cooperative and shared parenting after separation. The primary focus of the law is the ‘best interest of the child’. As parents, we all want what’s best for our children but if you and your partner are separating it can be extremely difficult to know how to move forward and agree on parenting arrangements going forward.
Negotiating children’s living arrangements can be difficult and emotional, practical issues can arise such as:

  • Communication between the parents;
  • Parenting styles;
  • Living arrangements (where do the children live/spend time);
  • Finances;
  • Religion;
  • Education;
  • Health Care; and
  • Emotional well-being of the children and parents.

Agreeing on Parenting Arrangements

Most separating parents are able to decide where the children will live and other parenting issues without taking the matter to court. While this can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience, we are strong advocates and believers in this process. Agreements reached in this way usually suit all parties better than a decision imposed by a court. Talk to us about how we can help in negotiating a positive outcome and even turning an agreement into a court order by helping you prepare and file Consent Orders.

Court Ordered Parenting Arrangements (Orders)

Unfortunately in some situations an agreement is simply not possible. The main aim of the court is to ensure that the best interests of children are met. Courts try to ensure that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives, to the maximum extent consistent with the best interests of the child. They attempt to protect children from physical or psychological harm (from being subjected to, or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence). Apart from these the courts consider a number of other factors and evidence in reaching a final determination.

We have the knowledge and the experience to help you through this difficult and emotionally draining experience, we can help call us to discuss how.

We can answer all your questions, including:

Where do I start?

  • Do I need to go to court for a parenting agreement?
  • What is the difference between a parenting agreement and orders?
  • How do I make sure that the other parent sticks to the parenting agreement/orders?
  • What if we can’t reach an agreement?
  • What will the court consider?
  • Can I change the parenting agreement/orders?
  • What happens if the I or the other parent wants to relocate and move away?
  • Who can apply for parenting orders?
  • Grandparents’ rights? What legal rights do grandparents have in gaining access to the children?
  • Changing a child’s name
  • Do the family law courts take family violence into account? Do they take into account any Intervention Orders ?(link to that section of page)

We provide timely, easy to understand advice, skilled representation and we ensure that you are always kept informed about your case so that you always understand what is required and likely to happen at Court.

VP Lawyers is happy to help legally aided clients.

Our key to success is candid communication with our clients from start to finish combined with meticulous planning and thorough preparation. The three pillars of our service are ABILITY, BENEVOLENCE and INTEGRITY.

Spousal Maintenance

The court has the power to make orders for maintenance (married or de facto relationships including same-sex de facto relationships). If your relationship has broken down, you may be required to financially support your ex-partner, or vice versa. We can help you get to grips with your rights and obligations in this aspect.

There are a number of things the court will look at, generally one will have to prove that they are unable to work and cannot support themselves properly because of old age or sickness, the need to care for children or some other reason and that their former partner is reasonably able to pay the maintenance. In deciding whether to make a maintenance order the court is required to take into account a large number of factors, we can help you get a better understanding of your particular position. Call us to discuss how we can help.

We can answer all your questions, including:

What is spousal maintenance?
Am I entitled to maintenance?
Will I have to pay maintenance?
How do I apply for spousal maintenance?

Child Support

In general, the child support scheme is an administrative scheme which is designed to operate without the need for court applications. However, there are some circumstances in which a party may make an application to a court in relation to child support including:

Paternity Matters

  • Court Review of AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) Decisions
  • Applications to set aside child support agreements
  • Enforcement Proceedings

We are more than happy to help you when it comes to child support, call us to discuss how.