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Family Lawyers

Our Experienced Family Lawyers Bring Reason and Resolve to Complicated Circumstances.

There are no two identical families and likewise all family law advice needs to consider each person’s circumstances. While there may be similarities there is no cookie-cutter approach.

For this reason, there is an understandable amount of uncertainty people have about their position and rights when they are separating, divorcing or find themselves in a child custody dispute.

From the outset our family lawyers will review your position and advise you of where you stand and what is involved to get the best outcome for you. Family law disputes impact relationships with your family members and your finances.

Family law is often an emotional and nuanced area of law. Fortunately, it is also set up for agreements to be reached between the parties through mediation. Our family lawyers are skilled in supporting clients to reach agreements quickly.

The areas of family law our family law team can help with:

  • Property Settlements
  • Parenting & Children Matters
  • Divorce
  • Intervention Orders

PCL’s family lawyers are skilled in assisting people whose needs range from simple initial advice through to complex property settlements or disputes involving children.

Trying to resolve the matter first

Where possible, it is usually better to reach amicable resolutions through settlement discussions and alternative dispute resolution procedures. While remaining firm and holding the other party to account, in our experience it is better to seek resolution on as many issues as possible without litigation. This is of course dependent upon the other party’s willingness to negotiate.

This is where experienced family lawyers are worth their salt because they will often be able to unlock a stalemate position. It is also takes the burden away from you of trying to resolve things directly with the other party or their lawyers.

Where agreement can be reached, your lawyer will draft the orders and can have them endorsed by the court on your behalf to ensure that they are binding upon the other party.

When is litigation necessary?

Sometimes, litigation is necessary. The are two main reasons why family court litigation commences. Firstly, is when the parties simply cannot agree on orders relating to property or children, and secondly, when there is an urgent need that requires immediate court intervention, for example the safety or recovery of children.

In most cases, even where litigation has needed to start, family law disputes will usually be resolved without going to trial.

What happens if family court litigation starts?

It is not anywhere near as foreboding as what many people think. Sometimes, it is necessary to give the other party a nudge if they are unwilling to negotiate. There are many, many steps before a trial (final hearing) and the court forces the parties to come together in mediation, the presence of a court appointed registrar and with their lawyers very early in the piece.

This is usually very productive and requires an obstinate party to present himself or herself at the court. Litigation puts momentum into the process and often hastens the resolution time. There is a definitive court date and most people settle prior to a court appearance. After all, the goal is generally to deal with what needs to be dealt with so that everyone can move on with life, right?

Property Settlements

We routinely represent clients with smaller property pools to larger, more substantial, property pools.

The strategy is fundamentally the same: we will listen to you want as a desired outcome, provide realistic, sensible advice about what is feasible as we see it and then going after the outcome.

There are rules that the law follows in relation to property settlements. These need to be considered carefully in regards to your particular circumstances.

Property settlements involving commercial interests don’t just require a knowledge of the law but also “real world” commercial nouse. As a full-service legal firm our commercial team often work with or provide legal advice to minimise the impact of a family law dispute on your business or assets.

Valuations are a key part of the process. If necessary, we have access to forensic accountants, valuers and other experts to assist in assessing the value of assets. At all stages, we will be thorough and determined, to ensure that your financial interests are maximised.

To read more, please visit our dedicated page: property settlement.

Parenting and Children Advice

We take our duty to you and our legal responsibility very seriously. Our family lawyers understand what is at stake when helping families through parenting and children matters.

The relationship post-separation between you and your children is clearly extremely important and we will strive to help you achieve the best outcome possible.

We help mothers, fathers, grandparents as well as other family members and significant others.

To read more, please visit our dedicated page: parenting and children.

Divorce

Our divorce lawyers can help you in any stage of your divorce. We can provide clarity if you are considering a divorce or have just separated. Divorce is a commonly used term to encompass all aspects of separation.

Divorce is a separate process in family law proceedings to parenting and property settlement matters.

To read more, please visit our dedicated page: DIVORCE.

Intervention Orders

Intervention Orders are necessary when there is a threat to a person’s safety or wellbeing. We regularly obtain and defend intervention orders in the family context. This includes Personal Safety Intervention Orders and Family Violence Intervention Orders.

To read more, please visit our dedicated page: intervention orders.

“I have so many questions!”

This is said to us often. We understand that our clients are going through a difficult process. It is perfectly normal for there to be many questions and the future can seem uncertain at the start.

Questions can range from financial concerns such as “How much will I get from a divorce?” to questions about “can my partner stop me from seeing my children?”.

Having clarity on your options will help you make decisions about the future of your family and finances.

We help you understand and make sense of the stages involved and we take the time to answer all of your questions.

Our Experience

We handle a wide range of family law matters that range from child custody and grandparent rights through to complicated and contested divorce and spousal maintenance hearings.

Our experience and professionalism means that you will have a clear vision of how the court decisions will relate to your matter and how your individual family circumstances will likely be assessed in court.

Our experience, negotiation skills and ability to guide you through your matter will help you obtain the best outcome. We are well versed in acting for our clients in Melbourne family courts. Our family law team take a pragmatic approach to resolving matters as quickly as possible.

Why Choose PCL Lawyers?

We have experienced family lawyers in our family team who are compassionate where possible but tough and determined where necessary.

Further, importantly, PCL is a full-service firm that has the expertise beyond basic family law matters. Our family lawyers work closely with our commercial team and property team, who can provide specific legal expertise about business and any type of real estate issue when the need requires.

We consider case strategy very carefully and then go about enforcing it on your behalf. You will be clearly advised, verbally and writing, to ensure that you stay properly informed.

As your advocates, we take the burden off you and address the tough issues on your behalf. We have regard to legal costs and are upfront and transparent about these matters, so that you are informed and can weigh the cost / benefit at each stage. Our pricing is very reasonable, having regard to the high standard of advice and service that you will receive.

Call one of our family lawyers on 1300 907 335 or get in touch using our online enquiry form.

FAQs

What does a family lawyer do?
Do you need a lawyer for Family Court?

What does a family lawyer do?

Family lawyers offer a wide range of assistance and advice on matters relating to divorce, separation, children’s matters and wills & estates. Advice they provide can range from simple initial fact finding to complex matters and representation in court.

After initial advice is given our clients are clearly informed about their matter.

If further action is necessary, they have a reliable indication on what is involved and how long a result may take.

The initial fact-finding stage is crucial and people often feel comforted once they have clarity and understand their options.

Depending on whether you require simple legal advice or you are initiating legal proceedings, our family lawyers will handle your matter with sensitivity and care.

Mediation

Mediation is a common element of family law proceedings. Once you have commenced legal proceedings, mediation is compulsory. Sometimes, it can be useful to mediate prior to the commencement of legal proceedings. This can be useful if both parties are wanting to come together with realistic settlement expectations.

Arbitration is also an avenue that you might consider to resolve a family law dispute.

Court Proceedings

Family law proceedings usually follow an established process. The first step is to establish whether to initiate an application in the family court. Once an application has been filed then it must be properly served on the other party within the allowed time. Any issues with service and the court will refuse to hear the application on the day the application is listed.

While the registry does offer some procedural support, they cannot offer legal advice. So essentially, they can assist you in correctly completing the paperwork but cannot advise you on your case and position.

The other party then must respond to the application with their own affidavit responding to the issues raised by the other party. If the application is seeking both parenting and financial orders then both parties will also need to complete a financial statement outlining their income, assets and liabilities and a Notice of Risk. The court will not accept any applications for parenting orders without this notice also being filed.

Even though both parties are required to make complete and transparent disclosure of their assets, there are situations where a party is not fully honest about their assets, especially when those assets are located overseas. When drafting an affidavit, you must ensure that it properly drafted as the court may only consider evidence and matters that have provided in affidavit form, you cannot simply raise issues or relay facts as you work your way through the proceeding.

That being said, it is common for new information to come to light during the proceedings, or for a party to recall information at a later time, which is fine. But this must be addressed in accordance with the proper process to enable the court to consider this information. This also applies to consent orders which must be specific and detailed enough to cover all aspects of the division of assets or parenting matters.

Properly drafted orders will take into consideration that unexpected factors may arise. The orders are drafted in such a way to allow for this and outlines what the parties are to do such a situation arises.

A family lawyer will draft the necessary paperwork within the allowed time frames, advise you on your matter, provide support and guidance and essentially be a buffer between you and your former partner.

Family lawyers act for you with the aim of making the whole process less stressful. Obtaining proper legal advice as soon as possible is paramount to ensuring that you do not end up significantly disadvantaged once the proceedings have concluded.

Do you need a lawyer for Family Court?

Family law is a specialised area of law and deals with sensitive family issues. The outcomes can significantly affect a persons’ life having long-term implications on the lives of children as well. Whilst you are not required to have a lawyer represent you, you will benefit greatly from getting family law advice from an experienced solicitor.

There is material available for a self-represented litigants, but it is impossible for this material to cover everything that must be considered. Family law is such an extensive area of law (including any relevant case law) and each case is unique with its own factors and circumstances. Family lawyers are experienced and will explore and employ all the legal options available to you such as Anton Pillar orders and Barro orders.

A family lawyer also offers guidance and support in a stressful time and helps keep a degree of separation between you and your former partner.

This can be beneficial in highly contested matters and cases that deal with difficult circumstances for example family violence. A lawyer will also offer advice surrounding any proposed consent orders and whether the proposal is fair and equitable.

Any orders made by the court which are final can be difficult to change. Self-represent litigants which are opposed to a party that does have legal representation are severally disadvantaged. The approach taken by a lot of family lawyers is quite aggressive and that can obviously be overwhelming for a self-represented litigant, especially when they are already under a significant amount of stress.

We act for clients who often may not have the funds initially but could receive funds from their property settlement. If you would like to discuss your options or consider what payment options may be available to you, please feel free to contact us to discuss, obligation free.

We are enthusiastic about our family lawyers development and the service that our law firm provides to our clients and our family lawyers are members of the Family Law Section of the Law Council. The council seeks to influence the development and practice of family law in Australia and the also promote the professional excellence of those in engaged the family law system.

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Our Locations

Melbourne CBD

Level 15,
440 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000

Sydney

Level 33,
264 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

Chadstone

Level 8,
1341 Dandenong Rd,
Chadstone VIC 3148

Dandenong

Level 2,
311 Lonsdale St
Dandenong VIC 3175

Frankston

Ground Flr,
435 Nepean Hwy
Frankston VIC 3199

Moorabbin

Level 1,
441 South Road
Moorabbin VIC 3189

Preston

Ground Flr,
84 Hotham St,
Preston VIC 3072

Sunshine

Level 5,
12 Clarke Street
Sunshine VIC 3020