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Family Law


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Family Law


Harwood Andrews provides a complete range of family law services for married and defacto couples. Our team of family law professionals and accredited specialists offer a results driven and client focused approach in dealing with issues relating to separation and divorce, parental agreements and responsibility, child custody law and child support.

Our family law team work collaboratively across other areas of the practice to draw on the expertise of Harwood Andrews' business lawyers in providing advice on the complicated financial and taxation issues associated with companies, trusts, partnerships and superannuation funds which often arise in the context of a separation or divorce.

We offer the following services to our family law clients:

  • Mediation

  • Separation and divorce settlements

  • Defacto and same sex disputes

  • Binding Financial Agreements

  • Parental agreements

  • Child custody law

  • Child support

Lisa Hunt
Principal
0407 616 729  | 03 5226 8584
lhunt@ha.legal
au.linkedin.com/in/lisahunt2

 
Linton Drever
Family Law Counsel
03 5226 8553
ldrever@ha.legal
au.linkedin.com/in/lintondrever

 
Chris Thomas
Special Counsel
Accredited Specialist in Children’s Law
03 5225 5240
cthomas@ha.legal
au.linkedin/in/christhomas

 
Kylie Schulberg
Senior Associate
03 5225 5223
kschulberg@ha.legal
au.linkedin.com/in/kylieschulberg

 
Adam Wightman
Senior Associate
0413 557 157  | 03 5225 5250
awightman@ha.legal
au.linkedin.com/in/adamwightman
 

Emily Scarlett
Lawyer
03 5226 8548
escarlett@ha.legal

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Separation and Divorce


Separation and Divorce


Separation means both parties live separately and apart. However, you may be separated while still living in the same home as your spouse.

A divorce is the legal end to a marriage. The court must be satisfied that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”, which is proven if the parties have lived “separately and apart” for a total period of twelve months.

You need to be separated for a period of 12 months prior to applying for divorce.

As of 9 December 2017, same sex married couples (including those who married overseas prior to 9 December 2017) are treated the same as heterosexual married couples under the Family Law Act, and will be able to divorce under Australian law if they meet the other requirements for divorce under the Act.

We can assist you to navigate the separation and apply for divorce.

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Property and Financial


Property and Financial


During their relationship parties will usually acquire various assets, financial resources and debts. We advise on the fair division and adjustment of property settlement between couples, including de facto and same sex couples.

If parties cannot agree, it may be necessary to make an application to the Court to decide how the property is to be divided. Even if parties reach agreement it is highly recommended that legal advice is obtained as to how best to formalise and implement that agreement.

We work in collaboration with the business law team at Harwood Andrews to ensure you receive advice tailored to your specific financial situation, particularly where there is a family business, or other business interests or complex structuring involved.

Our team can assist in the preparation of binding financial agreements, which are technical documents requiring independent legal advice.

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Parents and children


Parents and children


 After parties separate, a decision must be made as to whether the children will live with one or both parents. If children are to live primarily with one parent, then the time they are to spend with the other parent must also be addressed. These arrangements were formally known as custody and access arrangements. It is usually in the best interests of the children if their parents can reach their own agreement about these matters.

Such an agreement can be formalised in the form of a parenting plan, or parenting orders made with the consent of the parties and approved by the Court.

If agreement cannot be reached between the parties, and they have attended mediation without achieving a resolution, it may be necessary to apply for parenting orders from the Court.

Our team can assist in all aspects of parenting matters.

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Mediation


Mediation


After parties separate, a decision must be made as to whether the children will live with one or both parents. If children are to live primarily with one parent, then the time they are to spend with the other parent must also be addressed. These arrangements were formally known as custody and access arrangements. It is usually in the best interests of the children if their parents can reach their own agreement about these matters.

Such an agreement can be formalised in the form of a parenting plan, or parenting orders made with the consent of the parties and approved by the Court.

If agreement cannot be reached between the parties, and they have attended mediation without achieving a resolution, it may be necessary to apply for parenting orders from the Court.

Our team can assist in all aspects of parenting matters.

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Child Support Agreements


Child Support Agreements


In many circumstances parents agree on the level of child support that one parent is to pay to the other and any other expense toward which they will contribute, including school fees and private health insurance. To formalise this, a child support agreement can be entered into by both parents. We can assist with these agreements.