Family Law

Our family law team is headed by accredited specialists Donal Minehan and Kylie Holmes. Together they have over 60 years' experience advising clients on family law issues.

Donal and Kylie encourage their clients to attempt to solve family law disputes by negotiation and alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation. They can assist in advising in all aspects of family law including disputes regarding divorce applications, children, property, de facto relationships, child support and agreements before, during and after defacto relationships. They are caring and reliable and will act in your best interests in a cost-effective manner.

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Layla Weston (Admin)
Family Law
Izabella Brzozowska (Law Clerk)

Separation

The breakdown of a marriage or a de facto relationship is an emotional and turbulent period. At this time the advice of a caring professional is invaluable. We provide confidential advice prior to or after separation so you can make the important decisions which will affect your future. We can also refer you to appropriate professional advisers to support you such as counsellors, mediators, financial planners and accountants.



Divorce Applications

You can apply for a divorce after you have been separated for 12 months. In some circumstances, you can be separated although living in the same house as your spouse. A Divorce Application can be made to the Federal Circuit Court. If there are children under 18 years, the person applying is required to attend Court and the Court must be satisfied proper arrangements are made for the children. The divorce becomes final one month after a Decree Nisi has been granted by the Court.


We assist by advising on the preparation of Court documents and can appear in Court on your behalf if necessary.



Children

The Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court can make orders relating to the care, welfare and development of the children which is always a primary concern during this period. We provide you with advice as to likely outcomes if the matter proceeds to Court and can assist in directing you to counselling, mediation and other professional advisers to assist you to resolve the living arrangements for the children.



Child Support

An application for child support can be made to the Department of Human Services. The amount of support payable is based on a formula set out in the Child Support Legislation. Parents of children may also enter into a Binding Child Support Agreement in lieu of an assessment from the Department of Human Services. We assist by advising you on how to make an application for an assessent and also advise you whether you have any grounds to ask for a review of the assessment made by the Department of Human Services. We can also prepare a Binding Child Support Agreement on your behalf.



Financial Agreements

You may be considering entering an agreement with your partner before and during marriage and defacto coupling to regulate your financial arrangements during your relationship and in the event it should break down. If you are married in a defacto relationship or intend to marry or enter into a defacto relationship , you can enter into a Financial Agreement under the Family Law Act. We assist by advising on the range of matters that can be included in an agreement and can prepare the agreement on your behalf.



Property Settlements

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court can make orders for property settlement. The factors to be taken into account in working out what a spouse may be entitled to in a property settlement are often involved and complex. The Court will determine what the assets of the marriage or defacto relationship are and their value, consider what contributions the parties have made to the acquisition, improvement and maintenance of those assets, both direct and indirect, and whether the contributions are of a financial nature or non-financial nature. The Court will also take into account a number of factors such as the parties' age, state of health, earning capacity, the length of the marriage and the care of any children.


We assist by giving you advice on likely outcomes in Court and negotiate on your behalf to assist in resolving the matter. If Court proceedings eventuate, we will attend Court and conferences with you and assist to settle proceedings in a timely and cost effective manner.



To contact the Family Law team directly: lweston@mcwlaw.com.au



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