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Family Law

Get peace of mind

The end of a relationship or marriage is a difficult time. Our experience has shown us that avoiding court is generally the best way forward. This will most likely save you time, money and help achieve a better outcome.

With over 45 years of experience, we’ve helped countless people to move forward.

Here’s what we can do for you

  • We will work with you to understand your situation and provide you with an honest assessment and provide expert advice about your legal rights, entitlements and obligations
  • We’ll run through the different options available to settle any matters in which you and your partner may disagree
  • We will keep you updated all the way along  
  • We will ensure that your case is managed as efficiently as possible and do all to settle without going to court thereby reducing costs
  • Above all, our lawyers understand how stressful and emotional family law matters can be - we’re there along the way to support you
  • With over 77 offices across Australia, we’ll have an office near you.  If you prefer we also have phone or after hour consultations available.

Our family layers will help you move forward.

Our expertise

Our dedicated family lawyers can help you will all areas of family law including:

  • Divorce applications
  • Property and financial settlements
  • Binding financial agreements
  • Children custody matters
  • Will and estate planning
  • Mediation and Dispute Resolution
  • Intervention Orders
  • Family trusts

For further information about Family Law services and the process, please visit our Divorce, Separation, Property, or Children Issues sections.

A cost-effective solution with fixed fees

In many cases we offer a straightforward fixed fee arrangement rather than billing by the hour. Because you know ahead of time what your costs will be, there are no nasty surprises down the track and you can make a more informed decision of whether you would like us to advance your matter.

Meet our Family Law Team

  • Luke Short

    Luke is the National General Manager of Family Law, based in Brisbane, leading a team of over 70 staff, across 20 offices nationwide.

Read Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Below we set out some of the questions that are raised about Family Law Fixed Fees ™.

  • Is the implementation of orders included in any stage?

    No.  It is not possible to know what implementation might be required until Orders are actually made by the Court. We will provide a fixed quote for implementation of Orders after they have been made and, if you agree, we will then proceed to do the specified implementation.

  • Why are barristers sometimes engaged in Family Law matters?

    Barristers specialise in court appearances and in providing expert opinions about complex legal issues. We may engage a barrister for these purposes when we consider it to be in your best interests and that the benefits justify the cost. 

  • Do I have to pay for telephone calls, e-mails and faxes as well as reading letters or court documents?

    No. With Fixed Fees you are charged a single amount for each stage of your matter which covers all of the work we will undertake on your behalf. Of course, barristers and experts are additional to the fixed fees, but you won’t receive a bill for photocopying or sending letters to the other lawyers under fixed fees.

  • Will the lawyer provide estimates of costs for future work that might be required?

    We will give estimates of future work that might be required if this is practicable and sensible. It is difficult to know how a matter will proceed at the start and most Family Law matters settle quite early – especially if the parties and their lawyers are taking a constructive approach – and the future stages may never be reached. Therefore, estimates are unnecessary and, in some cases, quite misleading.

  • How far into the future will you provide fixed fees?

    It is often not possible to quote for all stages of a Family Law matter; it is also often quite unnecessary.

    Most Family Law matters get resolved quite quickly and, in these circumstances, it would be a waste of everyone’s time and effort to prepare quotes for Stages that will never be reached.

    Before we start work on any stage – and when we are aware of what is involved - you will be provided with a quote.

  • What happens if my matter resolves before the work has been done?

    If your matter settles before the work is completed for the Stage that has been quoted you will not have to pay the full fees for that Stage.  We will advise you what work has been done and you will receive a refund for that part of work that has not been done.

    Sometimes the matter will settle by the making of Orders in Court and we will quote you for the preparation and finalisation of Orders.

  • How do you quote for Court Hearings & Conferences?

    We provide an estimate up front of the fee for all Court Hearings and Conferences. This includes any travelling that we may have to undertake unless there is a separate agreement that you would pay for our travel time and costs.

    No one can tell you how long a Court Hearing or Conference will take – sometimes they are quick, sometimes they take all day or even longer. So we provide you with a mid range estimate in the fixed fees quote but will charge fees according to whether the Hearing or Conference is short (less than 2 hours), average (between 2 and 4 hours) or long (over 4 hours). These fees are set out in the fixed fees agreement. 

  • What if I receive an Order that the other party pay my costs (or if I have to pay theirs)?

    If the Court orders that the other party pay your costs you will receive those moneys in accordance with the Court Order. 

    Similarly, if the Court orders that you should pay any of the other party’s costs, you will be required to pay that money in addition to any fixed fees quote that we have given you. If you do not pay such Orders we will be unable to continue to represent you.

  • What are the payment arrangements for fixed fees?

    In normal circumstances (unless special arrangements have been agreed), the following arrangements will apply:

    1. Before work commences on any Stage, you deposit the agreed fixed fees for that Stage into our Trust Account;
    2. We undertake the agreed work for that Stage;
    3. When we have completed the work the money is paid from the Trust Account to us;
    4. You then deposit the fixed fees for the next Stage into our Trust Account and the arrangements continue as above.

    Sometimes, and provided you are able to put up appropriate security, we will agree to work prior to moneys being deposited to our Trust Account.  But these circumstances will be exceptional.

    You may also request a payment plan for the payment of your fixed fees, whereby you deposit a proportion of the fixed fees into our Trust Account on a monthly basis.  We will allow this where there is a valid direct debit authority in place but in the event that a payment is not made, we reserve the right to cease work until the account is brought up to date or to terminate the agreement.

  • How do I pay the amounts required for the fixed fee?

    You may pay the agreed fixed fee in cash, by cheque or by direct debit authority.

    It is possible that you may obtain a loan from a legal litigation funder.

    These companies provide you with the funds to meet your legal expenses (and, sometimes, also to help with your living expenses). Fees will be payable to establish the loan and interest will be charged.  The lender will also require security over a property in which you have an interest (to ensure that there is a source of payment if you cannot repay the loan at the end of the matter). 

    Usually you repay all of the loan plus the costs when all of the proceedings have been finalised.

    What other credit arrangements might be available for the payment of the fixed fees ?

    Using or obtaining a new credit card, arranging a guarantee or a loan facility from your bank are other options for the payment of your legal fees.

How to Get Started?

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Our dedicated team is ready to hear from you now. You can get in touch with us by calling us or making an online enquiry. We’re here to help you move forward.

"Very easy to deal with and empathetic to my situation" Maggie - Client