family & wills lawyers | business advisory & accountants

What is family law?

Often it’s the legal issues that arise out of a separation including dividing property and care of children (often known as custody).

Family law also covers other issues that arise in families, such as adoption, financial agreements (‘pre-nups’), child support, maintenance.

Read the Family Law Act.

Separation and dealing with family law questions can be a stressful experience so we try to make a hard thing to do easier. We’re tough, we’re expert but most of all we treat our clients as individuals. This philosophy is in everything we do. Don’t like letters? We won’t write to you. Don’t like coming in for meetings? We’ll talk on the phone or email.

If you do come to visit us you’ll see our office is not designed like a law firm – it’s designed like a home. It’s a space where our clients feel comfortable and calm and that encourages our lawyers to focus on what matters; the clients, not the size of their office. Because apart from this website, it’s about you, not about us.

Learn more about the Family Law Act.

Family Law Services

Our experts can assist you in dealing with the emotions surrounding a separation, and assist your lawyer in formulating evidence and a strategy for your case.

Our firm specialises in collaborative law which is a process available to resolve family law matters and keep the parties out of Court. Each client is represented by his or her lawyer through a series of meetings. It also allows the parties to structure more flexible solutions.

Forms of ADR include arbitration, conciliation, mediation and collaboration.

If you are in fear of violence an application for an order can be made by you or on your behalf by a police officer. That order is known as a Family Violence Order (ACT), Intervention Order (VIC), Apprehended Violence Order (NSW).

Superannuation is now treated as ‘property’ and can be split as part of a property settlement. De facto and same-sex couples can also use the Family Law Act to divide super.

‘Settle by Sunday’ is a robust and intensive settlement negotiation that occurs in a day or over a weekend, taking the mess and conflict out of a separation.

If you would like to apply for a divorce and your separation is relatively straightforward you may be able to apply using a divorce kit.

If parties are considered to be in a ‘de facto’ relationship according to the definition in the Family Law Act 1975 then generally their property settlement is dealt with by the Family Courts under the jurisdiction of the Family Law Act 1975. The law that applies to that property settlement is almost the same as for parties who are or were married.

There is no formula that sets out what is a fair property settlement. The Family Law Act sets out matters that should be considered but allows a wide level of discretion. Generally, lawyers advise on a range of likely outcomes, based on what has been determined in similar cases in the past.

There are a number of reasons why adoption may be in the best interests of a child. These include if a child is no longer able to live with their birth family due to family, social or medical reasons or if a child is living in a blended family and the parents and child wish to formalise their relationship.

‘Child custody’ is a term which is still widely used in the public for a child’s (or children’s) living arrangements and care arrangements.

Child Support is assessed using a formula based on each party’s taxable income, the time the children live with each of them, the children’s ages, and whether either party has other children.

The premise behind one Binding Financial Agreements (sometimes known as pre nups) is for both parties to reach an agreement about what will happen to their assets if they separate in the future.

Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a commissioning parent or couple (also referred to as “the intending parent(s)” or “substitute parent(s)”) enter into an arrangement with a woman (the “surrogate mother” or the “birth mother”).

Generate a personalised letter on what you should consider during separation.

Looking for a family law expert who does things differently?

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March 6, 2019

Settle by Sunday

Ever thought “I just want my divorce done!” or “separating through lawyers is expensive”?Well guess what – we are here to challenge those misconceptions!If you, or a couple you know, is ready to settle their separation in a weekend – we want to hear from you!We want to give you…

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February 26, 2019

Welcoming New Directors in 2019

Farrar Gesini Dunn is excited to announce the recent promotion of 9 new Directors across our Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne Offices. We are pleased to welcome to the Directorship:-

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December 11, 2018

Lawn Bowls with Lawyers

Lawn bowls with lawyers anyone?Perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Friday night fun – but we beg to differ!

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November 23, 2018

$17,000 for Karinya House!

esterday we had a really lovely moment in the FGD Canberra office. We had the opportunity to present our friends from Karinya House with a $17,000 donation thanks to our FGD community!

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