Professional guidance for your Family Law needs

Professional guidance for your Family Law needs

At Conditsis Lawyers our sympathetic and experienced team of family law specialists understand the emotional and financial impact law proceedings can have on you and your family. With nearly 30 years’ experience advising our clients in these matters we can quickly assess your legal position, obligations and options. We will assist you in all your negotiations.

The main focus of our family lawyers and solicitors is to resolve your matter through mediation and negotiation outside the courtroom. However, if mediation and negotiation fail to bring satisfactory results, your lawyer will be with you all the way through the litigation process to ensure that you are fully informed of all your options so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

Our specialist Family Lawyers are committed to actively working towards the best outcome for you and your loved ones. We don’t just focus on dollars, property or other assets, but also, where possible, we work towards preserving family relationships which can work for you in the long term. This is what our family lawyers do for clients on the Central Coast, Newcastle, and Sydney and across Australia. We fully understand all the different aspects of divorce and other personal matters involved.

For the best advice from experienced and qualified professionals who you can trust, book an appointment and arrange a meeting with one of our family law specialists on the Central Coast, Sydney or Newcastle.

Our Family Law Solicitors can help you in any of these Family Law areas

  • Separation

    When you make the difficult decision to end your relationship we can help. If you have children the decision can sometimes be even harder, however at Conditsis Lawyers we understand the impact that can have on you and your family. Our honest, practical and rational approach can assist in minimising your stress while we work to resolve your matter in a timely way.

    If you think you are heading down the road to separating, make an appointment today to see one of our expert team so you can receive the right advice and information from an early stage. This way you will be aware of your rights and be prepared for any issues or problems that may arise as you plan for your family’s future well-being.

  • Children’s Matters

    When you need help arranging parenting matters for the care and custody of your children the assistance of a Family Law Solicitor can be invaluable.

    Due to amendments to the Family Law Act relating to children’s matters, the court must take into account two primary considerations. The first is the benefit to the child in having meaningful relationships with both parents, and the other is the need to protect a child from physical or psychological harm and/or exposure to abuse, neglect or family violence.

    Separating parents can often reach an agreement about the day to day living arrangements for their children. However, if you are worried or cannot reach an agreement, contact one of our Family Lawyers in the early stages of separation. Our understanding, practical and competent team will give you the best insight to your rights and the tools you need to negotiate the best outcome for you and your children.

    We can advise you of the parenting arrangements likely to be deemed appropriate by the court, and if required, we can organise mediation with a registered Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Our Family Lawyers are committed to avoiding costly and unnecessary courtroom appearances and will take all appropriate measures available to avoid going to court. However, if it does become necessary to attend court your Family Lawyer will stand beside you all the way to ensure the best possible outcome for your children.

  • Property Settlements

    Do you know your rights regarding your property when your relationship breaks down?  Have you accounted for all your assets including your home, superannuation, vehicles and other items of value?  Do you know how to account for your financial or care-giving contribution over the years of your relationship?

    If not, you may be jeopardising your financial future and security. The Family Law Act procedures for property settlements between married or de facto or same sex couples. We can provide independent legal advice in relation to the provisions of the law to your individual circumstances. At Conditsis Lawyers our experienced Family Law Solicitors can help you answer all of these questions and much more to ensure you achieve the fairest property settlement possible. An application to the court in relation to property settlement can be made any time after separation, thus enabling you to organise your life and make plans for your future.

    For expert assistance in this complicated field make an appointment with one of our experienced Family Law specialists today.

  • Financial Agreements

    It is a fact of life that sometimes even the best of relationships can breakdown. Whether it’s the family home, your retirement nest egg or a large portfolio of assets a Binding Financial Agreement is an excellent way to protect you in the event of a relationship breakdown.
    Financial Agreements were introduced in 2000 as part of the Family Law Act, to help people control their financial affairs without the need for expensive litigation in the case of a relationship breakdown.

    The Agreement can be made before, during or after marriage or de-facto relationships and the terms can be amended at any time with the consent of both parties.

    For expert assistance in this complicated field make an appointment with one of our experienced Family Law specialists today.

    At Conditsis Lawyers our Family Law Solicitors have the experience necessary to advise you on your rights and whether or not a Financial Agreement is the best way to protect your assets and property.

  • De-facto and same sex relationships

    When your de-facto relationship breaks down different rules may apply according to the date of your separation. For example, where separation occurs after 1 March 2009 you can apply to the Family Court for a property settlement under the Family Law Act. Same sex couples are also recognised as de-facto relationships provided certain criteria are met.

    At Conditsis Lawyers our Family Lawyers and Solicitors have the necessary experience to advise you on all your rights and on the best way to protect your assets and obtain a fair outcome.

    For expert assistance in this complicated field make an appointment with one of our experienced Family Law specialists today.

Common Family Law Questions and Answers

  • When can I get a divorce?

    Divorce is the legal dissolution of the marriage and has no effect on the parenting and property matters (except that parties must commence property proceedings within 12 months of the Divorce becoming final). You must be separated from each other for 12 months, before you can file for divorce.

  • What happens to the children?

    Separation is a traumatic time for everyone involved including the children. It is best to agree, if possible, on the future arrangements, such as how parental responsibility will be shared, who the children will live with, the times that each parent will see the children, and their schooling and other matters affecting the children’s welfare.

  • What Is A Family Relationship Centre?

    The Federal Government has established Family Relationship Centres throughout Australia that provide information and alternative dispute resolution services for separated parents (or parents contemplating separation). Family Relationship Centres cannot provide legal advice. Therefore, it is essential that you are informed of your legal rights and responsibilities before negotiating or agreeing to any parenting arrangements. Clients are not legally represented in sessions conducted at Family Relationship Centres.

    Attendance at Family Relationship Centres and other mediation and alternative dispute resolution forums may not be appropriate in circumstances such as where there are domestic violence and/or child abuse allegations.

    You can go to Court if there are disputes relating to children and the Court will determine what is in the “best interests” of the children in relation to issues such as where they shall live, contact arrangements and any other issues that cannot be agreed upon. If parties are unable to reach agreement as a result of attending the Family Relationship Centre, they may then commence Court proceedings under the Family Law Act.

  • What Are Parenting Plans?

    The Family Law Act encourages separated parents to consider resolving parenting issues by informal agreements known as Parenting Plans. Parenting Plans must be in writing and signed by both parents and must be made free from any threat, duress or coercion.

    Parenting Plans are not registered with the Family Court and are not “enforceable” and do not create any legal obligations, unless they are registered with the Family Court of Australia.

    However, the terms of the most recent Parenting Plan can be taken into account when the Court makes a parenting order. Any previous parenting orders made by the Court can be amended by a new parenting plan. Accordingly, parents should always obtain independent legal advice before signing any document regarding the arrangements for their children as such agreements may constitute a parenting plan and could play an important part in the Court setting aside existing Court orders.

    Although parents should consider making parenting arrangements using parenting plans in appropriate circumstances, where parents want certainty, predictability and enforceability any arrangements should be formalised as parenting orders made through the Court. In circumstances of violence and abuse arrangements should always be by way of Court order.

  • So What Is A Parenting order?

    For reasons of stability and certainty, most parents prefer to formalise any arrangements by way of Court orders prepared by one of our Solicitors. This can be done relatively easily where the parties agree (Consent Orders). The process for making Consent Orders is administrative and does not require the attendance of the parents or their lawyers in Court. Each parent must obtain independent legal advice before signing the Orders. Each Solicitor must sign and file a Certificate of independent legal advice with the Application and proposed Orders and file the documents with an appropriate Court exercising the Family Court jurisdiction.
  • What is shared parenting?

    If parents cannot agree on the arrangements for their children, they can apply to the Court for a judicial determination.

    In the absence of allegations of abuse of the child and family violence the Court must, when making a parenting order, apply a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child’s parents to have equal parental responsibility for the child. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that satisfies the Court that it would not be in the best interests of the child for the parents to have equal responsibility.

    When making parenting orders where the parents have equal shared responsibility, the Court is also to consider making parenting orders that allow the child to spend equal time or substantial and significant time with each parent.

    Substantial and significant time includes weekends, school holidays, weekdays (not being holidays), time that allows the parent to be involved in the child’s daily routine and events significant to the child and also time that is significant to the parent. When considering to make parenting orders that provide for equal time or substantial and significant time with both parents the Court must be satisfied that such an order is in the best interests of the child and is reasonably practicable.

    The primary consideration when making all parenting plans/orders is always the best interests of the children. The Court and parents must consider the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both the child’s parents and also the need to protect the child from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

  • What about our property?

    Division of property depends on a number of factors including (but not limited to): the length of the marriage, who contributed what, whether or not you are able to work and how much you and your spouse are able to earn, together with other factors covered in the Family Law Act including superannuation and the needs of the parties and the children.

  • How does child support apply?

    This is determined by the Child Support Agency using a formula which takes into account what the payer earns and the number of children to be supported, the income of the carer, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.
  • What if I do not like a Child Support Assessment?

    The assessment can be reassessed and reviewed and “the review” by the Child Support Agency, may also be appealed. One of the factors that can be considered is the cost associated with spending time with the children. There are other factors set out in the Child Support (Assessment) Act.
  • Can You Explain Spousal Maintenance?

    In circumstances where a party to a marriage or de facto relationship is not capable of adequately supporting themselves and the other party has a capacity to contribute to the financial needs of that other party, the Court may order the party to pay Spousal Maintenance to support that other party.
  • What happens if I go to Court?

    The court encourages ongoing negotiations. In property matters a conciliation conference is often held. If those procedures do not work, a Judge will decide your case.
  • What if my spouse refuses to obey the Court’s orders?

    You can go back to the Court which can enforce the orders and as a last resort the Court can punish someone who refuses to obey orders made by the Court.
  • What if we are not married but we live together?

    The law recognises de-facto relationships if you have been together for more than 2 years, have a child or have made a significant contribution to the property of the other party.
  • How can a lawyer help?

    Your lawyer knows the law and procedures to assist in resolving the issues for you. Sometimes it is very hard to be objective when involved in relationship breakdown and your lawyer can help you to see the various options that are reasonably available to you. Disputes regarding children can be very emotional and our Family Lawyers are sensitive to your needs as a parent during these difficult times. Our Family Lawyers will assist you in a compassionate and professional way.  We are committed to resolving family law matters by negotiation, where appropriate.