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Pearsons Lawyers

“Know Where You Stand”

From divorce and separation, childrens’ matters, property and surrogacy to alternative dispute resolution. We deal with all separation challenges and issues.

Book your free, initial consultation with one of our expert Family Lawyers today.

Family Lawyers Melbourne

Ending a relationship can cause emotional, financial and personal trauma and confusion.

At Pearsons Lawyers, we can help you navigate the complex legal maze, so that your issues can be resolved, become part of your history and no longer impact on your life.

We will guide you through to the light at the other side, where matters are resolved.

Each individual client is different and has unique needs. We have the expertise, experience and skill to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for yourself and your children. Our team approach to cases is creative and professional resulting in a tailor-made outcome.

Pearsons is a specialist Family Law firm located in the Melbourne CBD with 16 other conveniently located offices.

Latest Announcement

Our Covid 19 Response

Our offices remain open for business. Know where you stand with your first appointment free. For those experiencing financial hardship, we offer payment options*.

> Read our response to Covid 19

“Not only did Leanne and the team achieve an excellent outcome for me, they did this in such a short space of time.  I have no hesitation in engaging Leanne again or recommending her to others.”

Know Where You Stand

Book Your Free Appointment

During your initial free consultation we will:

  • Discuss your circumstances.
  • Answer any questions about the divorce process.
  • Discuss your options.
  • Advise you of your entitlements.
  • Provide you with information about the cost of a divorce and separation.

Call our office or fill in the contact form to book your free appointment.

Office Hours

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm
(Please note we are closed between 1-2pm)

Wednesday Evenings 5:00pm – 7:00pm
(by appointment only)

> Office Locations

> Call 1300 699 688

Contact Us
Office Hours

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm
(Please note we are closed between 1-2pm)

Wednesday Evenings 5:00pm – 7:00pm
(by appointment only)

> Office Locations

> Call 1300 699 688

Family Law Firms Melbourne

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I get a divorce?

A divorce of itself is usually very straightforward, uncomplicated and relatively inexpensive.

Like marriage a divorce is a legal status. Once a Divorce Order is made your status alters to no longer being married and further you are at liberty to remarry.

In addition to effecting your legal status, a divorce also commences the time running on 12 months from the time that the Divorce Order is made for you to make an application for property settlement or spousal maintenance. Once the 12 months from the date of the Divorce Order expires the parties to the Divorce Order are prohibited from commencing such proceedings without first obtaining permission from the Court. Obtaining permission from the Court will add additional costs as more documents and Court events are necessary and there is always the risk that the Court may refuse to grant such permission as the Court has a broad discretion when considering such matters.

If you are considering a divorce or have recently been divorced, we strongly suggest that you obtain advice about financial matters and whether there is a need to commence proceedings.

To obtain a divorce an Application for Divorce needs to be prepared which is reasonably straightforward. The Application is then filed with the Court upon the payment of a filing fee. Once it has been filed it then needs to be served (delivered) to the other party.

Subject to the Court being satisfied that the parties have been separated for 12 months, that the other party has been properly served with the Application for Divorce and matters concerning children have been appropriately dealt with, a Divorce Order will be granted. One month after the Divorce Order is made it becomes effective and a sealed Divorce Order is issued to each party who is now divorced.

At Pearsons Lawyers we can prepare your divorce documents, arrange for service and appear for you at the hearing to obtain your divorce and advise you about other matters relating to your circumstances including parenting and property.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

This article is general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek legal advice as appropriate.

How much is a divorce going to cost?

Obtaining a divorce is usually straightforward and we offer a fixed fee for a divorce.

Obtaining formal parenting orders about children, documenting and formalising a property settlement and entering into private arrangements for the financial support of children by way of a Binding Child Support Agreement or a Consent Order can all be achieved relatively quickly and inexpensively.

Each case differs and the costs incurred in each case will also differ depending upon the individual complexities and difficulties.

If agreement is reached quickly and the matter is straightforward and simple, parenting or property matters could be documented and formalised in a cost effective manner.

Usually matters require greater legal attention and advice including the exchange of relevant financial documents, some negotiations and the exchange of draft documents until they are completed to the satisfaction of all parties. This may add some additional expense.

Generally speaking, lawyers charge either by way of time in blocks of six minute “units” or in certain matters a fixed fee can be negotiated and agreed upon. In essence, the more legal input is required the more time is involved the greater the expense.

There may be additional costs if valuations have to be obtained or separate accounting advice sought in relation to matters such as capital gains tax or other possible tax consequences of a property settlement.

At Pearsons Lawyers we discuss costs during the initial free consultation and then render regular accounts so that the client is kept fully informed at all times and that there are no nasty surprises.

This article is general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek legal advice as appropriate.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

This article is general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek legal advice as appropriate.

Do I have to pay child support if I have lost my job due to Covid19?

The pandemic and the associated restrictions have had a profound effect upon countless Australians particularly in instances of job loss and reduction in work hours. A loss of income undoubtedly affects the ability of a liable parent to pay child support and can also impact the parent in receipt of child support and their ability to financially support the children.

If you are paying child support pursuant to a child support assessment you must notify DHHS Child Support without delay and advise of any change in your income. The parent receiving child support should also contact Centrelink to consider options available to help them during this difficult time.

Meeting child support payments or the payment of school fees and other costs relating to your children pursuant to an existing Child Support Agreement will be more challenging to navigate as these types of agreements can only be terminated in certain limited circumstances.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

How do we decide who gets the children?

After separation a dispute often arises as to the living arrangements, supervision and care of the children.  This can be a very traumatic and difficult time for all concerned.

Parents may obtain separate and independent legal advice and can engage Pearsons Lawyers to negotiate a parenting agreement.

Pearsons Lawyers can also assist parties in engaging the services of a mediator or a mediation service to assist them to discuss parenting matters.

If agreement can be reached through lawyers, we can formalise a parenting plan into formal Court Orders.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

How does child support work?

Since 1989 the Child Support Act and the Child Support Scheme has been in existence. Although there have been a few significant changes to the Scheme, essentially the Scheme is administered by the Government through the tax office and DHHS.

The parent with the children can make an application to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment of child support.

The Agency applies a reasonably complex formula taking into account the number of children, the ages of the children, who the children live with, the number of nights that the children spend with the other parent and the incomes of both parents as reported to the tax office to calculate an amount of child support that is payable for the children.

The parent entitled to child support can “opt in” which means they can ask the Child Support Agency to collect child support on their behalf. Alternatively, they can choose not to “opt in” and make private arrangements for payment/collection of child support.

If arrears build up the Child Support Agency can retain tax refunds and/or pursue the liable parent for payment of any arrears.

Arrears of child support are considered a debt to the Commonwealth Government.

Arrears can attract penalties and interest and may result in enforcement proceedings being taken by the eligible parent or the Child Support Agency on their behalf.

If a party is aggrieved by an administrative assessment of child support they can make an application for a re-assessment, consideration by an Objections Officer and ultimately for determination by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and, on an issue of public policy or question of law, to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

In most cases, Pearsons Lawyers assists clients negotiating matters concerning the financial support of their children and, where appropriate, entering into Binding Child Support Agreements so as to provide financial certainty to the parents and children in relation to the financial support of children moving forward including for educational costs, private health insurance and out of pocket medical and other health care expenses.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

How do we divide our property?

In the vast majority of cases parties are able to reach agreement either through negotiations directly between themselves, with the assistance of a lawyer or with mediation with or without lawyers.  If agreement can be reached it can then be formalised relatively quickly.

If agreement cannot be reached Court proceedings may need to be commenced.  Part of the Court process is compulsory mediation.  Most cases resolve at some stage during the litigation process and often at mediation after there has been an exchange of relevant financial document, identification of property and all the necessary property having been valued.

If the parties cannot reach agreement then the Court will hear the evidence and it will decide how the property is divided.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

What does it cost to get a property settlement?

Most lawyers charge by the hour.  Depending on the experience and skill of the lawyer their charge per hour will vary.  Most lawyers will be able to give an estimate of the cost that it will take to document a property settlement. Costs will vary depending upon complexity of the matter.

It is important that a lawyer informs the client about the costs that they are incurring throughout the process so that they are at all times aware of the
costs and where they stand.

At Pearsons Lawyers we will advise of our costs at the FREE initial interview and throughout the process. Our fortnightly itemised accounts provide transparency.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

Do I need a lawyer to finalise property matters?

There is no mandatory requirement for separating couples to engage a lawyer to finalise their financial matters except for Binding Financial Agreements.

If financial matters are resolved by way of a Binding Financial Agreement, the parties must engage separate and independent lawyers who sign certificates that they have provided their respective clients with legal advice. 

If a property settlement is being documented by way of Consent Orders parties do not need to engage lawyers. However, engaging a lawyer is highly recommended to ensure that all of the relevant property is considered, to help negotiate a property settlement and to have the agreement properly documented.

To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.

Melbourne Family Law Specialists

Why Choose Pearsons Lawyers?

We understand you need a lawyer to listen, advise of your options and guide through you the difficult maze of separation so that you know where you stand.

We take on the difficult negotiations to provide clear robust legal solutions.

Our principals Leanne Abela and Joe Schepis have each been practicing in Family Law for over 35 years. Our team of Family Lawyers have decades of Family Law experience. 

So whatever you’re going through, we are 100% committed to helping you overcome even the most challenging situations.

"With their wealth of experience and a holistic approach, I am forever grateful for the friend who recommended them. A very safe set of hands."

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sarah, Melbourne