Family Lawyers Melbourne - Pearsons Lawyers - Family Law Firms Melbourne

Family Lawyers Melbourne

Pearsons Lawyers is an experienced family law firm with 16 locations in and around Melbourne.

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Our offices remain open for business. Know where you stand with your first appointment free.
For those experiencing financial hardship at this time, we offer payment plans and payment options*.
We have offices in Melbourne CBD, Caulfield, Geelong, Glenroy, Moonee Ponds, Point Cook, South Morang, Sunshine & More.

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First we understand. Then we stand strong. This is Pearsons Family Law’s commitment to you. It’s the best way we know to help bring a clearer solution to the often complex challenges of Family Law. Whatever your individual situation, our commitment extends to a free first appointment.

With offices in Melbourne CBD, Caulfield, Geelong, Glenroy, Moonee Ponds, Point Cook, South Morang and Sunshine let us show you how we can stand stronger together.

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Our Expertise

As dedicated family lawyers, Pearsons Family Law can provide the best possible specialist advice with less complications and clearer options. From separation, children’s matters, property and surrogacy to alternative dispute resolution, we have the full range of relationship challenges covered.

Our People

It takes a special kind of legal professional to be a Pearsons’ person – determination, empathy, professional excellence, and resilience are all givens.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Separating and the decisions surrounding separation relating to parenting or property matters are very important and can be life changing.

Every family law matter whether it is about parenting or property is unique and different from any other.

Legal opinions and advice are also different as each lawyer has a history of exposure to a different number and range of cases they have handled and different understanding and knowledge of the law and cases.

The Family Law Act sets out specific matters that need to be taken into account to ensure that outcomes for similar cases are reasonably consistent and predictable.
If you already have a lawyer and have obtained legal advice, it is always recommended that you get a second opinion where possible.

At Pearsons Lawyers we offer a free initial consultation and so your second opinion is free of charge and obligation free.

There is absolutely no downside to obtaining a second opinion from Pearsons Lawyers to ensure that you are on the right track.

At Pearsons Lawyers our specialist team of family lawyers can deal with all issues involving relationship breakdowns including:

  • Divorce and separation
  • Financial
  • Property
  • Parenting
  • Intervention 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.

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

Once agreement has been reached to effect a property settlement it can be documented either by way of Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA).

Consent Orders require an application to be completed detailing specific financial matters including the effect of the proposed property settlement by way of percentage division together with a document called a ‘Minute of Consent Order’ which sets out specifically the orders which are sought to be made by a Registrar of the Court without the need for anyone to attend the Court.

A Registrar of the Court is a lawyer employed by the Court to scrutinize the Application for Consent Orders and Minute of Consent Orders to ensure that the proposed property settlement meets the criteria under the legislation and is a fair settlement between the parties given their individual circumstances and matters including contributions and future needs. The parties to the marriage do not both need lawyers.

The parties themselves do not attend Court but the Application for Consent Orders and Minutes of Consent Orders are submitted to the Court with the payment of a small filing fee. If the Registrar is satisfied that the settlement is appropriate then they will make the Orders and seal the document by placing a stamp on the Minutes of Consent Orders and making them formal Orders of the Court. The parties do not need to be legally represented to have Consent Orders formalised by a Registrar. The Orders remain in the Court Archives.

A BFA is a contract which meets strict requirements under legislation including that both parties need to be legally represented by separate lawyers who must sign Certificates of Independent Legal Advice. The BFA includes financial particulars and must otherwise comply with strict requirements of the Family Law Act and once properly executed finalises financial matters between the parties. The BFA is not submitted to the Court for approval.

A BFA can also secure a private Child Support Agreement between parties and deal with spousal support to ensure neither party claims spousal support against the other in the future.

Pearsons Lawyers can advise about the options available to you and help you choose the best available option to formalise your financial matters quickly and relatively inexpensively.

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.

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 Family 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.

Obtaining a divorce is usually straightforward and inexpensive costing approximately $1,000 plus government filing fee depending on a variety of matters.

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 for under $6,000.

Usually matters require greater legal attention and advice including the exchange of relevant financial documents, some negotiations and the “toing and froing” with 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.

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 long is a piece of string?

Each individual client and their circumstances differ markedly. The length of time that each matter takes to  resolve can differ markedly. Some matters are resolved within weeks, other matters can take many years.

Some parents are able to reach agreement about parenting matters and Parenting Orders can be made within a matter of weeks.

In financial matters some separating parties can reach an amicable and fair settlement which can be documented by way of Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) within a matter of weeks.

Usually after receiving legal advice about options, negotiations are undertaken by way of an exchange of letters and documents. Sometimes there are intense and focused negotiations by way of a Roundtable Conference (a meeting of the parties and their lawyers at one place at one time to negotiation outstanding issues) or a mediation.

Often these matters are resolved at a Roundtable Conference or Mediation.
In the event that agreement cannot be reached through negotiations and mediation, litigation may become necessary. Throughout the litigation process parties are required to engage in mediation to discuss and explore the possibility of reaching agreement without judicial intervention. Most cases that are commenced in the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court are resolved at some stage during the litigation path, formal Orders are made, and the matter is resolved without a Judge making a decision.

A small number of cases are unable to be resolved and proceed to determination by a Judge which means that the Court hears the evidence of the parties, submissions by their Barristers and then a Court makes a decision in relation to parenting matters, property issues or both.

The litigation path can take anywhere from a few months up to three to four years depending upon the complexity of the matter, judicial availability and other issues that can arise from time to time such as COVID-19 which has disrupted Court hearings and created greater delays in the Court system.

Pearsons Lawyers can provide you with specialist family law advice and guidance with the options available to you and assist you in making decision to choose the right path.

We advise our clients of the costs associated with Court proceedings and how long they are prepared to devote to negotiations prior to considering commencing Court proceedings. Although Court proceedings are considered a last resort they are sometimes inevitable to achieve finality.

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.

When formalising a property settlement there is a choice of entering into Consent Orders (which are formal Orders made by the Court without the parties necessarily appearing) or by entering into a contract known as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA).

As to whether a BFA or Consent Orders are appropriate in your individual matter will depend on your particular facts and circumstances. A BFA can be prepared and executed within a matter of days depending upon its complexities. Consent Orders on the other hand can take several weeks to be approved as they need to be submitted to the Court and a Registrar of the Court (a lawyer employed by the Court) needs to assess the information within the application to determine that the proposed orders are fair and meet the requirements of the Family Law Act that they “just and equitable”.

If there are any concerns the Registrar will issue what is known as requisitions which are questions seeking further information or clarification. This can add more weeks to the process. In some cases it can take up to a couple of months to have formal Orders made. Ultimately, if the Registrar is not satisfied that the settlement is proper then they can refuse to make the Orders.

For Consent Orders to be made the parties do not need legal representation and can prepare and submit the documents themselves or with only one lawyer preparing the documents for one of the parties and the other party simply signing it.

For a BFA both parties need separate and independent legal advice and their Lawyers must sign Certificates of Independent Legal Advice.

In cases where the parties reach an agreement which is not necessarily fair or would not be approved by a Registrar, then a BFA is the only alternative available.

At Pearsons Family Lawyers we can provide you with advice about the best possible option to proceed to formalise your property settlement whether by way of BFA or Consent Orders including preparing the necessary documents to formalise the agreement and effect the settlement reached.

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.

In financial matters there is an obligation on both parties to provide full and frank financial disclosure. What this means is that each party is required to provide to the other party copies of any and all documents relevant to their financial circumstances and dealings. The obligation is ongoing throughout the whole process and does not conclude until formal Orders are made either by agreement or by judicial determination.

If a party fails to make a disclosure about a relevant financial matter and it is of some substance, the other party can seek to have any Final Property Orders made set aside on the basis of that non-disclosure. Accordingly, the impact of financial non-disclosure is long lasting and very significant.

The source of documents that are usually disclosed and exchanged are pay slips, Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment from the ATO, bank statements (mortgage, savings and credit card accounts), statements showing payout of other debts such as motor vehicle finance or personal loans and superannuation statements. In some cases other documents such as company or Trust Deeds, Financial Statements and BAS Statements are provided. If there is a dispute about factual matters documents evidencing initial contributions, inheritances and the like can also be required.

Each case depends on its own complexities. Most cases are reasonably straightforward and the disclosure is simple and uncomplicated. In more complex matters the financial disclosure is much more complex and voluminous.

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.

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