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Pearsons Lawyers

Know Where You Stand

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

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

Expert Support & Advice

Since 1922, Pearsons have been listening, advising and guiding people through the difficult maze of divorce and separation.  We understand what you’re going through and our team is standing by ready to help.

Get A Fair Outcome

We’ll work towards getting you a fair and equitable outcome whilst minimising your stress, cost and time.

Know Where You Stand

Book your free appointment today and get all your questions answered, discuss your options, understand your entitlements &  know what your divorce will cost.

Get Your First Appointment Free

Family Lawyers Melbourne

Why Work With Pearsons Family Lawyers?

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Know Where You Stand

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.

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Need a Family Law Firm?

“The thing about having over 35 years of experience in Family Law is that you do not panic. In a crisis you stay calm and remain courageous so that you do not lose focus on what is important, namely the clients’ needs.” – Leanne Abela (Principal Director)

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

Melbourne Family Law Specialists

Get The Outcome You Deserve

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.

Know Where You Stand

Client Reviews & Testimonials

We engaged Joe Schepis and Amanda Vella in our Family Law matter in 2019.From the start Joe kept me feeling calm, confident and satisfied. I would without doubt highly recommend both Joe and Amanda from Pearson’s Lawyers along with their team who have always been vigilant, productive but very compassionate aswell.Joe’s knowledge along with his dedication kept me on track and he and Amanda were always there to keep my mind at ease any time I needed it.
Amber Taylor
Amber T.
01:19 11 Jul 21
Leanne and staff have been very professional with a friendly approach and a thorough work ethic. As a firm I have found them to have great integrity. I would highly recommend their services.
Kristine Cullen
Kristine C.
01:19 03 Jul 21
Great value and best advice.
Desert Rose
Desert R.
00:37 25 Jun 21
Excellent service to our family
Michael Christie
Michael C.
06:39 25 May 21
I would highly recommend Helen and the team at Pearsons in Glenroy. Separating is hard but i am very happy with the outcome.Thanks Helen!
Guy Phillips
Guy P.
22:26 19 May 21
Hi Pearson lawyersThey are so professional and Committed in helping you at the best outcome possible.Helen and Breana omg the best in the business they treat you like a family member not just like a numberHighly recommended my name is Michael PapadatosKeep up the good work guys
Michael Papadatos
Michael P.
01:34 10 May 21
I am very grateful for Andrew MacDonald’s professional support, honest advice and professionalism during my ordeal. Andrew was open, honest and willingness to keep progressing for the right outcome.
Melissa Divaris
Melissa D.
06:37 18 Apr 21
Louis Horsley and Jacqueline Spry two of the best in the business in my opinion. It is very rare to find Lawyers like these they are truly amazing very experienced, professional and knowledgeable. Thank you for all your help!
Louise Grech
Louise G.
01:51 11 Mar 21
Joe & Leanne are two of those rare people in life who are genuinely gold. They are absolute experts in their field and have welcoming, warm personalities.
Sophie Charlotte
Sophie C.
21:44 02 Mar 21
Benita Crocker was recommended by a friend who worked previously as a family lawyer. She has been assisting me with the financial and parental aspects of my Divorce after I was not progressing with my previous lawyer. From the beginning she has been emphatic to what I have been going through and has put my heart at ease throughout the stressful process of the proceedings, she has always been honest on what to expect in each situation both best and worst-case scenarios. Her skill-set as a lawyer dealing with difficult people (ex-partner and his lawyer) has been exceptional.Benita has integrity, is professional and extremely knowledgeable with an abundance of family law experience. Her communication skills both written and verbal are exceptional and she utilizes her time efficiently. She always follows up promptly on any questions and queries I have had regarding parental and financial aspects of my court proceedings.She is always frank yet lovely, kind and fair person with exceptional legal skills which made a complicated situation so much easier to deal with, I would highly recommend Benita as she is the most professional family lawyer anyone could ask for.Maggie
Maggie Aziz
Maggie A.
00:44 09 Feb 21
After a lengthy and frustrating family matter I switched to Joe Schepis, recommended by a friend. After many months of yielding any positive results immediately saw results with Joe within the first couple of weeks. Joe has the ability to stay focused on the important issues and simplifying the arguments. He has made an extremely difficult case into a productive outcome and has made me feel at ease. I suffer from cancer and the added stress has not been good for my health Joe taking control of the case has made it a lot easier for me to cope with. I can not thank you enough Joe.
Bruce Clark
Bruce C.
01:14 31 Jan 21
If your looking for a lawyer that gets the job done without draining your finances Mr Joe Schepis is your man. He is attentive and efficient. He’s staff is equally professional and efficient. This divorce has been a gruelling 18 months with the other party stalling and cancelling 2 mediations and house auction. Thank you Joe for getting the job done especially selling the house within 2 weeks of taking over the case from the previous lawyer. I would highly recommend Joe and have the utmost confidence in him to get you the best and fair outcome.
Carmel Iacono
Carmel I.
00:53 31 Jan 21
Pearsons Family Lawyers

Latest Articles on Family Law

Grandparents Rights And Family Law In Australia

Grandparents Rights And Family Law In Australia

In recognition of the importance of grandparents rights to a child, section 65C (ba) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Australia) specifically allows a grandparent of a child to apply for a Parenting Order of a child. Parenting Orders deal with who has...

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How Is Superannuation Split In A Divorce

How Is Superannuation Split In A Divorce

"Is my ex wife entitled to my superannuation?" "What are the divorce rules when it comes to superannuation?" "Is superannuation treated differently from other assets in a divorce?" These are some of the common questions asked by clients when it...

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Know Where You Stand
Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I get a divorce?

A divorce in 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 affecting your legal status, a divorce also starts 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 Family Law 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 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.

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.

Covid19 & Child Support Payments

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.

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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.

Pearsons Family Lawyers

Let’s Work Together

Step 1: Book Your Free Appointment

No strings attached. No hidden costs. Just a free, confidential, one-on-one consultation with an expert family lawyer.

Step 2: Talk To An Expert

Get all your questions answered, discuss your options, understand your entitlements & know what your divorce will cost.

Step 3: Know Where You Stand

You’ll get the advice you need to move on with your life and find the happiness you deserve whilst getting a fair and equitable split.
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

Get Your First Appointment Free

“I would happily recommend Pearsons Family Law for their attention to detail and professionalism. Helen handled my matter with dedication and empathy”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Adelle, Melbourne