Know Where You Stand
with your first appointment FREE
|
Know Where You Stand

The Divorce Process

> Learn More Here

Hidden FIeld

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Navigating through divorce

Ending a relationship and separation can cause emotional, financial and personal trauma and confusion. Pearsons Lawyers can help you navigate through these complex issues and guide you through the process.

Each client has different needs. We have the expertise, experience and “know how”  to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Pearsons Lawyers offer a specialist team of Family Lawyers to 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.

What is the divorce process?

A party to the marriage fills out an Application for Divorce which is then filed with the Court.  The Application is sealed (stamped with the Court stamp) and given a Court date usually in 8 to 10 weeks.

The person filing for the divorce needs to serve (deliver) a sealed copy of the divorce application on the other party. The other party has the right of reply if they wish to do so.  Documents need to be filed proving that the divorce application was properly served and the other party was given notice of the divorce hearing.

Subject to the Court being satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, that service of the divorce application has been properly effected and that the arrangements for the children are appropriate, a divorce order will be made but it does not become effective for 30 days.  

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 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.

When can you apply for a divorce?

There is only one ground for a divorce and that is a complete breakdown of the marriage which is proven by 12 months of separation.

Separation can be proven easily if parties physically separate and live separately and apart in different houses.  Often parties separate under the same roof and commence living separate lives.  In the case of separation under the same roof the Court requires additional evidence from an independent person (friend or family member) to confirm the separation took place.

If the date of filing for the divorce is less than 2 years after the marriage the parties will need to attend marriage guidance counselling and obtain a certificate from a qualified counsellor to demonstrate that the marriage has broken down completely.

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.

Hidden FIeld

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Do I need a lawyer?

Most divorces are straightforward and the process is not complicated and a lawyer is not needed to complete and file a divorce application.

There can be some obstacles and difficulties such as if there is separation under the one roof, if there are difficulties effecting personal service of a sealed copy of the divorce application on the other party, if there are disputes about the date of separation or if the arrangements for the children are not proper.

Relatively speaking the cost of a divorce is cheap and most people find that it is much more convenient, easier and less stressful to have a specialist Family Lawyer attend to their divorce.

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 do I deal with intervention orders?

Whether you are the Applicant or Respondent in Intervention Order proceedings sound advice about options available to you and proper representation at Court events is critical.

It is imperative that the terms of any Intervention Orders are understood so as to avoid breaches and resulting criminal proceedings which could have lasting and devastating effects.

At Pearsons Lawyers we will give you advice and arrange representation at various Court events to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved at all times.

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.

Is a quick resolution always the best?

After separation most people want a quick and inexpensive resolution of property and children’s matters. That is often achievable.

However, in some cases a quick resolution is not possible because due diligence needs to be exercised to ensure that all proper and necessary enquires are made, appropriate documents are exchanged, property identified and valued so as to ensure that the appropriate or best possible outcome is achieved.

Ultimately, the decision as to how quick and inexpensive a resolution is achieved is a matter for each client. A lawyer’s job is to provide legal advice about possible options and the pros and cons of each option available. It is the client who ultimately makes decisions and provides instructions as to which course of action to adopt and is best suited to their situation. Knowing the choices available gives the client the power to make informed and proper decisions.

Occasionally the other party and/or their lawyer may make a speedy and inexpensive resolution impossible.

In each case there are multiple parties involved such as lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, family and friends giving advice and having an input, all of which affects decision making and ultimately the outcome of each case.

It is important that you obtain sound legal advice about all of the options available to you so that you can navigate and understand the different courses available to you and their possible outcomes.

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 will getting a divorce usually take?

Each client and their circumstances differ.

The length of time that each matter takes to resolve will depend on the parties and their circumstances.

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.


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 making decisions best for you.

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. Court proceedings are a last resort but are sometimes inevitable to achieve finality.

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.

Know Where You Stand

Property Settlements

> Learn More Here

Hidden First Field

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

What is property?

Often people think of houses, cars, shares and bank accounts as property.  Property also includes interest in businesses, loan accounts in trusts, the right to sue another person for damages and superannuation entitlements.

The definition of ‘’property’’ for the purposes of the Family Law Act is extremely broad and is essentially anything of commercial value.

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 can property be divided?

Property can be divided at any time and there is no requirement that the parties be separated or divorced.

For couples that are married, they have twelve months from the date that their divorce becomes final to finalise their property settlement or commence Court proceedings.  If the twelve months expires, they then need to obtain permission from the Court to resolve their property matters. 

De facto couples have two years from the date of their separation within which to finalise property matters without obtaining permission from the Court.

It is imperative that property matters are resolved as quickly as possible after separation.

The experienced Family Law team at Pearsons Lawyers can advise you about your options including the possibility of obtaining permission to commence Court proceedings for a property settlement or spousal maintenance after the time has expired.

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 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.

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

Is superannuation property?

Superannuation is property and is divided between separating couples the same as other property is.

Superannuation is treated as property under the Family Law Act as it is valuable. It is different to other property such as a house because it cannot be mortgaged, sold or otherwise used for benefit today.  It is a future “nest egg” known as a “financial resource”.

Superannuation entitlements can be substantial, sometimes running into the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Superannuation is accumulated in Industry Funds and increasing in self-managed Superannuation funds.

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.

Hidden First Field

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

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.

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

Do I need to document the property settlement?

In most cases separating couples engage lawyers, reach agreement about the division of property and have that agreement formalised and documented so that there is no dispute in the future.

Sometimes couples reach an agreement between themselves, sell property and divide money between them without having the agreement documented and formalised. This is extremely risky as several years later there may be a significant change in either parties’ financial circumstances and a further adjustment of property may be sought by a party when the other party thought that everything was finalised.

These delayed settlements can become complex and add unnecessary costs. It important to obtain advice from our team at Pearsons Lawyers upon separation and have any agreed property division 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.

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

How is a property settlement documented?

If the parties can reach agreement they can complete forms and file them with the Court and provided that the property settlement is proper a Court officer known as a Registrar will make orders without the need for the parties to attend Court.  These are called consent orders and are relatively quick and inexpensive.

Alternatively, the parties can document their agreement by way of a financial agreement.  This is a contract under the provisions of the Family Law Act and sets out the terms of the agreement to finalise property and/or spousal maintenance matters between the parties.

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 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.

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

Know Where You Stand

Child Custody

> Learn More Here

Hidden First Field
Can I still see my children during Covid19?

The number of parenting disputes have increased significantly during the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving parents wondering how to navigate through these challenging times. Ultimately parents are facing a risk versus benefit dilemma of balancing the safety of their children against ensuring that the children spend time with the other parent as per court orders or by agreement.

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.

Where does this leave thousands of parents and their children?

The Family and Federal Circuit Court Judges have warned that parents must do their best to comply with court orders and formal parenting arrangements during COVID-19. Therefore parents are not to suspend time-with arrangements unless they have reasonable excuse (for example a health professional directing you and the children into quarantine or a travel ban being issued). However, there is less clarity for those that do not have Court Orders or formal arrangements in place.

Although restrictions have eased and children have returned to school there remains some confusion around parenting arrangements including changeovers, parents that live overseas or interstate and are seeking to spend time with children across these borders. We can guide parents based on their specific 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.

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 affects a parent’s ability to pay child support and the parent in receipt of child support.

If you are paying child support pursuant to a child support assessment you must notify DHHS/The Child Support Agency without delay and advise of any change in your income.

The parent receiving child support should contact Centrelink to consider options available to help them during this difficult time.

Meeting obligations to comply with terms of a Binding Child Support Agreement can also be challenging during these times. These agreements may include payment of school fees, extra circular activities and medical insurance and out of pocket expenses. Such Agreements can only be terminated or varied by a further Child Support Agreement or Court Order. The Child Support Agency is unable to help in these situations.

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 need to formalise parenting arrangements?

When separating, parties often have disputes about parenting matters. Often they are able to resolve these disputes by way of direct discussions and negotiations between them, with the assistance of mediation or by negotiating parenting matters through their lawyers.

At Pearsons Lawyers we can provide you with options and advice about parenting matters.

Parties can enter into a Parenting Plan which is a document usually prepared at mediation setting out the agreement reached. The Parenting Plan is not an enforcement Order and is simply an agreement in writing which reflects the intentions of the parties as to how they will parent the children in the future. However, if a party to a Parenting Plan does not comply with its terms then the Parenting Plan can be shown to a Court to evidence the agreement that was in existence between the parties at that point in time.

The best option is to have formal Orders made by consent detailing the parenting arrangements for the children including who has parental responsibility, who the children are to live with, what time they are to spend with the other parent and other matters relating to their relationship with each parent such as involvement in their education and health.

Orders cannot be made about financial matters concerning the children as these are matters in the domain of the Child Support Agency or as agreed in a private Child Support Agreement.
To avoid misunderstandings and disputes about parenting matters, it is highly recommended that formal Orders be made in relation to children.

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.

Who is responsible for the financial support of the children?

ince the introduction of the Child Support Act and the Child Support Scheme matters relating to the financial support of children are usually dealt with by the Child Support Agency.

At Pearsons Lawyers we can help you in accessing the Child Support Agency website and the estimator to obtain an idea as to the likely amount of child support that is to be paid.

The parent with the children known as the “eligible parent” would usually make an application to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment of child support. They would then either elect to collect the child support themselves or alternatively “opt-in” and elect for the Child Support Agency to collect the child support on their behalf. These matters are all achieved administratively.

At Pearsons Lawyers we will advise you about your child support rights or obligations and guide you in achieving a good outcome for the financial support of the children including the possibility of entering into a private contract known as a Binding Child Support Agreement providing for the financial support and maintenance of the children including matters such as private education, health insurance and extracurricular activities.

Sometimes there is a need for urgent financial support in which event Pearsons Lawyers can help you apply to the Court to seek immediate financial support.

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.

Can I negotiate my own parenting arrangements?

Parents of children are in the best position to understand and negotiate parenting matters concerning their children.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, it is a requirement of the legislation that parents attend mediation with a qualified mediator to assist them in negotiating parenting matters. If the parents are able to reach agreement then the mediator will prepare a Parenting Plan. Parents can then take the Parenting Plan to their lawyers and obtain legal advice including as to whether it is prudent to have the Parenting Plan converted into formal and enforceable Court Orders.

If the parents are unable to reach agreement through the mediation process, the mediator will issue a Section 60i Certificate which simply states that the parents attended mediation and were unable to reach agreement for one or other reason. The parents can then file the Section 60i Certificate when they commence Court proceedings as evidence that they have tried mediation.

It is always beneficial and prudent to obtain specialist Family Law advice from Pearsons Lawyers as to the options available to you. We will guide you through the mediation/Court processes.

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 does child support work?

In 1989 the Child Support Act created the Child Support Scheme. The Scheme is administered by the Federal Government through the tax office and DHHS/Centerlink.

The parent with whom the children live can apply to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment of child support.

The Agency uses a 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 each 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 of Child Support 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 review/re-assessment.  The Application is considered by an Objections Officer. If still aggrieved an Application can be made for determination by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. If there is an issue of public policy or a question of law and Application can be made to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia for consideration by a Judge.

Pearsons Lawyers can help clients negotiating matters concerning the financial support of their children and, where appropriate, negotiating and 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.

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

Hidden First Field

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

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.

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

What happens if we cannot agree on parenting arrangements?

If parenting arrangements cannot be agreed to with through negotiations or mediation Court proceedings may become necessary.

It is only in exceptional cases that the Court becomes involved without the parties attending mediation.

Once the parties have exhausted mediation, if they cannot reach agreement the mediator will issue what is known as a s60i Certificate which simply states that the parties attended mediation and cannot agree.  This is the document that is filed with the Court which enables the parties to ask the Court for help.

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.

What is the Court process?

To commence the Court process documents need to be prepared and filed detailing what Orders are sought and providing evidence as to why those Orders are appropriate.

If the matter proceeds through the entire Court process there are a number of stages. 

There is the first hearing which usually takes place within 6 to 8 weeks of filing the documents.  After documents are filed and served the other party will have the right to file responding material detailing the orders that they seek and why they seek them.

If there is extreme urgency requiring urgent Orders such as a Recovery Orders or a Relocation Orders these can be dealt with either ex parte or in a matter of days.

At the first Court date the Court will hear any urgent applications and make what is known as “interim parenting orders” and procedural orders.  Procedural orders may be for the parties to attend upon a Family Consultant either within the Court system or privately and to obtain a report for the Court to consider on the next occasion.

On the second Court event the Court will consider any family reports of the Family Consultant and make any further parenting orders as are appropriate and may make other orders for the further and future conduct of the matter including for the matter to proceed to Trial.

From the commencement of the proceedings until the Trial of the proceedings could take anywhere between 1 to 2 years or even more depending upon delays within the Court system, any difficulties encountered with the particular matter and the like.

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.

What does the Court take into account?

The Court considers the history of the care arrangements for the children during the relationship, what care arrangements were in place after the parties separated, any other issues or concerns including mental health issues, drug addiction or alcohol abuse, violence and domestic abuse and any other matters which may impact upon the safety and welfare of the children.

Ultimately the Court is only concerned about the welfare of the children and it is required to make orders which are in their best interests regardless of the demands, wants and needs of the parents.

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 does it take to reach a parenting agreement?

In the best case scenario where parents are able to communicate and cooperate with the assistance of lawyers and/or mediators are able to reach agreement the agreement can be documented and approved within a matter of months.

In the worst case scenario people can “lock horns” and be involved in litigation for many years particularly where children are young.

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 does the child’s wishes get taken into account?

Young children can be easily manipulated by a parent or others and although they may express a wish their wish may be given little or no weight.

As children get older and mature their wishes are given greater weight.

Essentially once children become young teenagers their wishes are given more weight as they can “vote with their feet”.

The children’s wishes are usually brought to the Court’s attention through a Family Consultant who prepares a family report detailing the child’s wishes and give some insight as to how much weight those wishes should be given.

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 need a lawyer to reach a custody arrangement?

It is not mandatory to engage a lawyer to help you negotiate parenting arrangements.  Pearsons Lawyers can use their skills and knowledge to:

  • Help guide you through the process;
  • Consider matters which you may not have thought of such as having access to your children’s medical/school documents in the event that there is an Intervention Order in place ect; and
  • Properly documenting any agreement reached and have formal enforceable Orders made by the Court. 

In the absence of an agreement Pearsons Lawyers can ensure that the proper documents are prepared with the relevant evidence to enable the Court to make a decision which is in the best interests of the children and to guide you through the process which would otherwise be extremely difficult and confusing.

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.

What does it cost to negotiate and formalised parenting arrangements?

If parents can readily reach agreement and formalise that agreement by way of Consent Orders costs can be limited.  The cost will vary depending upon the time and effort required by Pearsons Lawyers. Most lawyers charge an hourly rate which varies depending on the level of expertise, skill and knowledge of the individual lawyer required for your particular case.

If agreement cannot be reached litigation becomes necessary, the cost could escalate. For example, private family reports and psychiatric reports of the parents are expensive.

In some cases a Court appoints an independent lawyer to represent the children, known as an Independent Children’s Lawyer (“ICL”). 

The ICL becomes a party in the proceedings. They gather information and documents such as subpoenas to Police, schools, doctors/paediatricians, DHHS and the like to ensure that all the necessary documents and information required by the Court are available to the Court to enable it to make decisions which are in the best interests of the children.

The cost of any case depends on the complexity of the issues and of the parties. At your first FREE appointment Pearsons Lawyers will provide you with an estimate of your costs applicable to the various stages of your matter and to its conclusion.

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.

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

"When I first separated I was completely overwhelmed and confused. The staff at Pearsons were reassuring and calm, and made me feel supported and comfortable as we worked together to manage the settlement."

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Rosemary, Melbourne