Divorce Lawyers Sydney
Helping you through your divorce
A divorce is a major life event. When you’re navigating your way through a divorce, it can also be an uncertain time. How much money will you have? Where will you live? How will the kids spend their time? What happens to your pets?
Even if you’re on good terms with your ex, the process is often challenging.
But help is here. We are Sydney lawyers with plenty of experience in handling all types of divorces, from straight-forward arrangements to complex financial separations involving valuable business assets and trusts.
Whatever your circumstances, your emotional and financial needs are the top priority for us. With experience, compassion and skill, we’ll look after you. Most importantly, our services are affordable and efficient: top-notch services in the fastest possible time, at the lowest possible cost.
Rated Top 3 Divorce Lawyers Sydney
It’s no accident that we’ve been rated in the Top 3 Best Family Lawyers in Sydney, for four consecutive years. Why? Because we listen. We communicate clearly. We find solutions. Most importantly, our clients are our top priority.
“Rated top 3 best Family Lawyers in Sydney for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.”Source: Threebestrated.com.au
Is it worth engaging a divorce lawyer?
While it’s true you can represent yourself in family law matters, it’s a huge advantage to instruct a specialist lawyer in this area.
Often, clients are relieved of much stress by simply picking up the phone and making an appointment to see us.
Many of our clients have never used a lawyer. They don’t know what to expect or how to handle the situation. The pressure may mean they’re not acting or thinking as they usually would. Without a divorce lawyer, the result can leave them financially and emotionally worse off.
Many people who don’t use legal representation are unaware of their entitlements. They often settle for less because they feel defeated, unsure, or powerless. It can also have a significant impact on the well being of their children. When you use our services, you’ll receive guidance from an experienced family lawyer. We will take the time to ensure you understand the process and will explore the issues to find the best solution.
Affordable with flexible billing arrangements
We’re specialists in every part of the divorce process, right down to our flexible billing arrangements.
Choose the billing model that’s right for you:
- Event billing – Opt to receive a bill whenever an agreed event occurs. We’ll work with you to make a plan of events
- Time interval billing – Based on the time we spend working on your legal issue. Usually, our time interval billing is based on an hourly rate
- Fixed-rate fees – We’ll give you an upfront quote and that’s the set fee, regardless of the time it takes to complete the task
Learn more about Divorce in NSW and Australia
What’s the Difference between Separation and Divorce?
Before you can divorce your spouse, Australian family law requires you to have been separated for at least one year.
When you separate from your spouse, you’re still legally married. Separated couples often choose to live apart, but it’s also possible to continue living under the same roof. Proving your separation dates is more complicated when you remain under one roof. We recommend getting legal advice if you’re in this situation.
If you choose to remain separated but not divorce, you can work with our separation lawyers in Sydney to make sure you’re protected. We’ll also help you inform government agencies such as the Child Support Agency and Medicare.
When divorce isn’t planned, the biggest reason to see a separation lawyer is to protect your assets, for example, real estate, bank accounts and investments. You’ll need to ensure you’ve got a new will, power of attorney and have other plans in place.
We’ll talk to you about your options.
How to apply for a divorce in Sydney and NSW
Before applying for a divorce in Australia, you must satisfy all the requirements. For example:
- You must be legally married
- There is no hope of reconciliation
- You must have been separated for 12 months or more
There are also other requirements concerning children and short-term marriages.
We’ll work out whether you satisfy the requirements and help you with your application.
There may be other issues to be sorted out, for example making arrangements for your children, dividing your assets and sorting out your finances. A court may require you to show you’ve got a financial agreement with your former spouse before it grants your application.
What is spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance arises in separation or divorce. One spouse pays money to the other as financial support. It’s also known as spousal support.
Spousal maintenance is usually needed when there’s a gap between the earning ability of the spouses. Often, it’s a court-ordered payment.
Spousal support isn’t an automatic entitlement. A court will consider many factors when deciding whether it’s appropriate, including
- Ability to work
- Current income
- Assets and investments
- Whether the marriage affected your ability to work
- A suitable standard of living
- Parenting arrangements
Spousal maintenance usually ends if you marry again.
Spousal Maintenance and Binding Financial Agreements
Child support and child custody is often a big part of Family Court divorce proceedings. The Australian government provides many options for dealing with child support cases. Our law firm can help you assess the possibilities and make a decision before the final Court hearing.
When a court orders one spouse to pay maintenance to the other spouse, this becomes a binding financial agreement (BFA). Breaching a BFA is a breach of court orders, often with severe penalties. When you instruct us to act as your lawyers, negotiating a BFA is part of what we do. We represent your best interests and do everything we can to look after you and your loved ones.
Parenting issues in Sydney and NSW
Child custody issues are highly sensitive. The best interests of the children are the most important consideration, and it’s what a court will look at to work out custody and parenting arrangements. The best way to look after your loved ones is to have the help of a specialist child custody lawyer.
Formal and informal child support arrangements
The Australian government provides many options for child support payments. We’ll help you work out which option best suits you and your children. Options include:
Self-managed child support
If you and your spouse can agree on child support, you don’t have to involve the Government. Instead, you can make a financial agreement for child support and take care of everything privately.
Apply for an assessment
You may wish to apply for a child support assessment. You and your former spouse will both need to provide information about your financial situations, children’s expenses and earnings. The Government will conduct the assessment.
Make a limited child support agreement
A limited child support agreement is an agreement between you and your former spouse. It’s based on a Government assessment and it’s active until you both ask for it to finish. Or, one party can end the agreement after three or more years.
Make a binding child support agreement
In a binding child support agreement, both parties agree to a specific amount of child support without the need for a Government assessment. It’s similar to self-management, but you’ll need to submit paperwork to the Government.
Court-ordered child support
Sometimes, a court will order child management payments. For example, payments for an adult child (aged 18 years or more) who remains financially dependent because of disability or further education.
Getting consent orders for children’s issues
If you and your former spouse have agreed on children and parenting issues, you can apply to a court for consent orders so the agreement is legally enforceable. The orders are known as consent orders (or parenting orders)simply because both parties consent to the orders being made.
Frequently Asked Questions
⏰ How long does it take to get a divorce?
If everything is agreed, the divorce process is usually around four months from the time we file your application to the final order.
However, many divorcing couples are also dealing with property division and parenting issues. Finalising these things can slow down the parties’ progress.
Once we understand your circumstances and requirements, we’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate about how long it will take.
❓ What requirements must I meet before I can get a divorce?
Before you can apply for a divorce, Australian law requires you to demonstrate:
– Your marriage is valid
– You have separated for at least 12 months
– There’s no hope of reconciliation
💰 How much does it cost to get a divorce?
The court’s fee for filing a divorce application is $910. You may have legal costs for other issues, for example, making parenting arrangements, or expert reports and assessments.
Once we understand your circumstances, we’ll give you a written fixed cost and outline payment options.
💲 Who pays for a divorce?
If you’re the person applying, usually, you’ll pay the filing fee. If your former spouse agrees, you can share the costs. Lawyers’ fees are an extra cost. We’ll give you advice how to manage these expenses.
🔍 Do I need proof of divorce?
In some situations, you’ll need to have proof of your divorce. For example, if you’re getting married again, you’ll need to show your divorce order to your marriage celebrant.
❓ Does divorce automatically happen after 12 months of separation?
No. After 12 months of legal separation, you’re eligible to divorce if you satisfy all the other requirements.
You must make a formal divorce application to start the process.
🌎 If I got married overseas, can I get a divorce in Australia?
You can divorce in Australia if Australian law recognises your marriage as legal, even if you were married overseas.
✍ How do I divorce my same-sex husband or wife?
Marriage equality is legalised in Australia. Same-sex couples can divorce under Australian law. They must follow the same process and meet the same requirements as opposite-sex couples.
👩💼 How do I choose a divorce lawyer in Sydney and NSW?
Having a good family lawyer is an excellent first step in getting the outcome that’s right for you. We recommend a lawyer who:
– Makes sure they understand your situation and wishes
– Uses plain language when communicating with you
– Explains the legal concepts
– Is experienced in similar family law issues
We offer a free first consultation so you have the opportunity to work out whether we’re suited.
📚 What documents do I need to bring to my first meeting with my lawyer?
You’ll need to bring a copy of your marriage certificate and ID documents. When you make your appointment, ask us what other documents you’ll need to bring.
👮♂️ My former spouse has been charged with a criminal offence. How will this affect my divorce?
In Australia, we have no-fault divorces. In other words, even if your spouse has an affair, it’s not a criminal issue. However, if at the time of your divorce, your spouse is involved in a separate criminal law case, it may be relevant if there’s a child custody issue.