Family & Relationship Lawyers Geelong and Melbourne

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We understand the complex nature of family law

If you are experiencing a breakdown in your relationship, we understand that you may be undergoing significant stress during what can be an extremely difficult and challenging time. Establishing your legal position can be frustrating and confusing. At Coulter Legal, our family lawyers take a professional and empathetic approach to family law matters, and work with you to make every effort to resolve your matter without the need for costly and lengthy litigation by first adopting conciliatory methods, such as negotiation and mediation.

We understand how important it is to understand and carefully consider your position following the breakdown of your relationship.  We also understand that the decisions you are making today will impact on your financial and emotional wellbeing in the future.   We also understand the impact separation has on children and we ensure that at all times your children’s best interests are paramount

Our approach is personalised to each client and our advice is clear and easy to understand. We aim to reduce the pressure and confusion you may be experiencing by providing clear and comprehensive legal advice.   Our family law team are committed to communicating with you regularly to ensure that you remain in control of your circumstances and know how your matter is progressing.  Our family law team maintain that communication is essential in assisting to reduce the stress which may be encountered during the course of your matter.

Our family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of family law and consistently resolve complex property and parenting matters without the need to resort to costly and lengthy litigation. With years of experience, our family law team is well-equipped to understand and deal with detailed and intricate asset holding structures involving corporate entities, trusts, partnerships and businesses. Where agreement cannot be reached without resorting to litigation, our family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of both the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court processes and rules.

We offer a no cost 30 minute initial consultation to enable you to discuss your situation with an experienced family lawyer. The initial consultation provides an opportunity to gain an informed understanding of your matter and the necessary steps to achieve a resolution.

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Key matters we can advise you on

When a relationship ends, there are important issues that need to be considered and dealt with appropriately in order to secure your future. We understand that legal matters may not be at the forefront of your mind and may not feel like a priority at the time of separation.  However engaging a family lawyer to assist you with the many issues which may arise as a consequence of separation are crucial . Find out more

Separation occurs when one party to a marriage or a de facto relationship communicates to the other party that they no longer wish to continue the relationship.  There is no requirement to register a separation, however it is important to note the date that separation occurs, as this is when the time limit to commence a formal Court application for the division of assets will begin. Find out more

In order to make an application for divorce in Australia, you must be separated from your spouse for a period of 12 months and 1 day.  The family law team at Coulter Legal have put together a comprehensive guide to divorce law in Australia.  Coulter Legal offers a no-obligation online divorce tool for standard Divorce applications. Once completed, you will be fully supported from start to finish by one of our experienced family lawyers. Find out more

While a relationship breakdown may carry an immense emotional burden on the parties involved, the children of the relationship are also likely be affected by separation.  It is critical that at the time of separation, proper arrangements are made for any children of the relationship.

Some important things to consider are who the child will live with, how much time the child will spend with the parent they are not living with , whether you or your former partner will make an application for Child Support and how a property settlement should be structured to meet the financial needs of the children and their primary carer.

If you and your former partner are unable to agree about parenting matters independently, you should obtain legal advice.  At Coulter Legal, we work hard to resolve parenting matters without resorting to litigation, which can be costly and can obstruct the ability to co-parent effectively. Find out more

If there are children of the relationship, you or your former partner may be required to pay Child Support following separation.  In Australia, Child Support is administered by the Child support Agency.  You or your former spouse can make an application to the Child support Agency for a Child Support Assessment.

The law around Child support is complex.  Should you require advice with respect to Child Support it is advisable to obtain legal advice.

The rate of Child Support that is assessed is calculated using a formula which takes into consideration each person’s income, the age of the child and the number of nights that a child is in each parent’s care. Find out more

Often, when a parent or family member is notified that that a child or relative is subject to a report or investigation by DFFH, this can be a difficult and confronting experience.  Children’s Court matters may intersect with Family Law proceedings, and Coulter Legal possess experienced lawyers who are capable of providing guidance and representation. Find out more

Following separation, the division of the property of a marriage, de facto or same sex relationship is a  concern to both parties.  You and your former partner may be able to reach agreement about the division of property between you without the assistance of lawyers.  In most cases, however, it will be necessary for the agreement that is reached to be legally documented by way of Consent Order which is an order made by a court or a Financial Agreement.

If you and your former partner are unable to reach agreement as to the division of the property of your relationship, the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court have the power to make Orders regarding property division.  It is a common misconception that assets will be divided 50/50 between parties. The Court is required to consider a range of factors in deciding the terms of a property division, including the financial and non-financial contributions of each party before, during and after the relationship.  The Court will also consider future needs of both parties such as income earning capacity and care of any child of the relationship.

In any property settlement it is important to consider superannuation entitlements, as such entitlements form part of the property pool that is available for division between the parties through what is referred to as a “superannuation split”. Find out more

Following separation, you or your former spouse may seek a payment of spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is separate to the requirement to pay Child Support. The Court has the power to make orders with respect to spousal maintenance. There are three types of spousal maintenance, being urgent spousal maintenance, interim spousal maintenance, and lump sum spousal maintenance.

Before making an order for spousal maintenance, the court will consider whether the person applying for spousal maintenance has a genuine need for maintenance, whether they are unable to meet that need themselves without reliance on an income tested pension, and whether their former spouse has the capacity to pay them maintenance, after meeting all of their own reasonable living expenses. Find out more

Our family law team specialises in assisting individuals to obtain immediate protection by obtaining a Family Violence Intervention Order, for family violence committed by a family member. Find out more

Often once lawyers are engaged in a family law matter, resolving parenting matters and the division of the property of your relationship amicably may seems difficult. However, alternative dispute resolution and mediation may assist the parties to reach agreement and avoid costly and lengthy litigation. Find out more

Many consequences arise and impact on an outcome in a family law property settlement and/or family law property proceeding if a person to a marriage or de facto relationship is declared bankrupt. Find out more

Family law matters concerning international elements are becoming increasingly common.  Our lawyers at Coulter Legal are able to provide expert and strategic advice to client’s about their rights in Australia and overseas. Find out more