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Family Law

At MSA Lawyers We Are Collaborators.

We help to navigate the legal process of separation and divorce through an approach that encourages mutually beneficial compromise without the negativity or emotional toll of traditional pathways.

Our experienced and qualified team strive to provide a divorce experience that breaks away from the conventional mould of lengthy, hostile and complex negotiations so that decisions related to things like the division of assets, living arrangements and child support are done so with your family wellbeing at the core.

This holistic approach to divorce has inspired us to create and introduce a wellbeing program that gives you access to helpful information and supports throughout your journey to achieve an amicable and fair settlement.

Divorce and separation can be a difficult and emotional time for any family. Our lawyers are specialised in providing advice in Property and Financial Settlements, Binding Financial Agreements, Parenting Plans, Airport Watch List Order, Family Violence, Defacto Relationships, Child Custody and Intervention Orders.

Where We Can Help

1. Property and Financial Settlements

You must file proceedings in a timely manner after the relationship has ended. Otherwise you may lose the right to claim on any property or financial settlement.

2. Divorce

You can apply for a divorce in Australia if (i) you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 12 months; (ii) you do not intend on reuniting with your spouse; (iii) you are an Australian Citizen by birth, descent or by Grant of Australian Citizenship; (iv) you regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; (v) you have lived in Australia for more than 12 months before filing for Divorce; or (vi) you are required to attend Court if you have children under the age of 18 years.

3. Binding Financial Agreements

Binding Financial Agreements also know as prenuptial agreements can be entered into at any stage throughout your relationship. They require strict legal requirements and must be enforceable in the eyes of the Court. Both parties must obtain independent legal advice before signing a BFA and our lawyers are qualified in providing advice on the pros and cons of signing the agreement.

4. Parenting Plans

After you have separated with your partner, you should consider all aspects of your children’s wellbeing. Your children’s care and welfare arrangements are crucial to work on earlier rather than later. It is vital that the parents make long terms decisions in relation to their children’s schooling, religion, travel and medical decisions. Sometimes, it may be difficult for the parents to agree on a parenting plan. Before initiating an application, it is compulsory that the parties attempt to resolve their dispute through Mediation and should contact a Family Relationships Centre in their local suburb. It is important to consider the child’s best interest when signing parenting plans.

5. De Facto Relationships

Our lawyers have extensive experience in providing advice on de facto relationships. In the eyes of the Court, de facto laws are governed under the Family Law Act and are considered be very similar to a marriage. You must file within two years of the relationship ending before you lose the right to claim.

6. Airport Watch List Order

Are you worried that your ex-partner might flee the country with your child after you have separated? Our lawyers will act quickly and efficiently to eliminate the risk of your child leaving the country without your consent.

7. Family Violence & Intervention Orders

Our aim to ensure that we deal with your matter delicately and sensitively. Your well-being and safety is the most important thing. We understand that the emotional stress that you will be facing and will be able to guide you in the right path. Our job is more than just providing legal advice. We cater to your individual needs. 

8. Pets

At the end of a relationship, you should consider the ownership and care of your pets. We can advise you on the factors that determine pet ownership, help negotiate an agreement and alternatively, prepare a Court Application if the dispute is not resolved within a timely manner.

Let us help you!

If you need assistance, feel free to contact us. We will get back to you within 24-hours.

0403 381 957 or 0478 665 548

We have offices in Melbourne and Adelaide.

admin@msalawyers.com.au Mon – Fri 8:30AM-5:30PM AEST

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be legally separated?

The law views separation when one partner has communicated that the relationship has ended to the other. Alternatively, separation occurs when both parties have agreed and consented that the relationship is over. You do not need to live separately to be separated.

When can I apply for a Divorce?

If you have been separated for at least 12 months, you can apply for a Divorce. To apply for a Divorce an Application for Divorce must be filed with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

It is important to understand that Spousal Maintenance is separate from child support and can comprise of a once off payment or be part of an ongoing payment from one party to the other for living expenses.

Spousal Maintenance is not an automatic entitlement. Spousal Maintenance must be obtained by an agreement between the parties or by a Court order.

What is a de facto relationship?

If you and your partner have a relationship and are living together on a genuine domestic basis, it is arguable that you are in a de facto relationship.

Usually a de facto relationship commences when a couple in a relationship start living together, however this is not always the case. A couple can be considered to be in a de facto relationship if they have or reside in two residences.

If there is a dispute about whether a de facto relationship existed and the Court is asked to decide this point, the Court will consider various factors to determine the existence or otherwise of a relationship.

What happens to the children in a separation?

When a relationship breaks-down, the Courts will focus on what is in the best interests for the children of that relationship, not the parents. The following are considered to be paramount to the Court:

  • Enable children to have meaningful relationships with both their parents, to the extent that this does not compromise children’s best interests
  • Protect children from physical and psychological harm, neglect and violence
  • Ensure children receive proper and adequate parenting
  • Ensure parents fulfil their duties and responsibilities.

As a parent, unless there are issues of abuse or violence, you can reasonably expect to:

  • Have ongoing involvement in your children’s lives
  • See your children regularly, including on weekdays, weekends and school holidays and
  • Be involved in ongoing decision making about your children.

Are you looking for someone to help?

Let us help you! Call Margaret on 0403 381 957 or Shabitha on 0478 665 548

·  Mon – Fri 8:30am-5:30pm AEST

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