Family law

"I can't thank you enough for the prompt and outstanding effort you have given, and produced a terrific result in assisting myself and my family to be able to head in the right direction. I am so grateful :)"

Services

Ellery Brookman offers a comprehensive family law service, including divorce, property and children’s matters, spousal and child maintenance and financial agreements (including pre-nuptial agreements). We offer advanced negotiation skills and court representation if required, and can help you seek an injunction or violence restraining order if your circumstances require urgent court intervention.

We understand the emotional and financial impact that a relationship breakdown can cause. Wherever possible we will work to achieve an amicable resolution to save you the time, money and stress that family court litigation can involve. Sometimes proceedings in the Family Court are the only way to resolve family disputes, and if that is the case we will represent you to enforce your rights in those proceedings.

We commonly recommend the engaging of a barrister to provide specialist representation in court should your matter proceed to a final hearing.  This enables us to ensure that you get the best representation available.  We maintain links with a panel of experienced and capable barristers (based in Perth) and work with you to ensure that the right person is selected to assist you if required.

Binding financial agreements ("pre-nups")

For information regarding binding financial agreements (also known as pre-nuptial agreements), see the "Wills and estate planning" tab of this website under the heading "Guarding against relationship breakdown".

FAQ

Q: Our relationship breakdown is amicable. Do I really need to see a family lawyer?

A: Irrespective of whether or not a relationship breakdown is amicable, it is worth seeing a family lawyer in order to ascertain whether there is anything you should be doing to protect your position.

Whether you’re dealing with property or children, if the breakdown is amicable, that is usually the best time to negotiate final orders, preventing any comeback by the other party. Often an amicable relationship between ex-partners can deteriorate unexpectedly – for example if one party moves on with a new relationship.

In the case of property, there is often paperwork to be done to divide the property of the relationship in the way you have agreed, and getting family court orders made by consent can save you a lot of money when it comes to transfer (stamp) duty.

Q: How much does it cost to get family law representation?

A: Family law representation is often expensive because of the complicated circumstances surrounding a relationship breakdown. However, the likely cost of representation varies enormously depending on your particular situation. Ellery Brookman provides up to half an hour of initial advice in relation to family law matters for a fixed fee of $110. This enables you to sit down with an experienced family law solicitor, discuss your situation and the issues it raises, and discuss options for dealing with these issues as well as the likely cost of each option. Of course, you need not proceed any further if you feel, after discussing your situation with us, that there is no need, and we will advise you if we consider this to be the case. But you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve obtained advice about whether there is anything that you could or should be doing legally in the wake of your relationship breakdown.

Q: Do I have to pay up front?

A: In most cases, yes, you will need to make an upfront payment or set up a regular deposit of funds into our trust account in order for us to provide you with family law representation. Sometimes arrangements can be made for payment on the sale of property or when funds are received from the other party in property disputes. We are happy to discuss these issues with you.

Q: Do you do family law for Legal Aid clients in children’s matters?

A: Unfortunately we cannot provide family law assistance to Legal Aid clients. If due to your circumstances you cannot fund your own representation in a children’s matter, you should speak to Legal Aid directly.

Q: Can we both come in to see you at the same time?

A: We must act for one party or the other. We cannot act for both and you should not bring your ex-partner with you to your initial appointment. You are most welcome to bring any other family or friends to your appointment for support.

Q: Is it okay if I bring my children?

A: You should make arrangements for your children to be cared for as they are unable to attend family law appointments.