Our expert Family Lawyers help our valued clients through relationship breakdown and divorce with clear legal advice and direct practical guidance.
If you have a tricky family law situation, or simply need advice about what to do next, our Family Law team can assist you and your family. Click here
Types of matters and areas of advice
People consult us for family law advice at any point of their relationship, including:
- Before a de facto relationship or marriage to discuss a financial agreement or a “pre-nuptial” agreement
- During a marriage or relationship to negotiate and remediate unfair financial arrangements, or to obtain “what if” advice in the event of divorce
- After the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship
- To discuss their parental responsibilities and rights, at any time
- To discuss family planning, including surrogacy, IVF and adoption
- To obtain a second opinion, and
- To discuss integrative business succession and estate planning involving family law considerations for one or more family members
In parenting matters, we help our client and the family transition to workable arrangements as the child moves from having one home to two homes.
In more complicated parenting matters, we represent and guide our clients in relation to the impact of mental health issues, substance dependency, family violence or allegations of family violence, on the best interests of the child. Our experience extends to cases involving child sexual abuse and allegations of child sexual abuse.
In many parenting cases, our skills, work and expertise are devoted to helping competent parents make a functional transition to good parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of their child or children. In the majority of these cases, our advice also includes advice and guidance to resolve interim financial issues, and to prepare for the resolution of a final property settlement.
Property settlement cases
Our financial cases often involve the valuation of businesses and professional practices, shareholder rights in private companies, the operation and treatment of trusts from a family law perspective, and self-managed superannuation funds. We act for clients that are based overseas, interstate and in regional areas, as well as our Sydney metropolitan based clients.
It is said that the high cost of real estate in Sydney is a factor in the timing of family breakdown, and the challenge of negotiating early agreements. Based on the methodology used by the Court and lawyers to work out a just and equitable property settlement, disagreements during negotiations can also centre on one or more of the following:
- The valuation of assets, and sometimes the valuation of liabilities
- The assessment, from a legal perspective, of the contributions made by each spouse to the relationship, both financial and non-financial, commencing from the beginning of cohabitation until the present time
- Whether the final settlement must incorporate a further adjustment in favour of one of the spouses to achieve a ‘’just and equitable’’ settlement, after the assessment of their respective overall contributions, to deal with any disparity in their incomes, property, earning capacity, caring responsibilities and other factors set out in the Family Law Act (called “the future needs factors” as a shorthand description), and
- The make-up of the final settlement, that is, what are the entitlements of each party in terms of the transfer of any property between them, the payment of money and the property and liabilities to be retained by each party
We have unrivalled experience with the settlement of property settlement cases because our family law partner, Paul Lewis is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, and an Accredited Specialist in Dispute Resolution, and he has more than 30 years experience in family law.
The parenting provisions in the Family Law Act are unpinned by the ‘’best interests of the child’’ principle. In other words, the welfare of the child is the over-riding principle that is expressed when encouraging parents to reach agreement on the parenting arrangements for their child, and when the Court has to determine an application for parenting orders when parents cannot agree.
The property and spousal maintenance provisions in the Family Law Act have more than 45 years of history behind them. The law in relation to financial cases is regulated by the legislation and the case law over that time. There is a lot of discretion involved in the determination of a majority of financial cases, and yet others are simpler. It is important to consult a solicitor that is a family law specialist, someone who can give you practical guidance as well as advice on the legislation and the case law.
At Eakin McCaffery Cox, we aim to excel with 3 things when providing family law advice and representation, they are:
- Legal advice that is clear and expressed in plain English
- Strategic thinking through consultation with our client
- Good client care that is appreciated by our valued clients