This is one of the two areas in which the office specialises.
The aim of consulting a solicitor in family law issues is firstly to ascertain your rights. Once you have a clear understanding of your rights, instructions will be taken to work out what you want to do and what you want to achieve so that the dispute is resolved, if possible by agreement, and hopefully without the need for an application in court. An agreement is usually finalised by a Consent Order being made in Court. The focus is to resolve any problems in a timely and cost effective way.
Mediation is an important part of the dispute resolution process. Depending on the complexities of your case, mediation might occur in two stages, initially for one aspect and will be arranged with an accredited mediator. Depending upon the nature of the dispute, the mediator appointed may be from one of the numerous government funded organisations, or a private mediator.
If Court proceedings have to be commenced on your behalf, or have already been commenced by the other party, they will be vigorously pursued or defended. Usually Court proceedings are at the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court at Parramatta. Sometimes a barrister will need to be retained and we will only instruct competent, experienced practitioners in that event.
During an initial interview these matters will be discussed and a strategy outline developed, including providing advice as to costs, the timeframe, and the probable range of results.
Wills and Estates
Contested Estates – This involves disputes when applicants are left out of a Will or not given what they consider to be a fair share of the proceeds of an estate or, when an allegation is made that a Will is defective or there has been some fraud. At the time of the initial interview an indication of prospects of success will be provided. That initial advice will subsequently be confirmed by a barrister who may be engaged during the course of the litigation.
Probate – This concerns finalising a person’s affairs after their death. It usually involves an application for a Grant of Probate being made to the Supreme Court (where there is a valid Will), or an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). At the time of the initial interview advice will be given as to the precise steps required, the costs involved and the likely time frame for completion of the matter. Instructions in such matters are usually given by the next of kin, or the beneficiaries under a Will.
Wills – These may be simple or complex depending on the extent of your estate and the nature of your relationships. Advice about all issues will be discussed during the first interview, including whether a Power of Attorney or Power of Enduring Guardianship should be considered.
For existing clients, we also undertake Conveyancing work.