The best divorce lawyers in Canberra

Join the conversation
150
Di Simpson from DDCS Lawyers

Di Simpson, family lawyer and partner at DDCS Lawyers. Photo: Region Media.

For whatever reason it appears the honeymoon period is over. If you are one of the many thousands of couples proceeding with divorce you will know it is a challenging time. The divorce process is highly personal; and the outcome may significantly impact your life.

Indeed, few of us have any prior experience with the legal ins and outs surrounding divorce. It is known for being a delicate process in which the emotional and financial stakes are high. Add to this, subsequent decisions around parenting, property, and finances; and one may suddenly realise the need for professional counsel. Thankfully, Canberra’s divorce lawyers are family law experts ready to offer their services as needed.

Bet it walking you through the process, understanding alternatives, and filing of documents they are there to help. Furthermore, their expertise in negotiation may prove invaluable throughout the settlement process. Some believe that finding the right divorce lawyer can even help to expedite the process and keep costs low.

But if you don’t know what to look for in a divorce lawyer, how do you know you’re investing all your money, hopes and dreams in the right one? Choosing a divorce lawyer is an important decision, however if you proceed with care, you may just find the help you need. So where to find the best in Canberra? Read on below.

What makes a great divorce lawyer?

The right divorce lawyer can help fast track your separation and take the stress out of what is already a challenging experience. Moreover, great divorce lawyers understand your position, listen and advise well, whilst keeping your best interests at heart. Here are some things to keep in mind as you evaluate potential candidates:

  • Qualified & experienced. Law is an incredibly complex field, requiring years of tertiary study. Following a degree, all lawyers are required to gain formal admission to the profession by the Supreme Court of the ACT. Additionally, they require a practising certificate as issued by the Law Society. To support these qualifications, look for experience. Good divorce lawyers have years of experience and the case history to prove it. Moreover, the best divorce lawyers are fluent in a range of legal areas that straddle divorce such as property, trust, and family law. Finally, consider their skill set, things like communication, negotiation, and problem solving are all important.
  • Family law specialist. Finding a lawyer with experience in all areas of family law – not just divorce – is incredibly important. Why? Because divorce proceedings often work in tandem with family law matters. Often a divorce can present other family law issues such as parenting and child support matters, property settlements, and spousal maintenance. Moreover, the divorce process may also require a range of ancillary services. Things like financial experts, forensic appraisers, parenting coordinators, and counsellors may each have a valuable role to play. Consider whether any would be relevant to your case and assess your lawyers’ access to these resources.
  • Personally compatible. As human nature states we often surround ourselves with likeminded people that we relate to – and feel comfortable with. Choosing a divorce lawyer is no different. The right lawyer for you is someone you trust and feel at ease with. Importantly, they support your overarching philosophy on divorce and operate in a style that is compatible to you.
  • Compassionate. For many people, the divorce process is a painful and emotionally charged time. This makes finding a divorce lawyer who genuinely hears and understands you ever more important. The best divorce lawyers are emotionally intelligent, empathetic, and are deeply compassionate. They are sensitive to the needs of both parents and exhaust all options to minimise negative impacts on children. Therefore, look for a family lawyer that you connect with. One that understands your position and is willing to support it.
  • Reputable. Reputable lawyers are known for being leaders in their field, ensuring you will receive considered and well thought out advice. The best divorce lawyers often come recommended. Speak to colleagues, friends and family, other lawyers, and soon you will have a list of the most reputable options in Canberra. Verify these recommendations with some research. And, even if you have no intention of heading to trial, review each lawyer’s trial record. Their history of success in court is a great track record and a good indicator of their success in negotiation.

The best divorce lawyers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Parker Coles Curtis

Parker Coles Curtis

Parker Coles Curtis is a boutique family law firm led by specialist family lawyers. The firm’s talented and devoted team supports clients before, during and after a break-up.

Combining expertise with extensive legal experience, lawyers provide care, choice and practical solutions for changing relationships or family law problems. The team provides advice to and represents clients in challenging situations like separation, divorce, parenting and custody disputes, family violence, domestic violence, property settlement, child support, spouse maintenance and wills and estate matters. An accredited mediator is available.

Parker Coles Curtis tailors options to suit clients needs. With their Australian-first ‘Loungeroom Lawyer’ service, clients can access affordable and accurate legal advice when it best suits. Loungeroom Lawyers makes it easy to seek legal advice. Clients don’t visit stuffy corporate law offices, book and pay for babysitters or take time off work. Instead, Loungeroom Lawyers visit clients in their homes or through video-consult, at a fixed fee.

Parker Coles Curtis helps clients regain control and get their life back. The firm works with culturally and linguistically diverse families and LGBTIQ+ families. Contact Parker Coles Curtis for a free 15-minute chat.

As Ben mentions, "Everyone is top notch with outstanding law knowledge, professional knowledge, and a witty human touch. I am in the perfect hands for my rather complex family matters. On top of it all Debra is very well connect and can bring in other experts, e.g. migration, to marry different law matters. Overall I really enjoy working with everyone at Parker Coles Curtis and feel I invested in the right top notch people. You are at the right address here if you are looking for the best in the game with outstanding standards and professionalism."

Level 9, 1 Hobart Place
Canberra ACT 2601
DDCS Lawyers

DDCS Lawyers

DDCS Lawyers are Canberra’s leading relationship lawyers, specialising in family law, including divorce, as well as wills and estate planning. With 11 members on the team and an award-winning reputation, DDCS Lawyers offer some of the best legal advice and representation in the Canberra region. The firm’s founding partners consistently rank as leading family lawyers.

The firm’s dynamic team of lawyers, with a breadth of experience and diverse backgrounds, has helped thousands of clients, whether starting or ending a relationship, needing advice for parenting agreements, or needing to protect assets and loved ones with estate planning.

DDCS knows what matters most. The team understands the emotional and financial stress of divorce and uses a unique blend of confidence, skill and compassion to guide clients. DDCS also recognises that families and couples come in many shapes and sizes, each with their own unique challenges. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution with divorce. DDCS has the experience and expertise required to navigate the unexpected and reach optimal results with minimal disruption.

As satisfied client Cedar Hernandez wrote on Google, “Di Simpson and her team were truly amazing. She articulates everything that is most important and fought for my best interests. I felt fully supported and found the Family Law process empowering even through the stress and emotional turmoil. I was involved in the process which was important to me. Di listened to me and understood the big picture I wanted her to understand. I felt validated. The expense was worth it.”

18 Kendall Lane
Canberra CIty ACT 2601
Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt (BDN) is a full-service law firm providing expert advice with a personal touch, including with family relationships, divorce and custody. Reliable, trusted and experienced, the firm has been supporting clients for more than 150 years.

BDN lawyers understand that separation and divorce is difficult and guide clients through this complex, challenging, and sensitive time with care. Clear and close lines of communication reassure clients every step of the way.

Services include property settlements, parenting arrangements, consent orders, division of superannuation, domestic violence and same-sex relationships. Mitigation of financial risks and reduction of stress is the aim for every client from the outset. Whether using collaborative law or the Family Court, BDN provides expert advice, guidance, and representation through tailor-made legal services.

Ben Day wrote on Google, “Absolutely hand’s down the best lawyers in the business. Compassion, empathy and understanding. Professionals to the highest degree.”

Level 1, 1 Farrel Place
Canberra City ACT 2601

Snedden Hall & Gallop

Snedden Hall & Gallop has provided legal services in the Canberra region for 60 years. The family law team, backed by extensive experience and expertise, supports clients to resolve their family law matters as swiftly and amicably as possible. Clients are guaranteed considered advice and strong representation, including on property (such as the division of assets and liabilities following separation), parenting disputes and family violence or protection order matters.

As Mary Pezzella wrote on Google, “I would like to publicly congratulate the team at Snedden Hall & Gallop for their ongoing professionalism and thorough knowledge of current legal matters.”

Robinson & McGuinness Family Law

Robinson & McGuinness Family Law is a boutique firm that supports clients with family law matters, including divorce, parenting, property, child support, financial agreements, spousal maintenance, adoption, superannuation splitting, family violence and more. The firm understands that every family is different which means solutions must be tailored to individual client needs.

As Angela Jones wrote on Google, “I highly recommend Robinson and McGuinness. They are professional, friendly, supportive and provide excellent service and results.”

For the best law firms in the region have a read of our article on the best law firms in Canberra. Your situation may also require the services of our best chartered accountants, wills and estates lawyers, along with the best psychologists and child psychologists.

If you’re seeking a less-expensive alternative to going through the court system or working with a divorce lawyer, you might like our article on the best mediation and conflict resolution services in Canberra. And, for those considering reconciliation perhaps our article on the best marriage counsellors may be of interest.

Your experience with divorce lawyers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the divorce lawyers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for a divorce?

To apply for a divorce separating couples must demonstrate that their marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ with no likelihood of resuming and that they have been separated for 12 months or more. Moreover, couples need to be Australian residents or citizens, or regard Australia as their permanent home spending at least 12 months residing in the country before lodging the application. Any couples married overseas can also apply for a divorce in Australia provided the meet these criteria. Couples married less than two years must either attend counselling with a family counsellor and file a counselling certificate or obtain permission from the court to apply for a divorce without one. Finally, it is worth noting that a divorce application can be applied for by one person alone, or jointly.

How do divorce lawyers charge for their services?

This varies from firm to firm. A good rule of thumb is that the more legal input required, and the more time involved, and the higher the expense. Some law firms may offer a fixed fee structure, some offer a no win no fee structure, while others work to an hourly rate. Hourly rates typically range from $200 per hour for a junior lawyer to upwards of $600 per hour for a senior partner or principal. Additional charges may also apply for things like extra meetings or court attendances. Always review the payment structure for your divorce lawyer to understand how they charge, and any additional billable components therein.

Do I have to be divorced to finalise parenting or property arrangements?

No. The granting of a divorce denotes the legal ending of a marriage; however, it does not determine arrangements for parenting, maintenance, or property. If you want to apply to the Court for orders in relation to property, however, you need to do this at the latest within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. These arrangements must be addressed separately and can commence at any stage. For assistance here you may wish to speak to an experienced family lawyer to understand your rights and obligations in relation to property and parenting matters.

How is a divorce settlement worked out?

Typically, a divorce settlement includes the review of a couple’s net property pool; their contributions including financial, non-financial, homemaking or parenting; along with anticipated future needs. From this review, the settlement process results in a percentage division of property between spouses. It is worth nothing that time limits for filing property settlement proceedings currently apply; being 12 months from the date of divorce for married couples or 2 years from separation of de facto couples. Calculating the settlement percentage is an incredibly complex process, and professional counsel from an accredited family or divorce lawyer can be helpful.

Are there any alternatives to the Family Law Court system?

Yes, there are alternatives to traditional litigation. One option is mediation; where separating couples effectively determine their own arrangements either independently or assisted by a trained neutral third party such as an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Another option to consider is a collaborative divorce. Like mediation, a collaborative pathway is designed for parties who wish to avoid litigation. Under this option, separating couples and their respective lawyers enter a written agreement whereby parties will not litigate or threaten to litigate during the divorce process. Additionally, lawyers will not advise clients to threaten litigation. For further information see https://www.familyrelationships.gov.au/.

Join the conversation

150
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest
Monica Bryant-Norved12:48 pm 03 Jul 17

Avoid legal aid. Totally avoid Relationships Australia. Alliance Legal are excellent and will keep your costs low. I have tried a number of Canberra lawyers – the first two cost me thousands with no direct result and yes lawyers often forget to lodge paperwork – its called negligence – they should be reported to the ACT Law Society. Two years and virtually no contact with my kids aged 12 and 10. Parental alienation is child abuse. I was the breadwinner – my ex husband brainwashed my kids while I was busy supporting the family for a decade. The Family Law system is totally broken – even spending thousands of dollars – I may lose contact with my kids. I am not a criminal. I an tertiary educated. Had a top secret security clearance – I lost everything when I lost my kids. Good luck – I hope you get some good results. Our story is far too common. BTW – everyone stop responding to needhelp – massive personality disorder there and just a troll.

Fgd.com.au. Try very hard to stay out of court and don’t try getting more than 50/50 shared care of kids. Or budget 50k, and end up with the same outcome. If you try and represent yourself against a lawyer, you will lose

The average cost of a defended Family Court matter is now over $50,000 per side. My father was a Family Court Judge for 28 years. He told me 3 things of interest here:

1. The legal system if run solely for the convenience of the legal profession.
2. Any similarity between justice and the law is purely coincidence.
3. I asked him how to hire a lawyer without getting ripped off, and he told me: “I don’t know.”

My advice is represent yourself.

Sorry but

First divorce lawyer: “You’re an unmitigated liar.”
Second divorce lawyer: “You’re a lowdown cheat.”
Judge: “Now that the lawyers have identified themselves, let us proceed.”

Why should divorce lawyers be buried 100 feet deep? Because deep down, they’re really good people.

If you aren’t VERY rich, better to seek an amicable settlement. If you’re experiencing revenge angst, get counselling and settle that before you engage a lawyer. You risk an outcome where you have to pay a lawyer for a settlement that doesn’t assuage any pain or relieve any feelings that the settlement has been unjust. If you have kids and only one house between you and your partner, don’t expect to get your equity out of the house until the kids have finished uni.

capn_pugwash said :

my SIL had a good experience with Olivia Gesini. She’s known as the best in town apparently

Hi Guys,

I found this thread when i was looking for the best family lawyer in town and tried to get in touch with Olivia Gesini as a result. I contacted the law firm Farrar Gesini Dunn (www.fgd.com.au) and was told she was unavailable, but i was able to see Kasey Fox and I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommended!!

After a long and drawn out divorce – my ex and I are amicable – and wish to locate a property in the Canberra region – where we live with our kids – but not with eachother. for example top floor/bottom floor – separate living – even an A and B type set up. I know a couple of split families who’ve tried this in Melbourne and it seems to work well. Does anyone know of any such properties here in Canberra ? Rent or Buy ? Any info is appreciated…

Greg

THEFORCEOFDIVORCE3:07 pm 10 Nov 14

I can help you there….I have just collated a divorce SURVIVAL KIT. ($120 free delivery anywhere in Australia)…VITAL information that everyone needs when going through a divorce. It also has a copy of my book in it. see website for more details or contact me; http://www.theforceofdivorce.com.au

obrijo said :

Woops correction: Women’s Legal Service is at Havelock House.

Ah, wondered why my Google-fu was rusty, thanks 🙂

eyeLikeCarrots said :

Sooooooooooo, you’ll be back on the market soon ?

Hahaha you crack me up 🙂 Thank you 🙂

Woops correction: Women’s Legal Service is at Havelock House.

eyeLikeCarrots2:13 pm 22 Jan 13

Sooooooooooo, you’ll be back on the market soon ?

Thanks Starrie, I was afraid it would have to be more complicated than that, glad to hear it’s not!

Thanks for the tip obrijo, i’ll check them out – might help to have something in my back pocket.

Forms are here: http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FLC/Home/Forms/Divorce+forms+and+kits/

Fill them out, sign them in front of a lawyer or JoP, send them to your ex to sign also in front of a lawyer or JoP, lodge them online, pay the fee and the courts will do the rest for you. You don’t even need to turn up.

Try the Women’s Legal Service at Gorman House (pro bono duty solicitors at restricted times) or the duty solicitor at the Family Court can help. Legal aid is probably inaccessible to most people due to its income restrictions.

Myself: DINK (dual income, no kids) but retired senior social worker; “uncle” real” & de-facto to many distressed children. It’s a cultural thing. Sorry – but I’m not white, even though I’m 5th generation Aussie born Asian (i.e. not an Abrahamite – Jew, Xt’n, etc).
Unknown to most single mothers (most cultures), a GOOD father-figure & father-bonding is more important than any isolated, ignorant dictator. There are formally organized groups for the children of divorcing & divorced children. Locate them, with or without the participation of the isolated ‘carer’. Also normally children at about age 9 can use the internet. Soon he will ‘meet’ you on his face-book pages, without his guardian’s knowledge, at the school, local or internet-cafe computer.
Give him a mobile phone/ plan with SMS on it. If you can afford SMS via a low-cost phone plan will work. There are many smartphones (second-hand in his case; kids damage/ lose them easily). If you get a smartphone with add-ons that tell you his geographical address when he phones-SMS, it maybe more comfortable for both. Smartphones (not Apple) often take memory cards. Children like the many free games, music, etc that can be loaded onto these memory cards.
One ‘comfort’: each re-marriage means that later re-marriages also happen often & easily.
In my retirement years, I watch the solo-workers (lawyers, counsellors, medicos, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc …) who ignore that we humans are group creatures, not solo, culture-independent cacti. “They” are cactus’s, and these isolates treat everyone around them as another cactus. That’s why I enjoy the bad remedies devised by Channel’s 10 “Dr Pil”, middays during the week.

Flossie said :

What a terrible situation.
I just wanted to mention that if the stress is getting to you, please remember that lifeline is there 24/7. They won’t tell you what to do, but they will listen and support.
Their number is 131114.
Sometimes the wee small hours are the hardest.
Good luck

I’ll second that. I spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling at 3 in the morning wondering WTF I was going to do, how I could maintain contact with my kids, how I’d cope financially etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Just a recent tale to give you hope, and demonstrate that the Lone Fathers can be a bit pessimistic: Early in 2011 a mother I know took her two kids to Queensland from western NSW, claiming domestic violence (very unlikely), and without the father’s permission. He had no job, but was a caring parent and the two kids are attached to him. She is the breadwinner. His family were amazed when, after nearly six whole months in Queensland with the mum, and the kids “settled” in a new school, and living near the mum’s particular immigrant community, the court found in the dad’s favour and told the mum that if she wanted to be around her kids she had to return and stay in ******* (country town) even though it was a place where she would be unlikely to find a job. Her mistake was racking off with the kids, and assuming that it would be a “fait accompli” that the kids were settled in their new home. Everyone who knew the couple were delighted and amazed by the outcome – it was totally unexpected, as everyone thought “providing” is the main thing. Justice providing recognised the strong emotional bond with the dad, and although he is pretty piecemeal financially, he doesn’t drink or do drugs, and manages pretty well on their small income. The kids have been back with dad for several months now, settled back in school. The mum has to either live in ******* or travel down from Queensland every couple of weeks to see them. I suspect the Beak was pretty pissed off about the domestic violence story – said father has NO history of violence in ANY context, and it did seem like a tall tale.

What a terrible situation.
I just wanted to mention that if the stress is getting to you, please remember that lifeline is there 24/7. They won’t tell you what to do, but they will listen and support.
Their number is 131114.
Sometimes the wee small hours are the hardest.
Good luck

YeahBuddy said :

Masquara said :

Most importantly, GET TO LEGAL AID NOW so they are representing you and not your partner! They can’t represent both sides in a dispute, and once your ex is their client, that cuts you out. legalaid.nsw.gov.au or maybe the ACT legal aid website can help too.

Urban Legend – Legal Aid can and do fund both sides in Family Court matters

They can FUND two parties but they cannot REPRESENT two parties. Get it right willya!

LSWCHP said :

Mate, my heart goes out to you. Ten years ago my wife told me I had to get out of the house or I’d never see our three children again. I went through several years of living hell.

My take is…

You’ll have to go through mediation.

Mediation can result in legally binding agreements being entered into. If I recall correctly, RA and other agencies *require* you to have sought legal advice prior to the mediation process so that you understand your rights. Your ex might be arcing up about this, but that’s pointless. She’ll have to do the same thing. Therefore, lawyers are unavoidable, but minimise their involvement.

For a lawyer, Greg Burnett at Hill and Rummery in Civic gave me good advice. He was President of the ACT Law society, he was (maybe still is) the chairman of the Family Law Committee of the ACT Law society, and he’s an ex judge of the Family Court. He’s a gun lawyer, a nice bloke, and if anybody knows anything about family law in the ACT, he does.

Avoid Relationships Australia like the plague. My numerous contacts with them have been uniformly unsatisfactory. Arrange mediation through anybody else but them.

Stay calm. It’s bloody hard, but it’s lot better than blowing your stack. Keep it professional. That may sound strange, but you’ve gone from having an emotional commitment to a partner to attempting to negotiate a a favourable arrangement with a hostile party. It’s just business. She’ll do her best to get the most favorable outcome for herself. You should do the same.

Things won’t go entirely your way. You will have to compromise.

Document every event, good or bad. Every phone call, every contact with your ex or your kid.

Don’t fight in front of you son. No matter what the temptation, don’t dump on her in front of him. It will only make things worse.

The physical sensations of anxiety are overwhelming. Jitters, shakes, inability to sleep, knotted guts etc. I self medicated with booze and smokes, which was stupid. It sounds crazy, but lifting weights at the gym till your muscles creak and the veins bulge in your head will calm the jitters and help you to deal with this crap enormously. Give it a shot.

It’s a giant shit sandwich, but you’ll get through it eventually and your son will still love you. Some blokes are driven to despair and kill themselves and sometimes their kids. Whatever happens, don’t do that.

Good luck and best wishes. I hope it turns out well for you.

Thanks LSWCHP im trying to keep clear from her for a while maybe things might cam down

Masquara said :

Most importantly, GET TO LEGAL AID NOW so they are representing you and not your partner! They can’t represent both sides in a dispute, and once your ex is their client, that cuts you out. legalaid.nsw.gov.au or maybe the ACT legal aid website can help too.

Urban Legend – Legal Aid can and do fund both sides in Family Court matters

I recommend Julie Dobinson from Dobinson Daley Clifford Simson. They really do know their stuff.

Get the best lawyer you can afford, it’ll be worth the outlay in the long run, and act now

Mate, my heart goes out to you. Ten years ago my wife told me I had to get out of the house or I’d never see our three children again. I went through several years of living hell.

My take is…

You’ll have to go through mediation.

Mediation can result in legally binding agreements being entered into. If I recall correctly, RA and other agencies *require* you to have sought legal advice prior to the mediation process so that you understand your rights. Your ex might be arcing up about this, but that’s pointless. She’ll have to do the same thing. Therefore, lawyers are unavoidable, but minimise their involvement.

For a lawyer, Greg Burnett at Hill and Rummery in Civic gave me good advice. He was President of the ACT Law society, he was (maybe still is) the chairman of the Family Law Committee of the ACT Law society, and he’s an ex judge of the Family Court. He’s a gun lawyer, a nice bloke, and if anybody knows anything about family law in the ACT, he does.

Avoid Relationships Australia like the plague. My numerous contacts with them have been uniformly unsatisfactory. Arrange mediation through anybody else but them.

Stay calm. It’s bloody hard, but it’s lot better than blowing your stack. Keep it professional. That may sound strange, but you’ve gone from having an emotional commitment to a partner to attempting to negotiate a a favourable arrangement with a hostile party. It’s just business. She’ll do her best to get the most favorable outcome for herself. You should do the same.

Things won’t go entirely your way. You will have to compromise.

Document every event, good or bad. Every phone call, every contact with your ex or your kid.

Don’t fight in front of you son. No matter what the temptation, don’t dump on her in front of him. It will only make things worse.

The physical sensations of anxiety are overwhelming. Jitters, shakes, inability to sleep, knotted guts etc. I self medicated with booze and smokes, which was stupid. It sounds crazy, but lifting weights at the gym till your muscles creak and the veins bulge in your head will calm the jitters and help you to deal with this crap enormously. Give it a shot.

It’s a giant shit sandwich, but you’ll get through it eventually and your son will still love you. Some blokes are driven to despair and kill themselves and sometimes their kids. Whatever happens, don’t do that.

Good luck and best wishes. I hope it turns out well for you.

steveu said :

For those bagging lone fathers, I have to say they are the only group in the country who have done any sort of meaningful lobbying to the government to get laws changed. And they certainly did get changes made in recent years, its only in the last year where the labor government – who are quite dependant on th female vote – added in the ‘violence’ card to the family law act (which is another great stoy in itself).
Lone fathers are fighting a losing battle as quite franky, blokes are blissfully ignorant of the circumstance of their gender until its too late.

If you dont like the laws and the way a child’s rights to see both their parents equally are not there, get smart, support a lobby group and work to get the laws changed.

Im very sorry for the OP – however going to your ex and saying you are getting legal advice is pretty much waving a red rag to a bull isnt it? I dont think anyone here suggested to approach her and tell her you are getting yourself a lawyer.

I do wish you the best of luck. There is however some good advice in this thread. Surround yourself with your friends, listen to what people say and pick the best options for you. Use your friends for support and guidance along the way.

Thanks to all you all have great advice for me all my family is here in canberra now and i know its like a red flag to a bull but so is im taking your son interstate and you wont see him again please thanks to you all and any new voices are welcomed keep it coming

Masquara said :

If you’re a committed dad, that will be your biggest help.

Most importantly, GET TO LEGAL AID NOW so they are representing you and not your partner! They can’t represent both sides in a dispute, and once your ex is their client, that cuts you out. legalaid.nsw.gov.au or maybe the ACT legal aid website can help too.

Start planning after school care arrangements etc – talk to the school. Have a sole-parent plan ready, and make sure you are really able to play that role successfully. Is your own family in Yass?

Make sure your house is in good order and there’s plenty of food in the fridge. You’re pretty sober and industrious? Make sure you are.

Tell your ex you will be happy for the kid to spend school holidays up in Cairns with her (and the kid’s half-sibling, which is important for you to demonstrate that you are being “understanding” about. Be totally civilised no matter what. (If you’re a drinker – stay off the booze regardless of the emotional pain!)

The court will put the boy’s welfare first, so make sure you’re the stable, providing parent. In Canberra at Havelock House round the back there is a free legal advice body, they probably cover Yass.

Does the child have a passport? Talk to the passport office if you think there’s any overseas flight risk.

Good luck!

Masquara u really are giving me hope as most of you are
Im a great father there all day every day for him dont really drink and im happy to even pay for flights to there and nod pasport 🙂

kea said :

If the child has been residing in a place for more than 6 months it is considered the child’s home town and neither parent can remove the child from that place without the other’s consent. If you don’t consent to it, she can make an application to the FMC and they make a decision based on the information provided.

Have you considered moving to Queensland as well?

Kea my place of business is here to much to lose

whoodzzz said :

nyssa1976 said :

For starters, don’t contact Mazengarb Barralett or the Lone Fathers.

You will be told by the Family Relationships Centre that you will need to go to mediation first. Do that. There are fees attached but it is based on both your incomes. Once that is organised you may well save yourself thousands in formalising a parenting plan through mediation than to go through the nightmare that is the FC. When I say nightmare, I mean it. I don’t want to scare you but it’s like this: Constant adjournments based on BS, people lying under oath and getting away with it, children put at risk by ignorant lawyers who just want to make a buck, family court report writers who meet you and your child for 1 hour and make a determination based on that despite the fact you have a GP, teachers etc who could back you up.

Most FC magistrates will not listen to a 9yo without an ICL (Independent Children’s Lawyer) as the child isn’t old enough in the courts eyes to make a decision, but most of the ICLs are rubbish too. However, in my own case they listened to an 8yo (but there was DV and FV).

Speak to the Family Court Relationships Centre (their number is on the FC website). Get mediation. Once you have done this and the ball is rolling, IF your spouse takes the child interstate, she will be made to come back with the child.

Keep a record of EVERYTHING, even the things you think are insignificant. If you have it in writing that she will take your child and there’s nothing you can do about it, keep that too.

I’m currently going through this process. I find relationships Australia pretty useless but a necessary part in the process.

The first thing I did, FIRST thing was head to legal aid and the law society for free advice.They’ll lay it on you straight which is way more than a lawyer will do.

Furthermore, your (soon to be) ex cannot take the child without your consent. While you are a fair way away from any form of parenting agreement – there are still laws and requirements in place to ensure that there is no (for want of a better word) kidnapping.

and whatever idiot said that courts side with the mother almost exclusively is retarded. They take all aspects of the case into consideration including things like how, in your case, your ex moving back to QLD will a)impact you severely by not being about to see your child but b) what the environment would be like that they move into, what with your ex going back where she came from – how does one think that is a healthy environment to raise a child?

Last but not least – don’t fight in front of the child man. just don’t. its so heartbreaking for them and they are powerless! 🙁

Thanks man its good to get positive remarks and i never fight or argue i hate it saw mum and dad do it for years it guts you

For those bagging lone fathers, I have to say they are the only group in the country who have done any sort of meaningful lobbying to the government to get laws changed. And they certainly did get changes made in recent years, its only in the last year where the labor government – who are quite dependant on th female vote – added in the ‘violence’ card to the family law act (which is another great stoy in itself).
Lone fathers are fighting a losing battle as quite franky, blokes are blissfully ignorant of the circumstance of their gender until its too late.

If you dont like the laws and the way a child’s rights to see both their parents equally are not there, get smart, support a lobby group and work to get the laws changed.

Im very sorry for the OP – however going to your ex and saying you are getting legal advice is pretty much waving a red rag to a bull isnt it? I dont think anyone here suggested to approach her and tell her you are getting yourself a lawyer.

I do wish you the best of luck. There is however some good advice in this thread. Surround yourself with your friends, listen to what people say and pick the best options for you. Use your friends for support and guidance along the way.

If she’s planning on getting back together with her ex from 10 years ago then that shows she’s willing to play games with her childrens lives and obviously is unsure of what she wants (instability is the word coming to mind right now).

Where’s the other kid now and how old?. If the other kid is in Canberra then it should be up to the other guy to move down here. If the other kid is in cairns with his father then that shows this woman has already lost a custody battle before for whatever reason. I reckon you have the upper hand here. Stick with it.

If you’re a committed dad, that will be your biggest help.

Most importantly, GET TO LEGAL AID NOW so they are representing you and not your partner! They can’t represent both sides in a dispute, and once your ex is their client, that cuts you out. legalaid.nsw.gov.au or maybe the ACT legal aid website can help too.

Start planning after school care arrangements etc – talk to the school. Have a sole-parent plan ready, and make sure you are really able to play that role successfully. Is your own family in Yass?

Make sure your house is in good order and there’s plenty of food in the fridge. You’re pretty sober and industrious? Make sure you are.

Tell your ex you will be happy for the kid to spend school holidays up in Cairns with her (and the kid’s half-sibling, which is important for you to demonstrate that you are being “understanding” about. Be totally civilised no matter what. (If you’re a drinker – stay off the booze regardless of the emotional pain!)

The court will put the boy’s welfare first, so make sure you’re the stable, providing parent. In Canberra at Havelock House round the back there is a free legal advice body, they probably cover Yass.

Does the child have a passport? Talk to the passport office if you think there’s any overseas flight risk.

Good luck!

countrybumpkin7:09 pm 16 Aug 12

From the family court website:

What if you can’t agree about relocation?

If you cannot agree, you can apply to a court for a relocation order to allow you to move. The Court may not grant permission. As with all matters about the care and welfare of children, the Court must consider the best interests of the child.

What if the other party wants to take the children to another place?

If the other party wants to take the children away and you do not agree, you can apply for an order to stop the relocation of the children.

How do you apply for an order to relocate or to prevent relocation?

You can apply to a court for such orders. View the information in this section titled ‘If you can’t agree’.

Hire a private detective and dig the dirt on the “ex”? Just a thought….

If the child has been residing in a place for more than 6 months it is considered the child’s home town and neither parent can remove the child from that place without the other’s consent. If you don’t consent to it, she can make an application to the FMC and they make a decision based on the information provided.

Have you considered moving to Queensland as well?

nyssa1976 said :

For starters, don’t contact Mazengarb Barralett or the Lone Fathers.

You will be told by the Family Relationships Centre that you will need to go to mediation first. Do that. There are fees attached but it is based on both your incomes. Once that is organised you may well save yourself thousands in formalising a parenting plan through mediation than to go through the nightmare that is the FC. When I say nightmare, I mean it. I don’t want to scare you but it’s like this: Constant adjournments based on BS, people lying under oath and getting away with it, children put at risk by ignorant lawyers who just want to make a buck, family court report writers who meet you and your child for 1 hour and make a determination based on that despite the fact you have a GP, teachers etc who could back you up.

Most FC magistrates will not listen to a 9yo without an ICL (Independent Children’s Lawyer) as the child isn’t old enough in the courts eyes to make a decision, but most of the ICLs are rubbish too. However, in my own case they listened to an 8yo (but there was DV and FV).

Speak to the Family Court Relationships Centre (their number is on the FC website). Get mediation. Once you have done this and the ball is rolling, IF your spouse takes the child interstate, she will be made to come back with the child.

Keep a record of EVERYTHING, even the things you think are insignificant. If you have it in writing that she will take your child and there’s nothing you can do about it, keep that too.

I’m currently going through this process. I find relationships Australia pretty useless but a necessary part in the process.

The first thing I did, FIRST thing was head to legal aid and the law society for free advice.They’ll lay it on you straight which is way more than a lawyer will do.

Furthermore, your (soon to be) ex cannot take the child without your consent. While you are a fair way away from any form of parenting agreement – there are still laws and requirements in place to ensure that there is no (for want of a better word) kidnapping.

and whatever idiot said that courts side with the mother almost exclusively is retarded. They take all aspects of the case into consideration including things like how, in your case, your ex moving back to QLD will a)impact you severely by not being about to see your child but b) what the environment would be like that they move into, what with your ex going back where she came from – how does one think that is a healthy environment to raise a child?

Last but not least – don’t fight in front of the child man. just don’t. its so heartbreaking for them and they are powerless! 🙁

HenryBG said :

Thumper said :

From experience, avoid solicitors and legal eagles at all costs.

They just hoover the money from you and in the end pretty much resolve nothing.

Spot on.

nyssa1976 said :

You will be told by the Family Relationships Centre that you will need to go to mediation first. Do that.

Once you have done this and the ball is rolling, IF your spouse takes the child interstate, she will be made to come back with the child.

Keep a record of EVERYTHING, even the things you think are insignificant. If you have it in writing that she will take your child and there’s nothing you can do about it, keep that too.

Tip-top advice.

And the first thing you need to record is a written letter to your ex- informing her that as you *both* have rights, you are requiring her to put on hold all plans for relocation until you have been to mediation together.

Never give way to the temptation to abuse or threaten her in any way whatsoever, no matter what the provocation.
Stick to the facts.
And don’t rely too much on lawyers once they are involved. They are unreliable, rarely honest, and over-charge without any shame.

Ultimately, if she wants to go to Cairns, she will go to Cairns, but you need to make sure your son’s welfare and rights are thoroughly examined and planned, as well as ensuring she takes responsibility for the financial implications of what she is doing.

There it is ^^^^^^

While it pains me to agree with HenryBG (as entertaining as he is), this is the the goods right here. I have seen this crap from both sides of the fence. Get moving RIGHT NOW to protect your rights, and the rights of your son.

In one of my previous jobs I used to sit in Family Courts doing the recording (in the olds days of tapes). I listened to the lawyers and their talks of stringing out the cases. Try hard to mediate with each other as it will cost you both dearly.

colourful sydney racing identity11:46 am 16 Aug 12

harvyk1 said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Sorry Harvyk1, could not disagree with you more. The first point of call should be to get some legal advice.

So you think lawyering up is a better option than trying to discuss things like reasonable adults.

*sigh*

colourful sydney racing identity said :

I would normally agree that talking to the other party would be the best thing to do – however, from the scant information provided that doesn’t sound like a valid option.

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Sorry Harvyk1, could not disagree with you more. The first point of call should be to get some legal advice.

So you think lawyering up is a better option than trying to discuss things like reasonable adults. As I’ve said I’ve seen a few people go through a divorce, the couple which did things amicably and did not lawyer up ended up with a far better result than the couples who I did see lawyer up. In fact I do believe in one case, by the time they had finished paying for “legal advice” they’d would have been better off simply saying “I’ll tell you what, we’ll give everything we own to charity and both start from nothing”, instead of having large solicitor bills hanging over each of their heads.

To the OP, tell her ASAP that you simply got legal advise simply as a matter of course, and that you want to go to mediation. Because it’s at this point that proceedings can either stay amicable or they can turn into shouting and lying fests at the FC.

I went the LA route…hence why I wouldn’t use Mazengarb or even Capon and Hubert….I won’t go into details but apparently they were ‘ok’ with knowing children were at risk and as a consequence cut my LA because I wouldn’t hand them over due to legitimate safety concerns (there were charges laid and a guilty plea so this is not made up).

I ended up self representing and was given sole custody and left with ALL the marital debts (thanks to crappy lawyers).

Speak to the mediators, get all your ducks in a row and always remember, your child’s emotional and physical well being are paramount. Nothing else matters. Tread carefully with the FC and especially with your ex if that’s how she reacted to the ‘seeking legal advice’ statement.

Good luck.

colourful sydney racing identity11:20 am 16 Aug 12

*sigh*

Mate, Basically your screwed. As for the lone fathers, a more usless lot you won’t find outside of the greens at the assembly, they will blow wind up your arse & give absolutely usless advise. Get a good lawyer fast, pay the bucks or she will piss off before you get started, then you really are totally rooted. The court system really sux mate, prepare yourself for hell.

You really need to see a specialised family law solicitor. Capon & Hubert at Phillip seem pretty good, but I haven’t been a client of theirs, just involved on a professional level. You need to realise though that the legal bills will ramp up quickly, with most layers charging around $300 – $400 an hour. It won’t take you long to rack up $10,000 in fees.

Legal Aid is only worth a try if you are on a very, very low income with minimal assets. In any event, it is worth giving them a call.

If you think your wife is going to do a runner with the children soon you need to move quickly. As others have said, you can do the Court paperwork yourself without a lawyer involved, but if you want the best outcome you really need to get a lawyer who has experience in family law matters.

Thumper said :

From experience, avoid solicitors and legal eagles at all costs.

They just hoover the money from you and in the end pretty much resolve nothing.

Spot on.

nyssa1976 said :

You will be told by the Family Relationships Centre that you will need to go to mediation first. Do that.

Once you have done this and the ball is rolling, IF your spouse takes the child interstate, she will be made to come back with the child.

Keep a record of EVERYTHING, even the things you think are insignificant. If you have it in writing that she will take your child and there’s nothing you can do about it, keep that too.

Tip-top advice.

And the first thing you need to record is a written letter to your ex- informing her that as you *both* have rights, you are requiring her to put on hold all plans for relocation until you have been to mediation together.

Never give way to the temptation to abuse or threaten her in any way whatsoever, no matter what the provocation.
Stick to the facts.
And don’t rely too much on lawyers once they are involved. They are unreliable, rarely honest, and over-charge without any shame.

Ultimately, if she wants to go to Cairns, she will go to Cairns, but you need to make sure your son’s welfare and rights are thoroughly examined and planned, as well as ensuring she takes responsibility for the financial implications of what she is doing.

colourful sydney racing identity10:35 am 16 Aug 12

willofyass said :

Thanks guys, she is now not talking to me because i told her i got legal advice which i think is fare legal told me that she cant do it i guess she cant see that its going to cost allot of money

she tells you that she is going to take your child away from you and that ‘there is nothing you can do about it’ and then, when you tell her you have sought some legal advice, stops talkin to you?

I do not envy your situation, good luck.

Holden Caulfield10:14 am 16 Aug 12

willofyass said :

Thanks guys, she is now not talking to me because i told her i got legal advice which i think is fare legal told me that she cant do it i guess she cant see that its going to cost allot of money

Good luck mate. You’re facing a world of pain. I hope, somehow, you can find a workable solution.

Olivia Gesini from Farrar Gesini and Dunn – worth every cent and specialises in out of court settlements these days I have heard.

Go to the Family Court or Federal Magistrates court websites; they publish some judgements and you should be able to get a good idea from recent decisions on how the whole relocation thing works.

Good luck

Thanks guys, she is now not talking to me because i told her i got legal advice which i think is fare legal told me that she cant do it i guess she cant see that its going to cost allot of money

colourful sydney racing identity10:05 am 16 Aug 12

I would normally agree that talking to the other party would be the best thing to do – however, from the scant information provided that doesn’t sound like a valid option.

I made the mistake of thinking thigs could be done amicably with my ex and was blissfully unaware of many of my rights, which had a detreimental effect on my relationship with my child.

This is why I recommend to anyone going through a situation like this to get legal advice as the first step.

Nyssa, sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the firm I recommended, I found them to be responsive and professional in all my dealings with Geoff.

This is a fairly common situation, in that people divorce and one wants to live somewhere other than Canberra. Lawyers will be able to tell you your rights and your options pretty easily; but like everyone says its much cheaper and much more effective to resolve the issues by agreement than by coercion.

However, it can be useful in discussions to know what your rights are, just in case.

There is at least one family law specialist firm in town

Sounds like some mediation is needed to allow you both to talk this through and identify the cause of her decision and see if things are reconcilable.

If she is determined to leave, then prepare for a divorce to occur. A failed partnership is no place to raise a child.

Having been through this, my advice is to never ever put your child in the position of the pawn in the game, nor berate your partner to your child.

Secondly, try to agree with your partner to always keep lines of communication open between you and never let anger be your motivation. Vent your anger elsewhere.

Even if it means making some hard decisions and accepting some unpalatable realities what is important is to set a great example for your child and act in their best interest.

Involving lawyers, even where the parties are agreed, can be costly. Our total cost was maybe $500 because we did the paperwork ourselves. The Family Court have duty solicitors who can provide you with the material to draft up your own paper work and I believe there is a counselling mediation service. But try and agree sensibly and maturely with your ex what is best for the child and how access may work.

I have seen parents in court every school holidays fighting about access (and the kids despise it), and parents who only communicate with notebooks that are sent with the child. Children who live time about with parents end up being chattels living out of suitcases. Give them the opportunity for stability and access on agreed terms and they will love you for it. Meanwhile, also expect them to be angry at having brought them into this world to a failed marriage.

Good luck and may both of you work hard at making this difficult time work for you both as best as possible and be the best possible example to your child. Love can be provided in many ways.

For starters, don’t contact Mazengarb Barralett or the Lone Fathers. I’ve just come out of 2 years in the FC, self represented thanks to useless lawyer at above firm, and as a child didn’t see my dad until I was 18. I’ve experienced all sides of the FC.

You will be told by the Family Relationships Centre that you will need to go to mediation first. Do that. There are fees attached but it is based on both your incomes. Once that is organised you may well save yourself thousands in formalising a parenting plan through mediation than to go through the nightmare that is the FC. When I say nightmare, I mean it. I don’t want to scare you but it’s like this: Constant adjournments based on BS, people lying under oath and getting away with it, children put at risk by ignorant lawyers who just want to make a buck, family court report writers who meet you and your child for 1 hour and make a determination based on that despite the fact you have a GP, teachers etc who could back you up.

Most FC magistrates will not listen to a 9yo without an ICL (Independent Children’s Lawyer) as the child isn’t old enough in the courts eyes to make a decision, but most of the ICLs are rubbish too. However, in my own case they listened to an 8yo (but there was DV and FV).

Speak to the Family Court Relationships Centre (their number is on the FC website). Get mediation. Once you have done this and the ball is rolling, IF your spouse takes the child interstate, she will be made to come back with the child.

Keep a record of EVERYTHING, even the things you think are insignificant. If you have it in writing that she will take your child and there’s nothing you can do about it, keep that too.

So your son, who has his mates here, his school, his life here suddently has to pack up and move away, leaving his father behind, simply cause him mum “feels like it” ?

Sounds like a crock to me. I wouldn’t let him go anywhere, she says theres nothing you can do about it, wait a second, can’t you just say he’s staying here and theres nothing she can do about it? I don’t understand women sometimes.

The Law Society would also be a good place to start to find out your rights.

From experience, avoid solicitors and legal eagles at all costs.

They just hoover the money from you and in the end pretty much resolve nothing.

colourful sydney racing identity9:40 am 16 Aug 12

Sorry Harvyk1, could not disagree with you more. The first point of call should be to get some legal advice.

A friend of mine who’s ex lives in tassie, he travels down there fairly frequently to see his son, and his son travels to Canberra relatively frequently as well, so it can work.

+1 lone fathers. Call Barry 0417 668 802. Lawyer should be able to tell you how u can get a interim order to prevent child being taken interstate. At the end of the day if she wants to leave, the son will have to settle into new school, new friends etc. and this isn’t good. Stick up for the rights of your child. Ask him what he wants too- he is at an age where his view has bearing.

Whilst I certainly can’t speak from experience (although I have sadly seen a few friends go through them), the courts tend to side with the mother in almost all cases, and lawyers will happily take what meager money you have left afterwards. So avoid at all costs, because it probably won’t end up a happy outcome for you.

So I strongly recommend you sit down with her and discuss how things will work in regards to access rights when she does move. Accept that it’s going to happen one way or another, so make it work. It could be that you negotiate for you to be able to travel up to Cairns on a regular basis and you both split the costs, and it could also be that you negotiate that your son will travel down to Canberra on a regular basis during school holidays.

Basically be an adult about this, especially whilst you two are still on speaking terms.

Just finally, there are now men’s services out there who specialise in providing advise about such things. If you can’t reach an agreement with your ex, they may be the next port of call before getting legal.

colourful sydney racing identity9:27 am 16 Aug 12

Based on the limited information you have given, she is incorrect when she states that there is nothing you can do about it. You need to act fast, ie today.

You should be aware that your child support payments willl be based on the amount of contact (access) you have with your son. Should she move to Queensland, you will be hit with the doubly whammy of not seeing your child, and paying the maximum assessable based on your income.

I would strongly reccommend Geoff Mazengarb – (02) 6230 0199. If you have a very limited income either go to legal aid or the lone fathers association.

Mysister is going through KJB law in Woden. Very straight to the point,conscience of costs, she highly recommends them.

Hi queenb, I am thinking about using KJB law in Woden. Would like some more information.
Could you please DM me.
Thanks.

troll-sniffer10:43 am 12 Apr 11

And if you’re thinking of committing the same grevious offence again, stop and ponder Rod Stewart’s immortal lines:

“Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”

Seriously though, many a settlement has been forged by the parties letting go of their egos and accepting their strongest tenable position. For instance supposing you had a settlement worked out except the other party wanted to keep their $40,000 4WD, whereas you wanted to sell and split. It has morphed into a struggle of egos, the other person will accept a 50:50 split but because their parents helped buy the 4WD they consider it to be outside the acceptable settlement, even though legally it can be included. In situations like this it’s better to realise if that is all that is standing between a settlement, getting the hell out of the quagmire and saving untold legal fees, it’s better to capitulate. Every single person I have ever met who has backed down and walked away when it was obvious there was nothing further to be gained has been a million dollars worth of happier from the moment they took the necessary step back.

The above is assuming you or the ex are not actually spoiling for a fight. Some gain a perverse enjoyment out of making their ex suffer, even at great personal cost to them. In those circumstances the more you back down the more you’re likely to get hammered. It’s up to you to weigh up the situation before your backdown backfires, so to speak.

colourful sydney racing identity9:22 am 12 Apr 11

cleo said :

If you can work it out between you, don’t get legal advice, my ex paid $10,000.00 over twenty years ago, it wasn’t me but him, if the other partner is bitter, you may have problems.

No, do get legal advice. Avoid going to court, and as I said above work it out as much as you can between yourselves but, definitely get legal advice.

If you can work it out between you, don’t get legal advice, my ex paid $10,000.00 over twenty years ago, it wasn’t me but him, if the other partner is bitter, you may have problems.

buzz819 said :

You could try the cemetery.

You know, the only good lawyer is a shot, poisoned, squashed, stabbed, stewed, and cut up one….

… and has the 2 sets of skid marks in front of him meanwhile the vampire got away etc etc.

Advice to not go the revenge route is so useful to you right now, OP. It’s natural to want to, and to that end before you launch your course of action, go see those people at relationships australia or whoever to get your head sorted, so you can work out a rational way of proceeding that doesn’t involve trying to “win” or “get even”.

I’ve recently watched a lawyer in action (action not being the right word) representing a person who was the victim of a partner who went mad, trying to get their portion of the shared property back. The lawyer sat back and just responded to the mad person’s deranged activities, racking up a 5-figure sum in the process. The victim ended up settling for a tiny amount, to be paid in installments (mad partner finding all sorts of ways to renege on that, of course), and the lawyer unashamedly presented his enormous bill.

There’s really no come back, the lawyer has followed the “correct” processes, it’s just that being lazy and reactive has cost the victim a fortune they didn’t have.

So find a way to pilot the landscape without reliance on a lawyer. Use them to draft up the end result, as others have suggested, and yes speak to CSA aSAP! Angry partners often use the CSA as another stick to beat their partners with, CSA has vast powers and you don’t want to discover nasty surprises from that direction.

But first I’d see a counsellor just to de-compress and get your head straightened out, you might be able to come out OK if you do.

You could try the cemetery.

You know, the only good lawyer is a shot, poisoned, squashed, stabbed, stewed, and cut up one….

Get information.
Get the initiative.
Get unemotional. Don’t be a nice guy. Don’t be an asshole.

Remember that divorce is just the starting gun if you have kids. Your priority is to create a civil, flexible, stable arrangement with someone you have to share your daughter with for the rest of your life.

You can recover from a financial loss. The real shit and expense occurs if you develop a toxic relationship post-divorce. That screws up future life experiences, work, spontaneity, finances, relationships, travel, and most of all it impairs the quality of your child’s life as well as your own.

I just hope you haven’t married an idiot.

beh1972 said :

Don’t forget the CSA, they are as big of a concern to you right now as the divorce/property. Start researching now how much you will pay and if you can, get them to start deducting your pay now. Because if you don’t, she will providing the details first (like how many nights you have your kid over).

They are not monsters to talk to and will help. But ignor them and you will soon find out how much access/clout they have

Most of what you said I agree with, but if you are the one paying the child support there are monsters they are very biased against the ‘payer’, I have seen a number of blokes practically made homeless directly because of actions of the CSA, and the amount of stress of having to deal with them has driven them to do stupid things.

Do your best to keep solicitors out of it. If she gets a solicitor (and you have kids) they will fill her head with how much she can cash in on, fair or not and you will be screwed over.

The laws may not be against men, but it seems that the people that apply the law are.

Firstly, sorry to hear about the situation you are in.

As many people have said on here, if the both of you can avoid getting lawyers involved then you will both be financially better off. The lawyers do not get paid on any sort of percentage of settlement, so it is in their best interest to draw the whole process out for as long as they can. All they are really interested in is getting you back time after time so that you have multiple visits and pay them their overpriced hourly rate. At the end of the day, you will be thousands of dollars out of pocket (think $600 to $1000 per hour per visit) and will be in the same position than if you both just sensibly sat down and worked out a split that is amicable for you both with a lot less bitterness that will come into play with a lawyer involved.

However, in saying that, sometimes lawyers are the only option. Farrar, Gesini and Dunn I have heard are excellent – they have a sub company called Consensus Family Lawyers whose sole aim is to keep the matter out of court.

In any case, it is very worthwhile for you individually to visit a lawyer anyway just so that you are very clear on your rights and what the expected outcome will be. Even if you do not follow through any action with lawyers, at least you will know where you stand and be able to reach a fair settlement based on fact and today’s law. Don’t be bluffed by your ex-partner as to “what they have been told” or :what their lawyer told them” – this is all part of the game to psych you out. Know your rights, get some advice, and most importantly don’t be pushed around when you know what your rights and the laws are.

Inappropriate2:21 pm 08 Apr 11

A friend of mine spent about 12 months and $50k for her separation all because dear hubby was determined to go to court: they settled on the steps of the courthouse.

Avoid lawyers and court if possible.

colourful sydney racing identity1:48 pm 08 Apr 11

Best advice I can give you is to try and reach an in-principle settlement and jointly see a lawyer to make it all legit.

Highly recommend Geoof Mazengarb.

Holy sh*t, another reason never to get married.

For that sort of money I can make all your problems go…away.

I already have the hole, but, I’m out of rope. I’ll invoice you.

and you dont want a 1-2 hour meeting with ANY lawyer – 15 minutes should be enough!

i’m using Anderson’s in Civic. They are a bit $$$ at 500 an hour…
but my separation is not traumatic – so I’m only going to need about 1500 – 2000 worth of work.
If you are in a sh*t fight, you are going to spend a lot more, a mate of mine s up to $50K each so far and rising cos they dont agree on teh settlement… by thte time they are finished, the lawyers will have the lot

Hi Virgo.

Check out the previous topic from Dec 2009 (Any good divorce lawyer in Act? ) which has a few recomendations. Again, I will put in my plug for my former employers Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson.

As dtc and Gezabel said, costs will vary depending on how amicable your relationship is with your ex, and how many issues need the assistance of lawyers to resolve. You should however be able to get a solid idea of your legal position, entitlements and likely costs after an initial 1 – 2 hour interview with a lawyer.

There are no good divorce lawyers.

capn_pugwash11:25 am 08 Apr 11

my SIL had a good experience with Olivia Gesini. She’s known as the best in town apparently

i’d like to recommend you stay away from Legal Aid in civic; they have been dealing with my partners and her ex’s divorce, and they have been dragging their feet. First they blamed his solicitor, then they admitted they had been stalling – and you can never contact them.

Hi Virgo1972, sorry to hear about your pending divorce – it’s not a fun place to be.

As offered by dtc below, it really will depend on what you’re needing to settle with your former spouse. If you can keep things amicable and you can reach agreement on things, you may not need too much legal involvement. However, if there’s property and other assets involved, a lawyer can help in keeping some costs down (ie. avoiding stamp duty simply to remove a name off a mortgage).

I’ve heard that Mazengarb Barralet in the city are quite good, as are Capon & Hubert in Phillip.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to have a free consultation for the first meeting, just to nut out exactly what could be involved – what you and your spouse contributed to the relationship (in all aspects, not just monetary), how long you lived together, assets, finances, children, etc. Getting initial legal advice is a good thing to do.

I can only hope that you and your spouse can discuss an outcome which is mutually ideal for you both. The only reason we’re seeking legal advice at the moment is simply to avoid stamp duty: $1500 in legal fees is better than forking out $6000 to $7000.

It’s always best to avoid court as much as possible because it really isn’t worth the money that can potentially be lost. I know it’s easier said than done, though. If one partner wants to play hard ball and be cruel, then there’s not much choice for the other person but to fight back, unless they’re willing to walk away with nothing. Sad times indeed.

All the best, Virgo1972.

Hahaha

I think the point is they don’t have a relationship in the future…

A QC (or nowdays SC, senior counsel) is a barrister who appears in Court. They don’t deign to do the day to day documentation, filing, seeing clients etc stuff – that is done by a solicitor. However, if your case is particularly complicated and requires someone with a lot of experience, your solicitor might suggest briefing a QC for any hearing. So your first port of call will be a solicitor (who might have an ‘internal’ rank within his or her firm, depending on experience etc eg partner, senior associate). Dont call your solicitor ‘my QC’, its a rookie error!

A good lawyer (solicitor or barrister) can make a difference; but a bad lawyer can make an awful lot of difference. Price is not always an indicator of quality. More useful is experience and expertise – some lawyers do a bit of everything (often quite well, sometimes they are muddling along); others specialise. Some firms charge more than others because they can – its a market driven price.

There is at least one specialist family law firm in Canberra. They would be a good start.

Also – if things are agreed between you and your (soon to be ex) spouse, you can do a lot of the paperwork yourself. If there are fights, particularly over custody, you may find a lawyer worthwhile.

Costs will range for $5000 upwards. An awful lot upwards if you end up having a 4 day custody/property battle (think $40k or more). Remember that the more you can agree with your spouse, the less you fight over and the less you need to spend on lawyers. And, presumably, the better your relationship will be in the future.

cleo: even if the father’s behaviour was exemplary, she would not have gone to jail.

I knew someone personally who would not let the father have the child as he was very difficult, she could have gone to jail as she had broken the access order, and no she didn’t go because of the fathers behaviour.

colourful sydney racing identity3:50 pm 01 Mar 10

Having had experience with family law, I am not surprised to hear that lawyers have not put in paper work.

The first lawyer whose services I retained did not put in all appropriate paper work causing me a lengthy delay in settlement and then the second I retained (after sacking the first) failed to show up in court leaving me unrepresented.

Cleo says “If she doesn’t comply with court orders she is in trouble, she may even go to jail”. Garbage – give me a few examples of any woman going to jail for breaching a Family Court order on access. The Family Court has a bias against men as far as I am concerned.

NeedHelp said :

J Dawg – for the third time. For a “few lawyers” not to “put in paperwork” seems a little ridiculous. If the OP mentioned her problem with the previous lawyer to the next lawyer, I cannot see the new lawyer also failing to “put in paperwork”. And for this to then reach “a few”? I doubt it very much and I believe there is more to this story than meets the eye. Oh, and trolling is reserved for those who don’t ask questions, or provide help – I did both dawg gone it! Off to the shredder with you 😉 There’s paperwork to get through …

I think in a situation like this it’s better not the speculate about what the OP might or might not have gone through. What if they randomly picked 3 lawyers, who turned out to be 3 duds? It could just be bad luck, lawyers aren’t exempt from being human, and some humans make mistakes. Some humans are terrible at their jobs. Maybe the OP, having gone through a few bad experiences with lawyers (who are human remember) decides to ask for advice on their next choice of legal counsel. Doesn’t seem very ridiculous at all. It could happen to anyone with any profession, whether it be a mechanic, an accountant or a doctor.

Besides, you were trolling because you decided to launch into an attack on the OP. This thread it about finding a good lawyer not rubbishing bad ones, so does it really matter if you don’t agree with that aspect of the post?

I-filed – just realised that it was you who I corrected about the coroner’s court on the Elizabeth Herfort thread. Now I understand your agenda. Thanks.

NeedHelp said :

J Dawg – for the third time. For a “few lawyers” not to “put in paperwork” seems a little ridiculous. If the OP mentioned her problem with the previous lawyer to the next lawyer, I cannot see the new lawyer also failing to “put in paperwork”. And for this to then reach “a few”? I doubt it very much and I believe there is more to this story than meets the eye. Oh, and trolling is reserved for those who don’t ask questions, or provide help – I did both dawg gone it! Off to the shredder with you 😉 There’s paperwork to get through …

Needhelp, Watch how you enter any online conversation – it’s probaby too late for you to launch a rational debate having set an abrasive and unproductive tone in your posts earlier on …

J Dawg – for the third time. For a “few lawyers” not to “put in paperwork” seems a little ridiculous. If the OP mentioned her problem with the previous lawyer to the next lawyer, I cannot see the new lawyer also failing to “put in paperwork”. And for this to then reach “a few”? I doubt it very much and I believe there is more to this story than meets the eye. Oh, and trolling is reserved for those who don’t ask questions, or provide help – I did both dawg gone it! Off to the shredder with you 😉 There’s paperwork to get through …

cleo said :

If she doesn’t comply with court orders she is in trouble, she may even go to jail.

Good one!
That actually made me laugh!

Special G said :

There are no good experiences with family lawyers – they will all suck you dry.

To quote the great Marvin Lee Aday

You took the words right out of my mouth

There are no good experiences with family lawyers – they will all suck you dry.

Aurelius said :

Lawyers are all wastes of time and money. Educate yourself and fight your own battle. Win or lose, you’ll get a better result that way.

like the old saw has it, a man [sic] who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer…

sadly not everyone has the time, inclination or skill set to adequately navigate the minefield that is the legal system (seemingly, from the op, do many ‘so called’ lawyers) for an entirely unrelated matter, I have been instructing colquhoun murphy in braddon, and would recommend them, caveat being they represent me for an injury claim, but their practice seems to be sound and efficient… for what my two cents are worth.

good luck. people suck, what!

I-filed said :

Needhelp it’s a matter of context. Someone politely posting about a family court sitch should be responded to sensitively I would have thought, given that the poster has indicated difficulty in what is usually an emotionally fraught experience. You could have asked your questions nicely, and exhibited a bit of empathy, without going anywhere near being sickly sweet!

+1000

NeedHelp is just trolling here, and while enthusiastic debate is a good feature of this site, attacking someone for asking a question shouldn’t be acceptable. NeedHelp, do you know EVERY single lawyer in the ACT, how they act and how competent they are with paperwork? I find it hard to believe that you would. Just accept that some people have a different experience and that you had nothing to do with said experiences, so whether you “still don’t believe” that they went through that is irrelevant.

helpers, I hope everything works out for you in the end and you find a decent lawyer to represent you.

Needhelp, you’re right. You really do need help.
You have some serious issues.
Perhaps you could ask the members of this site if they know of any counsellors who help people with a personality disorder like the one you have.
With a bit of luck they wont resort to petty personal attacks straight away.

Dazzlar said :

We need to play nice again!

Giimme bat and ball back im orff home.wee are knot friends anymore

I-filed – I’m shredding, err … tissue papers, I’ll get back to you when I finished crying.

NeedHelp said :

Dazzlar said :

te for a real eye opener. And yes, I would have asked exactly the same questions face-to-face. If you want me to be sickly sweet, cupcake nice, all gooey and kind, forget it. I speak my mind, and the original post just doesn’t sit right with me.

Needhelp it’s a matter of context. Someone politely posting about a family court sitch should be responded to sensitively I would have thought, given that the poster has indicated difficulty in what is usually an emotionally fraught experience. You could have asked your questions nicely, and exhibited a bit of empathy, without going anywhere near being sickly sweet!

Dazzlar said :

I’ve noticed over the past few months that replies to posts have become more and more aggressive. Just because the original post isn’t word perfect doesn’t mean that the poster is a liar! I doubt that you’d have that response in a face to face situation. We need to play nice again!

Why? Because I was the only one who had the guts to raise some questions about the initial post? Since when is asking questions aggressive? Read other posts on this site for a real eye opener. And yes, I would have asked exactly the same questions face-to-face. If you want me to be sickly sweet, cupcake nice, all gooey and kind, forget it. I speak my mind, and the original post just doesn’t sit right with me. My opinion and my words. Live with it. Isn’t it funny how I provide an option for the OP but twice now it has been over-looked. Can’t win on this site. Check out the parking ticket post for real aggression but I don’t see you spreading your love there do I?

steveu said :

The Family Court system still lives in the 1950’s Im sorry to say.

What a load of crap. Australian Family Law has a lot wrong with it, but it cops this from both mothers’ and fathers’ groups for no reason. If it were stuck in the 1950s, you would not have to post a link to ‘Lone Fathers’.

I’ve noticed over the past few months that replies to posts have become more and more aggressive. Just because the original post isn’t word perfect doesn’t mean that the poster is a liar! I doubt that you’d have that response in a face to face situation. We need to play nice again!

If she doesn’t comply with court orders she is in trouble, she may even go to jail.

thanks for your help needhelp.

helpers – maybe next time you could be more specific in your original post, instead of leaving people guessing. I still don’t believe you had so many problems with all these lawyers; I suspect a lot of the problem is in fact with you. I never “attacked” anyone, but people such as yourself will see it that way because that’s the way you think. You catastrophise everything you come across.

I gave you a suggestion of Matthew Kamarul at the Legal Aid office, but something tells me you’ve already been through all the lawyers at that office too. Thanks for thanking me for the suggestion anyhow.

Oh, and when you say “every member gets on here to help each other out”, uhm, you haven’t been on here very long have you? Yes, you get those that help, but you also get those who can’t help because the initial post is riddled with inconsistencies or crap.

Good luck in finding someone willing to help you.

thanks everone for your answers

needhelp. i will be brief.

one lawyer did not put in an application into the court after 3 months and you know what her excuse was? sorry i ran out of time.

next
lawyer said that they will putting in the contravention paperwork,so i hired him,then months lator he tells me to call my ex partner and work out contact visits.yet they were contravening.did he put in the paperwork into the courts.no.

by the time i got away from these two lawyers,i just decided to put in a contravention myself.I have waited for over 13 months to get a hearing.

need help people come here to get help,not to be made out to be liars.even i noticed you had attacked another member,who tried to help me.every member gets on here to help each other out.

your name maybe “needhelp” but you sure don’t know how to help someone.
thanks to everyone for all your suggestions.

if i do find a lawyer who puts in more “paperwork” for me i will let you guys know.

cheers guys

Jack Herrald solicitors in QBN.

Never been in the position of needing a divorce lawyer myself, but I do remember a former colleague sang the praises of a ‘Margaret Reid’ (not the former ACT Senator) .. my colleague said she helped with heaps of issues in relation to his ex who consistently refused to obey court orders

I ran the name through whitepages.com.au and came up with:
Reid Margaret
Lawyer
Lvl 6/ 28 University Ave
(02) 6248 8477

Good luck

Ron Friesen I believe he was at
Dibbs Abbott Stillman Lawyers
Excellent chap, worked on part legal aid,

I promise you this: over time, things will get better.

contact me if you need to discuss
Richie

Family lawyers and good experiences don’t really travel together.

If your ex doesn’t comply with court orders, spending money on more orders is unlikely to be of assistance.

Legal Aid probably won’t be able to help, but by all means ask. I think they reserve themselves for family violence matters and while your situation is no doubt tough, they probably don’t have the resources. Happy to be wrong.

You could certainly have a go at self-representing. A bit of time, homework and calls to the court might be worthwhile.

and Lone Fathers were were instrumental in getting the ‘three strikes rule’ for breach of orders in the ACT too.

Lone fathers supports father and mothers FYI.

Lawyers are all wastes of time and money. Educate yourself and fight your own battle. Win or lose, you’ll get a better result that way.

Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson

Someone recommended them to my sister and she was happy with the outcome. But she said they were expensive.

steveu said :

Contact Lone Fathers (http://www.lonefathers.com.au/) and get some guidance there.

The Family Court system still lives in the 1950’s Im sorry to say.

How do you know the OP is a man? Or does the Lone Fathers Association help lone mothers too? 😉

In the original post, the OP is complaining about a “few” lawyers losing paperwork, not about the Family Courts. She/he is looking for a lawyer that won’t lose paperwork.

I don’t see how a few lawyers can all lose paperwork. Was it the same paperwork? Different paperwork? Paperwork that never existed? What paperwork?

Go see Legal Aid – Matthew Kamarul is pretty cool and knows what’s he’s doing. He doesn’t lose paperwork.

Good luck.

colourful sydney racing identity10:01 am 26 Feb 10

Geoff Mazengarb from Mazengarb Barralett – was very helpful to me.

Contact Lone Fathers (http://www.lonefathers.com.au/) and get some guidance there.

I am sure Barry or Jim could help.

Sorry to hear you are having hassles – you are not alone, if that makes you feel any better.

The Family Court system still lives in the 1950’s Im sorry to say.

Cheers

Steve

While Ive never had reason to use a lawyer myself, I have taken someone else to court during which time his lawyer did a few dodgy things. Rather than just leaving the rotten apples to keep on rotting, contact the ACT Law Society and discuss the issues youve had with previous lawyers. They might be able to point you in the right direction and will also be able to investigate any claims you might have against any previous consel youve had. The ACT Law Society can (and in my case, do) investigate and act upon complaints. In my case, it was found the other guys lawyer behaved improperly, and the case went back to court and we won on appeal. This was only a small claims issue, but lawyers have to follow the rules whichever court theyre representing you in.

Unfortunately you are screwed.
Good luck

So, you’ve had a “few” lawyers, and *all* of them failed to put in any paperwork?

Sorry, but I find that very odd.

Surely, if your first lawyer didn’t submit “paperwork”, then I assume you would have mentioned this fact to your second lawyer, and that lawyer then would have made sure he/she did the right thing. Right?

To then have a “few” lawyers supposedly fail to submit “paperwork” (whatever that means) seems oddly fabricated, or you are not telling us the whole story.

Why didn’t you just ask the lawyer to submit the paperwork and then the case would have continued? Why go to several lawyers? I don’t get it.

Could it be that the outcome was not in your favour and now you are having a whinge?

captainwhorebags said :

I have been dealing with Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson for a defacto breakup and I highly recommend them.

I am highly biased (having been employed by them for the last few years as a paralegal, up until yesterday when I resigned to travel overseas), but I would also strongly recommend Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson. You can check them out online at http://www.ddcsfamilylawyers.com.au, which has some really useful information (go to resources, then the FAQ section).

Having worked in a number of family law firms in the ACT while I completed my undergrad degree, my advice to someone going through a break up would be:
– Make an appointment to have an initial chat to a solicitor. Find a solicitor who listens to you and makes an effort to understand your concerns.
– If you don’t think you can afford an appointment with a solicitor, check out the places like the ACT Legal Aid Office (6243 3471) or referral/resource organisations like the ACT Law Society or the women’s legal centre who can often provide a free initial consultation.
– Most people (over 95%) will settle their matter without needing to go to Court. In most matters a final court hearing is an option of last resort.
– It is important to properly record any agreement you reach with your former partner. As captainwhorebags mentioned, if you are transferring a property there might be a nasty stamp duty surprise. A formal agreement (for instance, consent court orders or a financial agreement) will also give you some finality and protection in case your former partner changes their mind down the track about your agreement. Spending a little money to have a solicitor help you document your agreement can save you a lot of money and headaches down the track.

I’m happy to answer any general family law questions people have if anyone wants more information…

I don’t have anything really useful to add here, but all I can say is good luck and stand your ground. People close to me who went through divorce avoided lawyers and came out ok in the end. It’s tough, but you will be ok in the end.

Be adult and sort it out yourselves, write everything down, no need to make this nasty, as you both have a daughter together, nothing will change the situation, shit happens.

Don’t forget the CSA, they are as big of a concern to you right now as the divorce/property. Start researching now how much you will pay and if you can, get them to start deducting your pay now. Because if you don’t, she will providing the details first (like how many nights you have your kid over).

They are not monsters to talk to and will help. But ignor them and you will soon find out how much access/clout they have

wow. Really eye-open helpful opinions. Thank you guys. I feel like to avoid the court and sort out an agreement asap with the to-be-ex wife. I do have a daughter. I feel sorry for my dear little angle, but this is not what I decided.

worldsmessiestbartender9:53 am 18 Dec 09

On one additional note, and not to suggest riot act of this, but my ex went on numerous sites and was told in a roundabout way that if she worked it right she could end up with magical ponies and a castle in fairyland (I am taking some liberties). Talk to someone who either has gone through it, or better yet, just make an appointment and see a lawyer, not to “go nasty”, but just to get a decent legal opinion on what the outcomes could be.
After speaking to a lawyer friend of mine I realised that lawyers were not the best option, but if it did turn nasty, things could end up badly.
Enough men and women have been screwed over through the legal profession in divorces. Be alert not alarmed, and be informed.

WMB #8, I think Ken Cush is still a special magistrate so his involvement could be a conflict of interest, but his team could probably still help out. If you have kids, get something amicable lodged with the family court early. I have seen fathers say “what could happen” only to find their rights to things like access very difficult to manage further down the track when things go sour. All advice to keep out of court is correct. Try to be civil and negotiate through mediation if you have to. It is on both of your interests. Good luck.

1. Keep it out of the court unless you have millions in assests to fight over.
2. Get it sorted out asap for your own sanity.
3. No new partner in your life is going to want to stick it out while your divorce settlement goes on in the background – it’s toxic to new relationships

As for who is at fault means absolutely nothing to the Family Court. It hurts to hear that at first, but you have to deal with it.

My personal experiance was I needed a lawyer just to show I was organised enough to get advice. We then managed to work it out. Sure I could have gotten a lot more, maybe 20K in my case after costs, but it would have taken another 12-18 months – is that worth it?

In simple terms I watched my parent spend $80-100K in costs and 4 years of lawyers pointlessly. Only to be told by the court the settlement was what my father originally proposed in the first weeks.

We sorted it out for less than 4K, and that was over a five bedroom house and three kids.

Good luck, but be rational and start talking.

icantbelieveitsnotbutter5:26 pm 17 Dec 09

Chances are you’re hurting a bit, and you’ll most likely think that any small gains you get out of battling through court will make you feel good… for a while. Ultimately, take the moral high ground, ask for an out of court settlement (a few posts on here have talked about that), if she goes nasty on you… just remember that in the long run, if you don’t go nasty as well, you’ll feel heaps better in the long run.

If it goes to court… everyone loses.

Rachel Bird and Co are supposed to be really good.

http://www.rachelbird.com.au/index.html

I can’t give a good suggestion, but I can give you a name to avoid. Rachel Bird and Co in Civic – I wasn’t particularly impressed with the service. That is what you get for picking your divorce lawyer from a cinema advertisement.

captainwhorebags11:26 am 17 Dec 09

A negotiated agreement between the two of you is best. You can then apply to the Family Court for Consent Orders which basically put in writing what you’ve agreed to. The court will assess the orders to make sure that they are “fair and reasonable” to both parties.

You can download the kit from the Family Court site and do it yourselves, however I strongly recommend getting legal advice.

If you don’t get Consent Orders or a settlement agreement drawn up, then you will not be able to change the titles on any of your property (real estate and vehicles) without paying stamp duty. Your wife will also have up to two years to demand more assets.

I have been dealing with Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson for a defacto breakup and I highly recommend them.

worldsmessiestbartender10:27 am 17 Dec 09

coolmate said :

Thank you, guys for all the suggestions. Forgive me for not mentioning your names. I just don’t believe it could ever happen to me. Laws are now against men.

Easy tiger, I wouldn’t argue that the laws are against men, the stereotype that the man must take care of the woman is indeed entrenched, as is the concept that males are the only possible perps of domestic violence. But laws can be skewed in a variety of ways.
At the end of the day it tends to come down to how good (not always, but mostly how expensive) your lawyer is.
If you are willing to spend stupid amounts of money you can see the law in your favour, or if she has better representation, against you.

eyeLikeCarrots10:21 am 17 Dec 09

I’m not sure I could ever trust someone enough to get married (but I have issues…)

Thank you, guys for all the suggestions. Forgive me for not mentioning your names. I just don’t believe it could ever happen to me. Laws are now against men.

Thumper said :

whooooah man. try to keep solicitors out of it, you will both lose. lots. seriously.

+1. Lawyering up ends in tears, not that I been party to this personally, but had enough tears in my beer from others who went this way and it is simply is not cool.

Holden Caulfield10:04 am 17 Dec 09

Man, how far does Tiger travel for a bit of hoochie.

Pappas, J were quite good. Slightly pricey though.

http://www.pappasjattorney.com.au/

You need proof of infidelity first. Photos, audio recording, signed statement, private investigator report, that sort of thing. As a man, your word means nothing in divorce court.

Divorce is no falut in the ACT (and has been for quite a while), so unless there’s a compelling reason to do this kind of stuff you don’t need to.

Also, unless there are kids involved it’s (from my experience) a 50/50 asset split between husband and wife.

FGD is a great firm, again from my experience.

Work out a reasonable split, and agree to it without lawyers. As soon as people ‘seek legal advice’ lawyers fill their heads with ideas about how they can take lots more than their share (because the law allows this). The problem is that legal fees get expensive.

Work it out, write it down. The sooner you are free of this problem the better, so you can get on with your life.

Mr PC said: “You need proof of infidelity first. Photos, audio recording, signed statement, private investigator report, that sort of thing. As a man, your word means nothing in divorce court”.

Whoaa dude! Ever heard about no fault divorce? It came in about thirty years ago … means things like infidelity are not taken into account when dividing up the assets.

Coolmate? Are you sure?? Do you have kids? If so, and you seriously think she’s going to ‘do you’ in court, talk to the Lone Fathers Association, Canberra Fathers and Children Group or something similar. They will hopefully be able to point you in the right direction and find a competent lawyer.

The main thing is: Don’t go postal, don’t get angry or do anything stupid. If you do, that when the law is no longer on your side. Any form of intimidation or violence towards women (or children) is indefensible.

Take care and best of luck with your unfortunate situation.

worldsmessiestbartender9:23 am 17 Dec 09

Mate, number one, having been there, it sucks, but as other have said and will say, it does get better.
Number two, try all other paths before going to the lawyer route.
In my situation I moved out of the house, took what I could fit in the ute, and left it at that for around 6 months. Broken hearted but not wanting to be a prick (she was the mother of my daughter) it was the easiest and most comfortable path initially.
The idea of lawyers was tossed around (I know a number of them, bars always seem to have law students, some of them go on to be high flyers), Farrer blah blah and Dunn are good, Ken Cush is a good bloke, and there is a good mob in turner, ellison I think.
IMHO unless there is a lot at stake and things get nasty, there is no point, go to one of the mediation muppets, Relationships Australia is cheap, if useless, being pissed off and broken hearted is not the time when you think clearest. But if you do go get lawyers, get someone expensive, and start selling stuff. If there is less than 500k of assets tho, I’d say cut your losses, go bankrupt if you have to (I did), wipe the slate clean and start again.
And another thing, if after you have spent 60-100k and it does actually go to court, make yourself look as non threatening as possible, this goes for mediation too. Being a big gorilla trying to explain how the little ballerina broke your heart never seems to work, especially when they start crying.
The system is not fair, but neither is life in general if you want to whinge about it. Suck it up, and rock on.

colourful sydney racing identity8:55 am 17 Dec 09

Geoff Mazengarb from Mazengarb and Barralet – 6230 0199

Through my work, this firm seems to be quite popular in the ACT for family law.

http://www.fgd.com.au/

Just give her everything now… She will get it all anyway…

Generally the courts don’t care about the reasons for a divorce. Unless there are other issues besides infidelity, dont waste your money on private investigators etc

Find out what the likely percentage split will be for someone in your situation. kids involved etc. Negotiate around that. Get a solicitor to draw up the contract. Explain that 100% of the pie split two ways will be more than she will get if legal fees Take a large proportion.
Convince her that you will spend all the money on legal fees, if need be to get justice.
Do not be suckered into violence. If a restraining order is issued you are on the back foot.
It seems dark now, but things usually turn out for the best.

You need proof of infidelity first. Photos, audio recording, signed statement, private investigator report, that sort of thing. As a man, your word means nothing in divorce court.

whooooah man. try to keep solicitors out of it, you will both lose. lots. seriously.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.