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Divorce Lawyers

DDCS Lawyers - Family Law Specialists

The Best Divorce Lawyers in Canberra

By Emily Morris - 22 August 2017 23

Divorce lawyerThis has been updated for August 2017

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining experience – support from your legal team is essential. An unskilled divorce lawyer may end up costing you more because they may end up dragging out the process much longer than it would have taken with an experienced legal team.

If you don’t already have a lawyer you can trust, you need to find one as soon as possible. To help with this search, we’ve collated real-life feedback and put together a list of the top 4 divorce lawyers in Canberra.

It’s worth having a quick read. Our commenters’ advice could save you time and money.

What to Look for in a Good Divorce Lawyer

Depending on the nature of your separation, the type of divorce lawyer you want may differ. That being said, there are a few key qualities we believe all good divorce lawyers must have:

  • Knowledge and experience. The best divorce lawyers have years of experience and unsurpassed knowledge. They’ve seen it all before and know exactly how to deal with difficult situations.
  • Confidence. If anyone is confident in your plight, it should be your lawyer. Your divorce lawyer should be 100% sure of their advice.
  • Sensitivity. As we mentioned above, divorces can be an emotionally challenging experience, especially if there are children involved. The best divorce lawyers balance strength and sensitivity.
  • Efficient. There’s no doubt about it – hiring a lawyer is expensive. As they often charge by the hour, hiring a divorce lawyer that works quickly and efficiently is preferred.
  • Honest. Divorce lawyers should have your back. That means being honest with you about the likelihood of certain outcomes. The good, the bad, and the ugly; they should be transparent with you every step of the way.

The Top 4 Divorce Lawyers in Canberra According to You

Which divorce lawyers in Canberra do locals and our commenters recommend? Let’s have a look.

DDCS Lawyers

DDCS Lawyers specialise in family law – including divorce – with six accredited specialists on their team. With an award-winning reputation for offering some of the best legal advice and representation in the Canberra region, DDCS has helped thousands of clients achieve their desired outcomes.

DDCS knows what matters most. The team understands the emotional and financial stress individuals are put under during divorces. They use a unique blend of confidence, skill and compassion to guide divorce clients through the ups and downs of the process.

Finally, DDCS recognises that families and couples come in many shapes and sizes, each with their own unique challenges. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to divorce. DDCS has the experience and expertise required to navigate the unexpected and to reach optimal results with minimal disruption.

Baker Deane & Nutt

Experience is so important when it comes to hiring a divorce lawyer. With over 150 years of experience providing legal services to Canberra and surrounds, Baker Deane & Nutt has no shortage.

This established firm has a compassionate yet sensible approach to issues of family law. Their goal is to reduce stress and minimise financial risk for their clients. Whether using Collaborative Law or the Family Court, Baker Deane & Nutt can provide you with expert advice, guidance, and representation in their tailor-made legal services.

So, if you’re looking for a divorce lawyer with experience and a professional attitude, Baker Deane & Nutt is the firm for you.

Farrar Gesini Dunn

Looking for a divorce lawyer with a modern approach? With offices in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne, Farrar Gesini Dunn claim to do things differently, to approach legal issues with a humanistic attitude and contemporary understanding.

For over 20 years, Farrar Gesini Dunn have specialised in Family Law. In fact, Family Law is one of the few areas this firm works in – they only do what they are good at, what they are experts in.

The team is client-focused and open to client collaboration. Their fee structure is flexible and their services can be adjusted to suit your individual needs.

Here’s what one of our commenters, Rubbercup, had to say about Farrar Gesini Dunn: “I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommended!!”

KJB Law

With over 30 years’ experience helping Canberra’s residents overcome legal matters, KJB is an experienced, well-rounded law firm that works in Family Law.

They aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients and are happy to explain the complexities of the process in plain English. From the division of property to the adjustment of your will, KJB Law can help make your divorce run as smoothly as possible from start to finish.

One of our commenters, queenb, has some experience with KJB Law. Here’s what they had to say, “My sister is going through KJB law in Woden. Very straight to the point, conscience of costs, she highly recommends them.”

Have You Had Experience with a Divorce Lawyer in Canberra?

Positive or negative, we want to hear your experience with divorce lawyers in Canberra. Did they achieve your desired outcome? Were their fees reasonable? Were they skilled and knowledgeable?

Let us know in the comments down below.

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
The Best Divorce Lawyers in Canberra
troll-sniffer 10:43 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 rac 9:22 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.

cleo 2:04 am 12 Apr 11

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.

Inappropriate 2:21 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 rac 1:48 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.

Sleaz274 1:42 pm 08 Apr 11

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.

mossrocket 1:17 pm 08 Apr 11

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

mossrocket 1:15 pm 08 Apr 11

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

Stozza 12:26 pm 08 Apr 11

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.

Thumper 12:16 pm 08 Apr 11

There are no good divorce lawyers.

capn_pugwash 11:25 am 08 Apr 11

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

Athrak 10:54 am 08 Apr 11

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.

Gezabel 10:10 am 08 Apr 11

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.

Sleaz274 9:49 am 08 Apr 11

Hahaha

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

dtc 9:25 am 08 Apr 11

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.

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