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The Best Divorce Lawyers in Canberra


Divorce lawyer

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 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.

Canberra’s Best Divorce Lawyers According to You

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

DDCS Lawyers

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.

18 Kendall Lane
Canberra CIty ACT 2601
Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt

Family separations are incredibly challenging and distracting for all parties involved. Baker Deane & Nutt recognise this and compassionately guide their clients through these periods every step of the way.

Operating for over 150 years, BD&N’s divorce lawyers ensure close lines of communication with clients who are undergoing these unfortunate events. Mitigation of financial risks and reduction of stress is their aim from the outset. 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.

If experience and expertise is what you’re seeking in a divorce lawyer, look no further than the team at Baker Deane & Nutt.

Level 1, 1 Farrel Place
Canberra City ACT 2601


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?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra divorce lawyers.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

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?

What’s Your opinion?

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151 Responses to
The Best Divorce Lawyers in Canberra
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Monica Bryant-Norved 12:48 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.

Southmouth 5:03 pm 10 Sep 15 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

MarkE 3:09 pm 10 Sep 15

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.

MERC600 2:44 pm 10 Sep 15

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.

Masquara 1:09 pm 10 Sep 15

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.

rubbercup 11:17 am 10 Sep 15

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 ( and was told she was unavailable, but i was able to see Kasey Fox and I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommended!!

greenman 3:20 pm 10 Apr 15

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…



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;

Monomyth 4:27 pm 22 Jan 13

obrijo said :

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

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

Monomyth 4:26 pm 22 Jan 13

eyeLikeCarrots said :

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

Hahaha you crack me up 🙂 Thank you 🙂

obrijo 3:19 pm 22 Jan 13

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

eyeLikeCarrots 2:13 pm 22 Jan 13

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

Monomyth 11:32 am 22 Jan 13

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.

Starrie 11:12 am 22 Jan 13

Forms are here:

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.

obrijo 11:01 am 22 Jan 13

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.

gregz 11:32 pm 19 Aug 12

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.

LSWCHP 9:17 pm 19 Aug 12

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.

Masquara 8:53 pm 19 Aug 12

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.

Flossie 8:09 pm 19 Aug 12

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

Masquara 6:54 pm 19 Aug 12

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. 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!


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