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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

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!!”


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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152 Responses to
The Best Divorce Lawyers in Canberra
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icantbelieveitsnotbutter 5:26 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.

beh1972 6:16 pm 17 Dec 09

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.

Punter 8:55 pm 17 Dec 09

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.

worldsmessiestbartender 9:53 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.

coolmate 10:40 am 18 Dec 09

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.

beh1972 8:09 pm 18 Dec 09

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

cleo 11:28 pm 18 Dec 09

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.

Mimiboo 9:55 am 19 Dec 09

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.

Stozza 1:23 pm 19 Dec 09

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, 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…

NeedHelp 8:24 am 26 Feb 10

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?

pptvb 8:24 am 26 Feb 10

Unfortunately you are screwed.
Good luck

dvaey 9:24 am 26 Feb 10

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.

steveu 9:26 am 26 Feb 10

Contact Lone Fathers ( 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.



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

NeedHelp 11:27 am 26 Feb 10

steveu said :

Contact Lone Fathers ( 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.

Katietonia 11:41 am 26 Feb 10

steveu said :

Contact Lone Fathers ( 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.



I also recommend this, Barry is a close family friend and I believe would be happy to provide you with advice.

iris 12:15 pm 26 Feb 10

Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson

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

Aurelius 12:24 pm 26 Feb 10

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.

steveu 1:43 pm 26 Feb 10

Lone fathers supports father and mothers FYI.

steveu 1:44 pm 26 Feb 10

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

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