“Family and De facto Law is such a unique field. It is imperative not only to have a complete understanding of the legislation governing family and de facto law but my knowledge extends far beyond those boundaries incorporating companies, trusts, commercial interests and taxation implications. Sometimes matters require me to be amicable and collaborative and sometimes I just need to pull out all the stops and fight tooth and nail”.
What to expect
At McLaughlins we understand your life is in turmoil. Whether or not you have made the decision to separate, we will offer you individual, strategic and realistic advice in a sympathetic and confidential environment.
At your initial consultation, we will be able to gain enough insight into your matter to provide you with initial advice and some alternative paths to help you from the outset.
We will keep you fully informed of your legal costs along the way and in exceptional cases we are prepared to delay the payment of your fees.
We will keep you fully appraised at every step and will provide you with individual attention.
Upon the breakdown of the relationship, the assets, liabilities and financial resources need to be divided. It is imperative to obtain advice on your property and maintenance rights, entitlements and obligations at the earliest stage possible.
McLaughlins is able to provide you with strategic and realistic advice in conjunction with accountants and financial advisors, to obtain the best possible outcome for you.
We even see individuals before the final decision to separate has been made and can assist you in understanding how the breakdown in your relationship will impact upon you financially.
We are able to provide you with advice on issues such as:-
• how to prepare financially for separation;
• property settlements;
• disclosure obligations;
• spousal maintenance;
• exclusive occupation of the home;
• the implications of bankruptcy;
The breakdown of a relationship is stressful on many levels and it is crucial that when children are involved, the paramount consideration must be that of their best interests.
At McLaughlins, we know each family and their members are individual and the advice provided needs to be as individual as the family members and circumstances at the time. We will provide you with that individual advice and offer you creative options in relation to issues such as:-
• shared parental responsibility;
• arrangements for the times the children will live with and spend time with each parent (formerly known as custody and access or residence and contact);
• parenting plans and consent orders;
• relocation and abduction;
• child support;
• the less adversarial trial system;
• child protection matters;
• the children’s rights to a meaningful relationship with other family and non-family members.
Family and Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, no social class is immune from domestic violence.
In the event that you have either been a victim of domestic violence or have been served with an application for a protection order, representation at Court and advice on the serious ramifications of the making of an order is necessary and may impact greatly on your work and any possible family law or children’s matters application.
Going to Court
In some cases, agreement cannot be reached due to any number of factors which may be involved.
If your matter is one that needs to be determined by the Family or State Courts, we are able to provide you with succinct advice and superior preparation of court documents to enable you to obtain the best possible decision from the Court.
Sophie Pearson has extensive litigation experience in Court, as well as access to Barristers and independent experts.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Collaborative Law
In many matters, agreement between the parties can be negotiated by various means including negotiation and mediation. Parties who reach agreement by way of alternative dispute resolution finalise their property or children’s matters on terms which are agreed between them, rather than an often unpalatable decision made by an unfamiliar Judge or Federal Magistrate.
Collaborative Law is a practice which has gained momentum through the Family Law Practitioners, their clients and the Attorney General with the launch of the website, ‘Queensland Collaborative Lawyers’. (website: qldcollablaw.com.au)
More information on Collaborative Law can be found via the above link.
Sophie Pearson is a trained Collaborative Law professional and is able to provide you with this respectful alternative to going to Court.
Agreements dealing with the division of both matrimonial or de facto relationship assets and liabilities can be made either at the beginning of or in contemplation of a relationship, during or at the end of a relationship. Recognised cohabitation, separation and binding financial agreements can be used to protect your assets, determine their distribution and provide for spousal maintenance.
The agreements are complex and are drafted for your specific needs no matter how simple or complex your financial circumstances are.