Family Lawyers in Essendon & Sunbury

Family & De Facto Relationship Lawyers in Essendon & Sunbury

At Nicholas James Lawyers, our team of Family Lawyers have the expertise and skills to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for yourself and your family.

Our Family Lawyers understand that every Family Law case is unique and involves a unique set of circumstances. Children, property, and divorce are only a few of the issues that come up in Family Law cases; they also encompass the emotional and personal aspects of each person involved. These challenging issues, with all their complexities, require a strategy that recognises which form of dispute resolution is appropriate for each specific circumstance.

Our professional Family Lawyers have the grounding, experience, and expertise to obtain the results and outcomes you are looking for, no matter how complex or unusual your family situation may be.

Our Family Lawyers understand how stressful and emotional dealing with the legal system can be, which is why we provide high-quality advice and representation in all aspects of Family Law including separation and divorce, parenting and child support issues, intervention orders, property settlements as well as financial and pre-nuptial agreements.

Having extensive expertise with both basic and difficult property and parenting matters involving a wide range of hurdles, our Family Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and help your family achieve finality and move forward.

We have experts in a broad range of Family Law matters including:

  • Children and Parenting
  • Property and Financial Settlement
  • Child Support / Child Support Agreements
  • Binding Financial Agreements / Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Divorce Advice & Applications

Nicholas James Lawyers’ family lawyers will treat your matter and situation with respect and sensitivity, offering you clear alternatives and counsel every step of the journey. We want you to be confident in the choices you make for your family and future.

By providing a sense of perspective, and listening to a client’s priorities, we can help clients find happiness amidst what is likely the hardest time of their lives. No matter what your Family Law problem is, our family lawyers will help you make the right decisions.

Our Family Lawyers are client-focused and collaborate with you to decide the best course of action in your case. We are dedicated to assisting our clients in achieving the best possible result for you and your family.

Why Choose Nicholas James Lawyers?

As an Integrated Law Firm, we provide a broad spectrum of quality legal services delivered with a cost effective, commercially minded, and personalised approach.

We devote time to our clients and their matters to have a deeper understanding of their situations and legal needs. This allows us to anticipate potential difficulties from the start, give timely and relevant advice, and collaborate with each of our clients to produce accurate and appropriate solutions delivering positive outcomes for both our commercial and residential clients. 

For experienced Family Lawyers in Essendon, call Nicholas James Lawyers today. 


How do I apply for a Divorce?

Before you apply for a Divorce, you must decide whether you are filing the Application on your own (sole) or together with the other party (joint). If you wish to file a sole Application, you are only required to sign the Application. If you wish to file a joint Application, both you and the other party are required to sign the Application. In either circumstance, Court attendance will not be required if there are no children under the age of 18 years, however Court attendance is required if there are children under the age of 18 years so you can satisfy to the Court that proper and suitable arrangements have been made for the care and responsibility of the children. There are also a number of things to consider when applying for a Divorce:

  • Have you been married for less than 2 years?
  • Are you separated and living under the same roof in the last 12 months?
  • Do you have children?
  • Can you locate your spouse?
  • Has there been a change of name from married or maiden name?

If you are filing a joint Application, you will also need to arrange personal service of the Application on your spouse. 

You must also resolve or commence proceedings in relation to property settlement and/or spousal maintenance within 12 months after you have obtained a Divorce

We encourage you to obtain independent legal advice prior to filing any Application with the Court. 

Do I need to formalise my property settlement?

Upon a separation, it is important to resolve your financial affairs and have any agreement reached formally recorded in a Consent Order obtained by the Court or Binding Financial Agreement pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975. Unless a property settlement is determined by a Court Order or Binding Financial Agreement, then the issue of property settlement can potentially resurface by either party commencing Court proceedings in the future to make a claim against the other party. 

What is the difference between a Court Order and Binding Financial Agreement?

While a Court Order and Binding Financial Agreement both serve to finalise financial relationships following a separation, the question of the most appropriate method is often asked to ensure a fair settlement. If parties are unable to agree on an overall property settlement, it may be necessary to apply to the Family Law or Federal Circuit Court for Financial Orders. There are a number of things to consider prior to applying for Financial Orders through the Court, most importantly that the Court needs to be satisfied that the Orders are just and equitable (fair to both parties). Binding Financial Agreements are not approved by a Court and there is no requirement that they be just and equitable. There may be practical reasons which lead parties to agree upon the terms of an agreement apart from fairness which is why a Binding Financial Agreement is preferred. In relation to preparation of each document, applying for Court Orders is generally a simpler and less expensive process compared to a Binding Financial Agreement. This is because Binding Financial Agreements must be drafted according to the circumstances of each particular matter, whereas Court Orders are supported by an application prepared in accordance with a particular Court approved form. Irrespective of which option you decide to pursue, independent legal advice should be obtained at the earliest possible opportunity.

What is a Parenting Order?

A Parenting Order typically deals with the following issues:

  • Parental responsibility (duties, powers and responsibilities and authority which parents have
  • Who the children live with
  • Who the children spend time with
  • Payment of Child Support
  • Any other aspect of care such as welfare and development of the child

When a Parenting Order is made, it is a legal requirement that parties follow the Order. There are serious ramifications which flow from a party contravening a Parenting Order.

How do I apply for an Intervention Order?

A protected person (victim) or a representative of the protected person (Police Officer or parent), may apply for an Intervention Order. In circumstances where Police believe that a person needs protection, they may apply for an Intervention Order on their behalf, even if the protected person does not want an Intervention Order to be made. To apply for an Intervention Order, a form needs to be completed from the Magistrates Court website and an appointment made at your local Magistrates Court to file your form and have a Hearing date listed. If you are concerned for your safety prior to the Hearing date, Interim Orders may be made by a Magistrate to be in full force and effect leading up to the Hearing of your matter in Court. 

If you are a Respondent to an Intervention Order, you will be served copies of the Application, Summons and any Interim Orders made. If you are served, you can:

  • Agree to an Intervention Order being made while disagreeing with that is said about you in the Application
  • Argue against the Intervention Order being made
  • Offer an Undertaking (promise) which the Affected Person must agree to

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