Our sole purpose is to represent our client’s interests

Our Services

Separation and Divorce

If you have been separated for over one year, you can apply for a Divorce either on your own or jointly.

 

What do I need to get started? 

 

  1. A copy of your marriage certificate
  2. The address of the other party for service
  3. Arrangements in place for children under the age of 18 years

 

How much are the current court filing fees?

 

  • The current court fee for a divorce is $990;
  • The reduced fee is $330 (if you are eligible)

Divorce Applications

$500

+GST

(PLUS court filing fee)

Court Documents

If you are representing yourself and want us to help you draw your court documents, we can get them right for you.

 

Most people find writing their court documents very daunting, regardless of their level of education.  There is a certain way to draw the documents to avoid problems. Our many years’ experience prevents pitfalls commonly made by self-represented litigants.  

 

How much does this cost

 

  • A full suite of court documents including Initiating Application (or Response) Affidavit, Financial Statement and Notice of Risk can cost between $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the case

 

Find out more regarding our Fee Structure

 

Get the documents right at the very beginning – save costs

 

Getting your documents right from the very beginning can fast track your case to settlement because your case will be properly defined and will meet the legal requirements the judge has to consider.

 

We filter out the unnecessary and irrelevant words to help you get the Orders you need.  Poorly drafted documents harm your case. It never makes a good impression to have to file more and more documents to correct the errors in earlier documents. Whatever stage your proceeding is up to, we can draw your documents from the first court date right up to trial.

 

Well drafted documents also limit, or eliminate completely, your exposure to costs orders made against you in the new Federal Circuit and Family Court Act regime.

 

Our experienced court drafters will draw the documents you need without the cost of full representation. Anyone can represent themselves at a family court hearing, it is the documents that assist you the most in getting the court orders you need.

Court Documents

We can draw your court documents when you are representing yourself

Property and Financial

How does this work?

 

Working out who gets what is often difficult and the cause of many disputes. The law provides that distribution of assets must be ‘just and equitable’. What that means depends on your circumstances.

 

  • All property has to be identified and valued (either by agreement or by valuation) to come up with a ‘balance sheet’ or ‘property pool’
  • Allowances may have to be made for the contributions made by each party
  • Any future needs will have to be considered
  • Other factors such as the length of the marriage or relationship, whether there are children all have to be considered
  • Then, decisions made as to who gets what, if you cannot agree, then the court can make orders which neither party may want.

 

Regardless of the pool of financial resources, the court applies the same steps to determine each case.

 

While it may appear to be a straightforward process, many things can go wrong, this is where legal representation is usually needed.

At Chevell Legal, our experience in dealing with all types of financial settlements enables us to give you the right legal advice to help you through.

 

Book your free 30 minute consult.

 

Farming family disputes

 

Some of the most complex financial settlements arise for farming families where property is valuable and held by the family for many years prior to a marriage. Where both parties have worked the land their respective contributions can be significant and factored into any distribution of property even causing the loss of generations held land.

 

Many factors beyond the control of both parties can play a part including drought, flood, crop failures, with resultant farm debts eroding the net wealth of the property. Working for years on the farm owned by the parents without payment on the promise of the gift of the property can also cause significant difficulty quantifying the contributions of each of the married parties.

 

The unique circumstances of each family facing divorce and property distribution are well known to the Principal at Chevell Legal who has a special interest in cases of this type and has assisted many families to achieve excellent results in divorce settlements.

 

Complex company and trust structures

 

Similarly, structures set up by accountants for married parties to save tax usually, are well know to our Principal who can assist with any seemingly complex case. Our experience is substantial in this type of work and solutions are at hand even if they seem beyond reach.

 

Inherited property holding

 

We can advise you about the consequences for you of receiving an inheritance and what impact this has on a Family Law property settlement.

 

Contact us for a confidential discussion on your rights.

 

If you are married or have been in a de facto relationship for more than two years, you may need to finalise and distribute property and superannuation. Contact Us.

Frequently Asked Questions

The court can make orders regardless of ownership if you are a spouse (married or de facto) as defined in law.

One person burdened with debt can lead to bankruptcy, courts can make orders so that debt is shared by both spouses in a percentage.

The court can ‘look through’ structures so that a distribution can be ‘just and equitable’.

Superannuation can be transferred from one spouse to another to allow each to have some of the asset.

There is no compensation for staying in a loveless marriage or relationship. Separation and Divorce is ‘no fault’.

Parenting and Children

In the eyes of the law, children have all the rights and parents have a responsibility to care for them.

 

Children have the right to be safe and free from violence, be cared for, educated and connected with their cultural heritage. Parents are responsible for their children’s wellbeing and for adequately providing for the children.

 

Care of the children by each parent should be ‘significant and substantial’ if this is ‘reasonably practicable’. In reality, this means if you and the other parent live relatively close by then the children should be looked after by each parent equally or as close to that as possible. In this way, the children get to have a full and meaningful relationship with each of their parents instead of just one or the other.

 

High conflict between separating parents is recognised by the courts as being very harmful to children. The best thing you can do is try not to argue with your former partner, especially in front of the children.

 

It is not uncommon for people to make allegations against the other person which may be an exaggeration of the truth, coincidently upon seeking changes to where they live or preventing contact with the other parent. The courts will make Orders for where the children live and who with, not where the parents live.

 

Our Principal has heard it all including allegations of sexual assault, neglect and abuse, violence and emotional abuse. There are many pathways in the new Court system including the Evatt List (for high risk cases to support vulnerable families) and the Lighthouse Project (dealing with child abuse and neglect, family violence, mental health issues and drug or alcohol misuse). These pathways aim to provide families with a resolution quickly and with as much support as possible to prevent harm to children. The Court will put in place steps to investigate the issues complained of including gathering information from agencies to ascertain the truth.

 

Serious issues of child neglect, the intervention of government agencies and rehousing of children due to addiction of parents and inability to parent are all issues familiar to our Principal having had conduct of complex cases in the Magellan list and other higher court proceedings.  Do not hesitate to seek assistance with complex parenting cases to avoid harm to your children.

Contact us to discuss parenting issues so that your children’s rights are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Children have a right to a relationship with both parents and other significant people in their life. If your moving would cause the child to suffer loss of the relationship, you may not be able to move. It would depend very much on the circumstances.

There is no 50/50 rule. What suits each family varies upon the circumstances. If parties live close together then week about care is often a solution to having the children live with each parent, avoiding too many changeovers and conflict. It will vary from family to family.

Decisions as to what colour shirt or socks a child is going to wear are not significant and can be made by the parent the child is living with at the time. More far reaching decisions such as where the children will go to school, what religion the children will follow if any, health decisions are to be made jointly as these are ‘long-term’ issues.

Spousal Maintenance

  • Applications for spousal maintenance

 

If there is an income imbalance between separated parties, an application for spousal maintenance can be made to correct the imbalance and ensure the party without funds is provided for.

 

Situations of this kind occur typically when one party is working and the other not. For example, a mother or father who has care of very young children and unable to work with the other party in full-time employment. It is not unheard of for one party to walk away, retain all income and starve the other party of funds. It is unfair and recognised by the courts as being so.

 

We can assist with an application for maintenance pending an adjustment to property interests (or property settlement) when funds may otherwise be available.

 

The criteria for being successful is relatively strict and a specific application needs to be drafted to set out the true position.  

Domestic Violence issues

  • Applications for a Protection Order – private or Police initiated
  • Defences to Applications

 

Allegations of violence often accompany separation and need to be dealt with sensibly. We can draw and represent you in your Application for a Protection Order in the Queensland Magistrates Courts.

 

Alternatively, if you believe the Application is wrong or should not be brought at all, we can provide you with representation to defend the Application.

 

Getting the Affidavit material right is critical as it can be used against you in other proceedings, for example, in an application before the Family Court for parenting.  How we draw your material, eliminating risk of unnecessary and potentially innocent but harmful statements in your court filed documents, can make all the difference.

 

Self-represented litigants are at most risk of a poor outcome in the Magistrates Court. Eliminate the risk and get property advice on any Application for a Protection Order or a defence.

Financial Agreements

  • Pre-nuptial
  • During or after marriage
  • De facto relationship agreements

 

Financial Agreements are private agreements between spouse couples that deal with finances either before, during or after a marriage or de facto relationship.

 

There is some degree of risk entering into a Financial Agreement and the Courts have been inconsistent in rulings about the legitimacy of Agreements in some cases.  Issues of coercion and undue influence, a failure to disclose fully the wealth of each party, are all critical issues in deciding whether a Financial Agreement is ‘binding’ or not.

 

However, these Agreements can be very useful in some cases especially where a staged payment scheme settlement is needed or perhaps in out of time situations.

 

Second relationships often benefit from an Agreement about property and how it is dealt with when people have adult children and want their property to go to their respective children.  Relationships often improve once issues about how wealth has been accumulated and is to be distributed in the event of separation, is finalised and a document agreed upon. Everyone knows where they stand.

 

Very careful drafting of the necessary clauses is required to protect your interests. The idea of these very specific documents being cheap is unrealistic. Often these documents can extend to over 30 pages in some cases and cover many eventualities. Allow a reasonable time for a complex documents to be drawn, agreed and settled. The cost will be comparable to the complexity of the document.

 

We can assist with drafting a comprehensive Financial Agreement for any particular purpose.

 

Unfair proposals sought for the purpose of by-passing the court process will not be supported by Chevell Legal as an alternative to filing Consent Orders.

Mediation

  • Section 60i Certificates
  • Parenting and property mediations
  • Grandparents and other interested parties

 

Alternative dispute resolution or mediation is expected to be attempted by the courts. The new legislation seeks that parties not only mediate but that they make a genuine effort to settle.

 

Quite apart from what the court wants, if you can settle your differences with your former spouse, the benefits can be enormous for you and especially your children. Conflict between parents is harmful for children and may impede their welfare and development.

 

We can conduct mediations in all areas of family disputes and issue the requisite Family Law Act Section 60i certificate as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

 

We travel to you if need be and our rates start at $300 per hour for mediation plus travel expenses. 

 

We look forward to assisting you to resolve your disputes rather than litigate them.

Where to from here?

1.

Contact us online, by phone, or by email and book a free 30 minute consultation at a time to suit you.

2.

Once we have had the opportunity to discuss the issues with you and provide you with our initial advice, you can decide what level of representation you need going forward.

3.

We will provide you with an estimate of costs depending on the services you need. Click here for our Fee Structure.

4.

Help us to help you by providing us with your clear instructions and by taking genuine steps to resolve your dispute rather than make it worse.

5.

Allow time for change to occur and issues to resolve – people need to process change and while you may be ready to move on, your partner may not. Give it time.