Family Law Lawyers:
Experts in Child Custody and Divorce Law
Highly regarded within the Parramatta & Greater Western Sydney area, Matthews Folbigg family law lawyers are known for their child custody and divorce law experience, expertise and friendly yet professional approach.
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Family Law: At Matthews Folbigg you can be confident in knowing that our Solicitors have the right skills, knowledge and expertise – so you’ll have the best legal representation to fight for what you deserve!
We help our clients get through one of the most traumatic times of their life with specialist divorce law advice including property settlement, separation and child custody rights.
Our family law services include Family Court representation and advice as to :
- Divorce and Separation Agreements
- Financial Agreements
- Property Settlements, Superannuation
- Child Support / Child Custody Rights
- De Facto Relationships
- Separation agreements (including pre-nuptials and spousal support)
Having years of experience dealing with divorce, the support of a Matthews Folbigg family law lawyer can make a world of difference. You can be secure knowing that our specialist family law lawyers are there to help relieve your worries and are available to assist you with any concerns or questions regarding your family law issue. We will be with you every step of the way!
Divorce, child custody and domestic violence are stressful. At such a stressful and uncertain time, Matthews Folbigg family law lawyers understand that you need an expert family law lawyer who will fight for your rights whilst also managing your legal costs. Our promise to our clients is to achieve the best results possible promptly and cost-effectively. We offer a fixed fee for our initial consultation, regardless of how long we need to meet to get an understanding of your circumstances. Afterwards, the family law lawyer you met during the meeting will send you a written report which clearly outlines what was discussed in the consultation including their expert legal advice and information to guide you through the process. Our clients have told us that this is a great starting place for them to understand what they could possibly face in the future.
In addition to advising individuals who are involved in Family Law Court proceedings or disputes, divorce lawyers also advise and represent the interests of companies, Liquidators and Administrators and personal insolvency trustees in matters where those persons may have a third party interest in the matrimonial dispute.
Matthews Folbigg family law lawyers regularly act for Trustees in the Family Court where creditors’ claims have been impacted by family law property settlements and pending proceedings before the Family Court. As the leading full-service law firm in Parramatta, Matthews Folbigg has a significant insolvency department. The Family law lawyers work closely with the Directors of the Insolvency department in relation to family law disputes that effect third parties, including Trustees.
We offer our clients one of Sydney’s most experienced and specialised family law teams with significant Family Court experience.
Our family law lawyers, including four Accredited Specialists in Family Law, are highly respected not only within the area of family law but throughout the legal profession.
An advantage of using a Matthews Folbigg family lawyer to resolve your family law matter is that not only are we highly skilled in Family Court representation but also in all methods of Alternate Dispute Resolution.
Our family law team has extensive Family Court experience as well as appearing in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Local and District Courts and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and will keep you informed of the legal processes or any new developments that may directly affect you regularly and appropriately.
Here’s what some of our Family Law clients have said:
“Thank you again for all your help and assistance in finalising this matter. I greatly appreciate your guidance and help in bringing a very difficult matter for me to a conclusion. Thank you also to your members of staff in ensuring all went smoothly and without a hitch. Thanks again and wish you all well in the future.”
“…you helped me with your professional knowledge and caring heart during the most difficult time of my life. I will always remember, whenever I encountered any problems, you were always there for me and gave me valued advices. Your effort was the key which lead to the excellent result of my case.” Ivory
Our Family Law lawyers in Parramatta are the leading divorce lawyers in Western Sydney
At this stressful and traumatic time for our clients, we provide not only specialised family law advice but also support during this difficult period. The decisions which need to be made at this time are important as short term arrangements can have long term consequences.
Our expert family law lawyers have extensive experience in representing clients in Family Court and ensuring your interests are looked after. At Matthews Folbigg will take the time to listen and guide you in all matters related to divorce, separation agreements and child custody rights.
Can I apply for a divorce?
Once you and your spouse have been separated for a continuous period of 12 months, either or both (jointly) of you can apply to the Family Court for a Divorce. You need to satisfy the Court that you both have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same house and still be separated.
If you have been married for less than two years though, you will normally require a counselling certificate before applying to the Court for a divorce and if you have children, the Court must be satisfied that you have proper arrangements for your children’s welfare before granting a divorce.
Our highly skilled family law lawyers can assist you in this process by preparing the divorce, giving all required notices and appearing for you in the family court.
How long does the process take?
When you and your spouse are both within Australia the procedure takes about 12 weeks from start to finish. The time frame can be longer for parties who are residing outside of Australia in a foreign jurisdiction.
It can be a quicker process if the parties make a joint application or in some circumstances, where both parties agree to obtain urgent dates. Our divorce lawyers can help you understand how this can be done.
Do I need to attend Court?
Usually, where there are children under the age of 18 years, the applicant spouse for the Divorce must be present in Court. Where there are no children of the marriage under the age of 18 years, and there are no other complicating factors, neither you nor your spouse need attend. Our marriage lawyers can advise you on the best way forward.
What factors does the Court take into consideration when granting a divorce?
The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The Family Court must be satisfied that there is no reasonable likelihood that you and your spouse will get back together.
When deciding whether to grant the divorce the Court is required to consider the arrangements that are made for children of the marriage. This can also include any children under the age of 18 years who were ordinarily members of the household during the relationship.
Before granting a divorce the Court must find that either the arrangements for the children are proper or that there are special circumstances that permit the divorce to proceed and for the Court to make an alternate declaration. Our family law lawyers are expert in matters relating to child custody rights.
Child Custody & Parenting
Children’s needs and their best interests are normally the first concern in any family breakdown. Both parents have full responsibility for their children until they reach 18, unless a Family Court orders otherwise. The family law lawyers at Matthews Folbigg understand that following a marriage breakdown the issue of parenting is often the most difficult, complicated and stressful to resolve and we are experts in Child Custody and Child Custody Rights.
Unless there is some urgency or a child is at risk of abuse or harm, you and your spouse must participate in mediation in an effort to resolve the case before Court proceedings are commenced.
If you are able to reach an agreement with your spouse, our family law lawyers can draft consent orders for the Family Court to ensure your agreement is legally binding.
There are four type of orders:
- Orders about parental responsibility and decision making;
- Orders about with whom the child will live;
- Orders about the child spending time with and communication with the parent they do not live with;
- Child Maintenance Orders.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, then the Matthews Folbigg family law lawyers can assist you by applying to the Family Court for parenting orders.
The issues involved in the care, welfare and development of your children can be complicated and any decisions you make now can have significant implications for their future. Our Child Custody and Divorce lawyers can help you work through the issues.
Property & Superannuation
At Matthews Folbigg, our family law lawyers will assist you in making sure you receive the best possible outcome when dividing your property with your spouse. Our family law lawyers specialise in ensuring our client’s assets are divided fairly. These assets include real estate property, money in bank accounts, household furniture, superannuation entitlements, motor vehicles, any interest in a company and family trust etc.
Remember that there are strict time limits that apply to commencing property settlement proceedings in Court and our divorce lawyers can assist you to understand these limits and assist you to make a timely application.
How can your assets be divided?
- You and your spouse can agree on how your assets can be divided without any Court involvement. Once you have reached a decision, a Matthews Folbigg family law lawyer can formalise the separation agreement by applying for consent orders in the Family Court; or
- If you cannot reach a separation agreement, you and your specialised family law lawyer can apply to the Family Court for financial orders, including orders relating to the division of property and payment of spouse maintenance.
There is a 12 month time limit to commence property proceedings, once the Divorce has been granted. For most separating partners, a separation agreement is reached and the Court’s role is to receive and assess that agreement. Once approved, it becomes a binding order of the Court.
It is beneficial for separating couples to try and reach agreement regarding the dividing of their assets. The rules adopted by the Family Court require parties to make a genuine effort to reach agreement, and parties are required to exchange the necessary information and attempt to reach an agreement before commencing Family Court proceedings. A family law lawyer can assist you through this process.
Matthews Folbigg family law lawyers try to avoid lengthy Family Court disputes and aim to settle the division of our client’s property without the Court directing parties as to what should happen.
If we can settle your matter out of Court, our family law lawyers will draft the consent orders to ensure the agreement is legally recognised by the Court and binding on the parties.
If we cannot reach an agreement with your spouse, our family law lawyers are well skilled and highly experienced in acting in applications to the Family Court to ensure your rights are protected.
How does a Court decide?
The Family Law Act gives separating parties a guideline as to how their assets should be divided. The process involves having a look at what happened before, during and after the relationship. There is no exact formula to divide your property. Our family law lawyers can assist you to understand how these guidelines work.
The general principles include:
- Working out what you’ve got and what you owe.
- Looking at the direct (wage/salary) and indirect (gifts and inheritances) financial contribution by you and your spouse to the marriage.
- Looking at non-financial contributions to the marriage i.e caring for your children and running the household.
- Looking at future requirements and financial needs of each party – the Court will take into account considerations such as age of the parties, health, care of children etc.
The family law lawyers at Matthews Folbigg have extensive experience in helping clients prepare separation agreements before (prenuptial agreement) and during a relationship.
For the agreement to be binding you and your partner must obtain independent legal advice and a certificate from a family law lawyer to confirm that the advice has been given, before it is signed.
The family law lawyers at Matthews Folbigg have the skill and expertise to help you every step of the way when drafting your financial agreement.