Normally we do not charge a fee to look over your case and advise on the direction that your matter should take.

In our initial discussion, we will advise you on what % your property should be divided between you and your former partner or child arrangements and in most cases ask you to complete our template instruction document that can be emailed to you so that we can see at a glance what your matter is about.

We normally do not charge a fee for this initial discussion with you, review of your circumstances and advise on what your entitlements should be and the process involved to move towards resolving your matter.

Yes, for most cases after a short initial discussion we can advise you on the percentage of the property you would be entitled to. This is included in our initial consultation and advice to you on your matter before we charge any legal fees.

With regards to this, the Family Law Act 1975 sets out the general principles the court considers when deciding financial disputes after the breakdown of a marriage (Sections 79(4)and 75(2)) or a de facto relationship (Sections 90SM(4) and 90SF(3)). Regardless of whether the parties were in a marriage or a de facto relationship, the general principles are the same and are based on:

  • your assets and liabilities,
  • the direct financial contributions by each party to the relationship such as wage and salary earnings
  • the indirect financial contributions by each party such as gifts and inheritances from families
  • the non-financial contributions to the relationship such as caring for children and homemaking, and
  • the future needs of each party such as age, health, financial resources, care of children and ability to earn.

If there is no agreement on parenting arrangements one party can start court proceedings by filing an Initiating Application to the court to make orders.

However, before you can apply to the court for parenting orders, including those seeking to change an existing parenting order you will need to participate in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

Resolving issues through (FDR) is less formal than going to court and will be more cost-effective and save time as both parties are involved with shaping a solution.

If there is a history of family violence or child abuse, it may not be appropriate to attend FDR.

Should FDR prove unfruitful, parenting orders can be filed.

A parenting order may deal with one or more of the following:

  • who the child/ren will live with
  • how much time the child/ren will spend with each parent and with other people, such as grandparents
  • the allocation of parental responsibility
  • how the child/ren will communicate with a parent they do not live with, or other people, and
  • any aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child/ren.

There are two options for settling property matters; Consent Orders and Binding Financial Agreements. Both documents reflect an agreement on how you will handle your property in the event of separation or divorce.

The main differences between a Consent Order and Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) is the way they are drafted and how they can be enforced.

Consent Orders are required to be filed with the Court, however a Binding Financial Agreement is a contract between you and your partner and there is no third party required to make it enforceable.

In order for a Binding Financial Agreement to be legally binding, both parties must have signed the agreement and received independent legal advice before signing.

A Binding Financial Agreement is only as sound as the detail and obligations contained within the agreement. Courts have a number of grounds under section 90K for married couples and section 90UM for de facto couples under the Family Law Act in which agreements can be set aside. It is therefore important to gain professional legal advice prior to drafting an agreement to ensure that your agreement is reliable and appropriate in your circumstances.

At Thexton lawyers our legal services are priced on a fixed fee basis. This means that prior to engaging in any work on your behalf we will provide a fixed fee quotation outlining our costs in relation to your particular family law matter. This allows you to more accurately gauge what your legal costs will be prior to taking a course of legal action.

For smaller legal matters we would require our legal services to be paid prior to completing work on your behalf. For larger matters involving property settlement disputes which may take a lengthy period of time to resolve, our legal services can be paid at the time of the property settlement. Therefore, there is no requirement for the legal fees to be paid on an up-front basis.

Talk to Matthew


Level 57, MLC Centre,

19 -29 Martin Place

Sydney,NSW 2000