Sunshine Coast Family Lawyer

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5 Key checks before hiring a family lawyer

Five key things to know before you engage a family lawyer on the Sunshine Coast

There are several family lawyers on the Sunshine Coast. This guide will help you navigate some of the key differences you need to look out for before hiring a family lawyer to deal with your matter.

Before we get into the pitfalls to avoid, lets first clarify exactly what a family lawyer does.

What is family law?

Family law is the legal framework or legal practice area that focuses on legal issues about family relationships, such as divorce, child custody, property ownership and adoption. Lawyers that practice family law can represent their clients in family court proceedings as well as in negotiations between parties. An element of Family Law includes Family Violence such as facing or taking out a domestic violence protection order.

Family courts

There are family courts all over Australia. On the Sunshine Coast, the court is based in Maroochydore. It is important to note the location of the family court as you do not want your lawyer based far from the court – it will cost you extra each time your lawyer has to go to court. The family courts were created to decide on family matters such as custody of children. The family courts have evolved to hear all cases related to familial and domestic relationships, from grandparents wanting to see their grandchildren to how relationship property is shared between parties getting divorced. Application for protection orders are heard in the Magistrates Courts which are located in Maroochydore and Caloundra.

Family lawyer

A family lawyer is an admitted solicitor that helps family members navigate the legal problems they encounter, from married or de-facto parties looking at separating and amicably settling their property affairs with consent orders or a binding financial agreement, a minor seeking a guardianship order or formalising children’s arrangements. Your family lawyer will draft all the important legal documents such as court applications and property orders. Some family lawyers specialise in specific areas of family law like adoption, paternity, guardianship, or other matters not usually related to divorce.
Going through Divorce with children
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1. Relationship

Choosing a family lawyer on the Sunshine Coast is probably the second most important decision you will make, after deciding to separate from your partner. A family lawyer who is best suited to your situation will make a real difference both in the outcome of your separation and in how you make it through this very emotional process. You want to work with a family lawyer with whom you can build a trusting relationship – one who cares about your situation, listens, and gets you the results you are after. This is crucial, as you will need to make numerous decisions about your children, finances and property and you need someone whose advice you can trust implicitly.

2. To the end no, matter what

When deciding which family lawyer to work with, you need a lawyer who is serious about your case, listens to your needs, and cares enough to want to help you get the best outcome. Most importantly, you want a family lawyer who will stand by your side until your matter is concluded. Several family lawyers will drop a client because they cannot win and do not want that to reflect on their win rate.

3. Addicted to court

If you are trying to save money, you want to work with a family lawyer that does everything possible to avoid going to the Family Courts. If the family lawyer you choose to work with is hot-headed and a litigation shark, you are going to end up financially and emotionally drained. Choose a legal representative who is resolution focused and who genuinely wants to do what is best for you.

4. Cost

A divorce or documenting your property or children’s agreement can become expensive quite quickly, if not managed well. You should be able to get a clear idea of costs after your first consultation with a family lawyer. If you are price sensitive, here are 10 tips that will help you save money when getting a divorce.

5. Moral compass

When two people decide to separate, it is stressful and both parties are generally more emotional. In these heightened states of emotions, people sometimes feel they want to inflict pain on the other party. Having a family lawyer on your side who is level-headed, grounded and has a moral compass to guide decisions is critical. In most cases there are children to consider, which means the parties are going to be in each other’s lives for many years. Taking a long-term view of your family law matter is often pertinent.

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Useful Legal Terms


This describes a child (or an adult in tandem with a child) seeking an order from the state courts to place the welfare and care of the child with someone other than the child’s parents. This can also be achieved in with a parenting order from the family courts.

Property consent order

This covers not only a house or land but superannuation, and spousal maintenance. A consent order is a written, court-approved agreement that when stamped by the court obliges the parties to follow the terms stated in the document. A family lawyer is pivotal in guiding this, though there are options for you to handle this on your own. Download property consent order form

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance or support is the weekly amount payable by the financially stronger party to their financially weaker ex-spouse.

De facto relationship

A de facto relationship has the same legal rights and responsibilities as a married couple. You can read more about de facto divorce here.

Parenting consent order

This covers all the child care arrangements for your children. A consent order is a written court-approved agreement that when stamped by the court obliges the parties to follow the terms stated in the document. A consent order can include both parenting and property arrangements. A parenting plan differs from a parenting consent order as it is a written private arrangement between parents which is not a court enforceable agreement.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce let us share with you our best suggestions to save money when getting divorced.

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