At Damien Greer Lawyers, we specialise in providing family law advice on a wide range of matters. Our highly qualified family lawyers in Brisbane work tirelessly to ensure all of our clients achieve an outcome that is right for them. If you need a family law specialist in Brisbane to help you with an issue like a divorce or a parenting matter, we can be contacted by email or by telephone on 07 3837 5500. To learn more about our full range of family law services, please read on below.
Our Family Law Services
Divorce and Separation
Statistically, around one third of Australian marriages now end in divorce. Although we all enter into relationships with the best intentions, the reality is that not all relationships last for as long as we would like or had anticipated. Thankfully, at our family law firm in Brisbane, we offer a range of legal solutions that can help you navigate your separation or divorce.
Whether you require a formal divorce or a financial settlement following a separation (marriage or de facto), our family lawyers in Brisbane can help you achieve the outcome you’re looking for.
If you’re in a de facto relationship, a same-sex relationship or an opposite-sex relationship, we can provide you with the help you require in the requisite timeframes required by the Court.
Children and Parenting matters
Navigating the post-separation parenting world can be tricky. Whether you have a dispute about the residence of your child or the amount of time your child spends with each parent, we can help mediate your dispute so you can avoid going to court and promote a positive co-parenting relationship from the start.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your partner, we can also help you apply to the court for a decision on your parenting matter.
Depending on what is most appropriate to your circumstances, we can assist you in drafting and negotiating the terms of a Parenting Plan or Consent Order.
Surrogacy, Adoption, Guardianship and alternative ‘Parenting Pathways’
Australia does not currently have Commonwealth adoption laws. Instead, each state has it’s own laws which can make the process seem complex. Our lawyers have expertise and are well equipped to help those considering adopting a child or caring for a child of a family member.
Additionally, our firm has developed an alternative to adoption and surrogacy known as the ‘Parenting Pathway‘. This process is a combination of the best of the adoption and surrogacy laws and provides hope to families who may have previously struggled with traditional adoption.
To obtain advice about Surrogacy, Adoption Guardianship matters or ‘Parenting Pathways’ please contact us.
If your marriage or relationship has broken down, it is in the interests of both parties to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves.
Sometimes there is a mutually agreeable and beneficial outcome for both parties. In those circumstances, we can assist you and advise you with respect to entering into Consent Orders or a Financial Agreement.
In other instances, competing interests or a disagreement on acceptable outcomes/ranges prevent parties from being able to reach an agreement on their own.
If an agreement is not possible between the parties, we can advise you of the best approach for your situation – including mediation, arbitration and/or litigation.
From mediation to arbitration and litigation, there are a number of ways that you can resolve your dispute. We can talk you through the options available to you and clearly spell out the advantages, disadvantages, costs and benefits of each. Plus, all of our family lawyers in Brisbane are trained in alternative dispute resolution processes, so we can tailor each dispute resolution process to your particular needs.
Prenuptial, Financial and Relationship agreements
If you’re entering into a relationship, then you may wish to enter into a prenuptial or other type of financial or relationship agreement in order to safeguard your assets. Once entered into, these agreements are known as ‘Binding Financial Agreements’.
You can agree to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement before you marry (a prenuptial agreement), while you’re married (a cohabitation agreement), or after you separate (a separation agreement). Whether you’re looking to quarantine an asset or safeguard a family business, these agreements can be incredibly useful.
If you’re considering entering into a Binding Financial Agreement, you and your current or former partner (depending on the circumstances) will each be required to obtain independent legal advice as part of the process. There are very specific requirements as to the advice that needs to be given to each party before a proposed financial agreement will become one that is binding.
We have a great deal of experience in this area, and our family law specialists can ensure that any agreement you enter into complies with the Family Law Act and will be upheld by the courts, should any dispute in relation to it arise at a later date.
Collaborative Family Law
No matter what aspect your family law issue relates to, you may be interested in entering into a collaborative family law resolution process.
The collaborative process is a dispute resolution process in which the clients and their lawyers enter into a contract to constructively negotiate an outcome without resorting to litigation.
Entering into this process gives parties more control over their matter, because they have committed to reaching an agreement by consent, rather than allowing a Judge or other third party to determine the outcome. In this sense, a much more tailored outcome can be achieved.
Domestic and family violence matters
Whether you’d like to apply for a Protection Order or need to defend yourself against one, we can advise you on domestic and family violence matters.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence, our family lawyers can help you file for a Protection Order, communicate and negotiate on your behalf, prepare and file an Affidavit for you, and even appear before the court to obtain a Temporary and/or Final Protection Order on your behalf. We can also assist you and advise you in relation to ensuring that appropriate conditions are placed on the order, in addition to the mandatory conditions. For example, ensuring that the Respondent does not come within a certain distance of you, ensuring that the Respondent does not contact you and/or ensuring that the Respondent be required to vacate your joint residence.
If you’re the Respondent to an Application for a Protection Order, we can also appear on your behalf and defend you against a Protection Order being made against you. In addition, we can also help you respond to any supposed breaches to your Temporary or Final Protection Order.
International Family Law
In our increasingly globalised world, family law matters often tend to cross international borders. Whether you have concerns about your child being taken to another country without your consent , need a foreign court order registered in Australia or documents served in an international jurisdiction, we can help.
Our international family law services include financial, parenting and jurisdictional/forum disputes.
Our Family Law Expertise
At Damien Greer Lawyers, we have a reputation for excellence in family law, and we’re one of the best family lawyers Brisbane has to offer. For a number of years running, we have been recommended by Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession as leaders in the family law industry.
All of our Brisbane family lawyers are experts in dealing with family law matters. But we also apply a personal touch to each case. Our Brisbane family lawyers understand that the breakdown of a marriage or relationship can be incredibly difficult, which is why we take a constructive and sensitive approach that aims to conclude your matter in a timely manner.
Our attentive, personal service means that our Brisbane lawyers will always tailor their approach to your specific circumstances. This means you’re more likely to achieve an outcome that best meets your goals and concerns.
With over 40 years’ experience in the field of family law, our Brisbane family lawyers have the experience required to resolve your matter. We can advise on all aspects of Australian family law, including relationship breakdowns, parenting matters, property settlements and financial agreements.
In addition, we’re also experts in international family law and can provide you with help if your family law matter crosses international borders. If you’re looking to relocate with your child, if your child has been abducted, or you’re dealing with divorce, separation or property within and outside of Australia, we can help.
While based in Brisbane, we have access to a network of specialist family lawyers across the globe. Our Principal, Damien Greer, is a long-standing and active member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is considered an expert in international family law matters.
All of our family lawyers in Brisbane are trained and experienced in dealing with even the most complex of family law matters. When you choose Damien Greer Lawyers to resolve your matter, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by one of the best family lawyers in Brisbane.
Family Law Myths
All family disputes go to Court
This is not true. Statistics show that only 5% of those who have a relationship or marriage breakdown actually end up in Court. About half of these do not seek legal advice at all and come to their own arrangements. This is particularly the case when there are children. There are even some people who simply separate or even divorce and do nothing about splitting their property. Even when people do go to Court, it is now mandatory to attempt to reach an agreement through mediation before a case can progress to a final hearing.
The mother always gets the children
The implication here is that Family Court judges always favour the mother in parenting cases. There is no legal presumption that children should be cared for by their mothers. It is the case however, that mothers tend to have more overnight care of children than fathers do. This is not always or often court ordered. Frequently it is agreed between parents. There are a number of sociological reasons why children tend to spend more time with mothers than fathers. A common reason is that the arrangements that were in place before separation tend to be continued after separation. The arrangements prior to separation reflect the roles that each party played in their partnership or marriage.
Property is always divided equally
There is no 50/50 rule in family law property matters, nor is there any mathematical formula for dividing property between parties. It is very much a discretionary decision that is based on a number of factors that are set out in the Family Law Act. These are guidelines only. While an equal division may appear fair, it is not often the case. The person who would be worse off with such an outcome is the one who has sacrificed their career (or work opportunities) to care for children. The longer the person remains out of the workforce the more `unfair’ a 50/50 division of property is to that person. It will rarely restore that person to an earning capacity equal to that of the partner who continued in the workforce. This economic reality is acknowledged by section 75(2) of the Family Law Act. This section examines the future needs of both parties and a comparison is drawn between them as to who may have a greater need as a consequence of the relationship or marriage. The party who is found to have a greater need is given an extra share of property in recognition of that need.
Males come off ‘second best’ financially after divorce
There are websites dedicated to this subject and they help promote this myth. While this may be the case for a few men, repeated studies that compare men and women after divorce show this not to be the case. The research shows that men tend to recover more quickly financially following a divorce but more slowly emotionally. This is probably due to men having been able to continue with their career paths or full time work uninterrupted by child rearing. If men remain in the workforce throughout the whole period of their marriage or relationship, they tend to have a network of employment contacts which enables them to gain salary increases or other employment. The opposite is usually true of females and it is almost wholly due to their having the greater responsibility for child care. Many detrimental economic consequences flow from this circumstance. The term `feminisation of poverty’ has been coined to describe this situation.
The two year rule
According to this myth parties who have been together for 2 years or less get no share of the other party’s assets. This May be true for a defacto couple who have no children together and who have made no substantial financial contribution to the assets of the other but it would depend on the particular circumstances. It is not true of people who are married. The share one party receives is based on their contributions to the property of the parties. There is also an assessment made of their respective future financial circumstances and if necessary one party will receive an extra amount in recognition of their greater financial need.