Navigating the sensitive areas of family and relationship law? Family law requires a raft of unique skills and a compassionate approach.

McVeagh Fleming is expert at communicating the best options during these challenging, often stressful times. We take time to listen to understand your situation and offer the most appropriate, cost-effective advice. We know you need practical advice that is suitable for you. We're committed to providing the support and guidance you and your family need.

Family Law

McVeagh Fleming Family Law is uniquely placed to provide you with comprehensive legal advice on all aspects of family law. Not only do you get access to lawyers who specialise in the family law area, but you also have access to specialists in all other areas of the law. Given that many family issues overlap with other areas of the law, this puts our clients at a significant advantage.

While we remain one of the few larger private firms that have retained a family law practice, our clients receive the personal service that is important to a successful family lawyer/client relationship. We offer empathetic, timely and practical advice based on a sound knowledge of the law and effective drafting and advocacy skills.

Paternity Lawyers

Determining the paternity of a child has implications in many areas such as day-to-day care and contact, guardianship and child support.

It is generally viewed as being in the best interests of a child that they know who both of their parents are. We can advise on applying to the Family Court for a Paternity Order, prepare the necessary documents for filing in the Court and guide clients through the Court process.

Relationship Property

McVeagh Fleming have specialist relationship property lawyers to help you with your marital property issues. Expertise includes:

  • Division of property            
  • Property sharing agreements            
  • Asset planning and creditor protection
  • Separation agreements            
  • Section 21 agreements            
  • Relationship property claims against trusts.

The firm's experience is that many clients are confused about their relationship property entitlements under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (Act). Although this Act has been in force since 1976, many grey areas require careful consideration and analysis by lawyers who have experience and expertise in this field. The relationship property umbrella encompasses two different concepts:

1. Dividing property upon separation; and

2. Protecting property at the beginning of a relationship.

Dividing Relationship Property Upon Separation

Separation can be difficult enough for couples emotionally without the added complication of dividing assets and working through care issues for their children.

The Act has been described as a 'minefield', and it is undoubtedly the case that the provisions of the Act need to be worked through with a great deal of care.

Contracting Out Agreements

Under the Act, many assets which were the separate property of one party will become relationship property, and therefore be equally divisible between the parties upon separation, where the parties have been in a relationship for three years or more.

By entering into a Contracting Out Agreement (or "pre-nuptial agreement") or a Section 21 Agreement, couples can earmark those items of property that they wish to retain as their separate property.

A Contracting Out Agreement can also deal with future earnings and the acquisition of property in the future. It can also provide a formula for property division should a relationship end. Contracting Out Agreements are popular with clients who bring significant assets into a relationship they wish to have preserved as their separate property – Protection of the Personal and Property Rights Act 1988.

Recent Insights

March 2024

Can bad behaviour cost you during divorce or separation?

When sorting out the monetary side of separation, the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act") sets out how property is to be divided for relationships that qualify. It generally aims to divide property (the assets and liabilities including houses, cars, superannuation, mortgage loans etc.) in a way that is “fair”. This means the starting point is that property is divided equally. However, there are some exceptions.
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March 2024

Maintenance after the end of a relationship

After separation, one partner may need financial support while they transition to becoming financially independent. Spousal maintenance is separate from child support payments as its focus is on supporting an adult party rather than supporting any children. If a party has made an application for spousal maintenance, they can apply to receive interim maintenance urgently from the other party, to assist them financially in the interim while the final spousal maintenance proceedings are being settled.
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December 2023

Enforcing a Nikah (an Islamic marriage contract)

If you and your partner intend to enter into a nikah, it is important to consult with a lawyer to advise you of the possible effects and implications of that agreement and your property rights should you and your partner separate. If you and your partner have already separated and you have entered into a nikah, a lawyer can also advise you on what that means for your relationship property entitlements.
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