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Family lawyers Melbourne Western Suburbs

Family Lawyers Serving Melbourne’s Western Suburbs

Family law matters are challenging affairs for everyone involved.  We know how delicate these processes are since they involve your partner, children, and relatives.

Elias Hanna Family Lawyers is proud to serve the western suburbs of Melbourne.  We focus on helping you adjust to a new life journey as smoothly as possible and deliver a positive outcome for your family following a relationship breakdown.

Helping Families in Flemington, Footscray, Williamstown, Sunshine, Werribee, Caroline Springs and St Albans

With nearing 2 decades of practising exclusively in Family and Relationship Law, you are assured of receiving sound and accurate advice about your legal rights and options.

Our Lawyers are Proficient in all Aspects of Family & Relationship Law

Separation and Divorce

The end of a relationship is a hard process for everyone involved – yourself, your partner and, potentially even more traumatic for, your children.  You must understand Family Law and how it applies to your situation so you can protect your best interests and those of your loved ones.

Separation and divorce are complex, challenging life journeys.  Although they are two different issues, you will still need to consider similar matters including parenting arrangements, child support, property settlement, and spousal maintenance

At Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, we’re on your side from the start.  We get you to focus on what’s most important to you and give you comprehensive, actionable advice to achieve the best solution for you.

Parenting and Child Support

After separation, one of the top priorities for many parents is to figure out the living arrangements to be made for their children that are in their best interests.  There is no standard custody arrangement and different ones work for different families.

At Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, the children’s best interests are of paramount importance to us.  We believe that is usually best served by ensuring that they enjoy an ongoing, meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family – though not always.  There may be issues of violence, abuse or neglect which mean the safety of children in the care of one parent or the other is compromised.

We will advise you and help you understand the relevant aspects of Family Law so that you may decide what outcomes will best suit your situation when it comes to parenting orders and child support arrangements.

Property and Financial Settlement

When you separate from your partner, financial and property matters can become very confusing, especially if you’re not sure of what you need to divide between you. 

If you’re a married couple, you don’t have to wait until you are divorced to settle your property and financial division with your partner.  When you separate – either by way of one of you moving out of the home you shared, or you each start to occupy different bedrooms in the same property – you need to turn your mind to your legal entitlements in the division of your financial interests.

Keeping a diary record of important dates and all other issues going on in your life when your relationship gets to that point is crucial, because money-related matters can make an already tense situation even more challenging.

At Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, we work with you to achieve the best financial outcomes relating to: 

  • The family home
  • Support payments
  • Investment properties and shareholdings
  • Trust, company and partnership structures
  • Pensions and superannuation

We aim to help you resolve property and financial matters by agreement wherever possible to reduce conflict, stress and costs.  However, not every case is suitable for a negotiated settlement, and we may advise you to begin court proceedings.

Spousal Maintenance

Following the end of a relationship, one partner may have to continue providing for the other.  This can usually be a complex and emotional issue for both the provider and the party receiving it.

Spousal maintenance is when one party makes payments to the other because the other party cannot adequately support themselves.

A number of requirements must be met to get a court order for spousal maintenance, including:

  • One spouse cannot adequately support themselves because they have to care for a child of the marriage under 18 years, or because of age or physical or mental incapacity; and
  • The other spouse has the capacity to pay spousal maintenance out of their own income or financial resources.

There are strict time constraints to bringing a spousal maintenance application to the court, so it’s crucial to get legal advice as soon as possible after you separate.

At Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, we can advise you on your rights and responsibilities with spousal maintenance.  We can assess whether you meet the eligibility criteria to receive or pay spousal maintenance, and we can negotiate a resolution of this issue on your behalf.  We can also prepare your application to the court if necessary.

Same-sex Relationships

A same-sex relationship encounters many of the same, if not identical, difficulties as a heterosexual one, and at Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, we are ready to help you resolve your legal disputes just as we have done for thousands of “traditional” marriages.

Australian Family Law largely treats same-sex married and de facto couples in the same way it does heterosexual married and de facto couples.  The court deals with disputes relating to all property and parenting aspects of a personal relationship.

Following the end of a same-sex relationship, there will be complexity surrounding parenting, financial and property issues.  We recommend you contact us as soon as possible to find out your rights if you are having relationship difficulties or have separated from your partner.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) helps a separating couple agree on the parenting arrangements for their children and/or the terms of their final property division without proceeding by way of contested litigation in the Family Law Courts.

ADR includes:

  • Negotiation
  • Settlement conferences
  • Mediation
  • Conciliation
  • Arbitration
  • Collaborative Law
  • Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

Divorce Application

Divorce does not automatically resolve your financial, property or parenting issues – they are dealt with separately.

At Elias Hanna Family Lawyers, we can advise you if you wish to file a Divorce Application yourself.  Alternatively, we will prepare it for you, serve it on your spouse and attend the divorce hearing to ensure that the divorce order is granted as soon as possible.

If your spouse is the one who has filed a Divorce Application, we will help you respond to it or oppose it if there are grounds to do so.

You don’t have to wait until you have formally divorced your partner to settle your property and financial matters, and the arrangements to be made for the children of your marriage.  We suggest you turn your focus to these issues as early as possible after the breakdown of your relationship or your final separation.

Melbourne-Based Family & Relationship Lawyers Who Offer Extensive Knowledge & Support

Our Family & Relationship Lawyers serve the people of Melbourne’s western suburbs by aiming to achieve the best outcome for you in a cost-effective and timely manner.  We have experience across all Family & Relationship Law matters including separation and divorce, parenting and child support, property and financial settlements, spousal maintenance, same-sex relationships, and alternative dispute resolution methods.

We always aim to resolve matters as early as possible, with no court proceedings.  However, if court proceedings are necessary, we will advocate strongly on your behalf to ensure you receive your entitlements and achieve an outcome that helps you transition to the next phase of your life as smoothly as possible.

Contact Family Law Solicitors in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs

We offer an obligation-free, no-fee first contact, making us a popular choice for residents of Melbourne’s western suburbs.  We conduct these over Zoom or Skype video calls, one-on-one private telephone conversations, or we may arrange a more personal face-to-face meeting.

If you need experienced legal representation with your Family & Relationship Law situation, please contact Elias Hanna Family Lawyers on 1300 114 965