Corporate and Commercial Litigation Services in Victoria​ and NSW

We can assist across all areas of Family Trusts and Businesses, Corporate and Commercial litigation, Mediation, Negotiation and other Dispute Resolution avenues.

We assist with these areas as part of our full range of services to our clients. Our lawyers have assisted many different kinds of families in achieving the best possible outcomes.

Our Services

We take family violence seriously, whether you are seeking protection from family violence or responding to allegations about family violence.

There are two types of orders in Victoria: A family violence intervention order protects a person from a Family member who is using family violence.

Family violence is harmful behaviour between family members that causes fear. It includes:

  • Physical violence sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Controlling behaviour
  • If a child hears, sees or is around family violence in any way, they are also covered by law.

A personal safety intervention order is an order made by a Magistrate to protect a person from physical or mental harm by someone who is not a family member.

We can assist with a range of intervention order matters including:

  • Intervention Order Applications or Responses
  • Breach of intervention Order offences

An Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) is generally appointed in parenting court cases to represent your child’s best interests in the current court case.

ICL’s are generally appointed by Victoria Legal Aid when a Judge deems a parenting matter as “high conflict.” An ICL can be appointed at any stage of a proceedings. An ICL is a Lawyer who can act independently and focus solely on what is best for the child or children moving forward. An ICL is the children’s lawyer and essentially gives a child “a voice’ within the proceedings.

However an ICL does not take “instructions” from a child. In an ICL’s world, a child’s needs must always come before a child’s wants which can create a heartbreaking legal dilemma for an ICL.

An ICL’s primary duty is to provide an independent opinion about which decisions or arrangements will be in the child’s best interests. The ICL’s views and opinions must be based and supported by admissible evidence and the law.

An ICL is not merely a child’s spokesperson and a child is not a decision maker. An ICL does have a duty to ensure that the child’s views are fully put before the court. An ICL’s role is to remain independent and impartial to the parties.

We also help you in coming to an agreement with your partner and if no agreement can be reached, make an application to the Family Law Courts for you. If an Agreement is reached between the parties, we will assist in formalising that Agreement to ensure the Agreement is legally binding. This is achieved through a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders made by the Family Court of Australia.

Many couples can resolve matters and come to a settlement agreement without going to court, which can be quicker, save time and money. We can certainly strive to achieve this for you. Contact us for more information.

Unfortunately, it is common for parents to disagree on the arrangements for their children after separation.

There is no one perfect way to construct parenting arrangements after separation. What works for one family, might not work for yours. And things change as children grow, and every child is different.

Whom a child lives with or spends time with will depend on a number of different factors including their age, their different personalities, schooling needs etc. It will also depend on a parent’s work commitments, lifestyle who was the primary carer during the relationship etc.

The Family Law Courts have a duty to make parenting orders that are in the best interests of children.

Don’t be afraid to try different things to see what works best.

If an agreement cannot be reached in relation to children’s orders, we can assist you by trying to negotiate an agreement on your behalf or making an Application to the Family Law Courts for assistance and orders if the need arises.

Decisions about the amount of time children spend with each parent may seem the hardest of all, given the mass of issues that arise. We have had experience in helping parents with many aspects of the care of their children including, but not limited to, their residence, schooling, religious upbringing, medical responsibility, communication and protection from harm.

The Family Law Act places great emphasis on making sure that children continue to have a strong and meaningful relationship with each of their parents. Amendments made to that Act in recent years have caused a shift in the approach that Judges take where parents can’t agree between themselves.

Early and informed decisions about the proposals you make for the care of your children may make the difference between experiencing years of acrimony versus creating a healthy positive environment for the growth and wellbeing of your children.

If you need to get your affairs in order, we are here to help.

Although thinking about your Will can be daunting, making a Will is an important exercise that needs serious consideration.

Dying without a Will can inevitably prove difficult for your family. If you die without a Will, you will be said to have died ‘intestate’. An effective Will can provide protection to those that you love and care about and can assist in making the process of managing your estate a stress-free one for your family and loved ones.

What is Parenting Coordination?

Once parents have a Parenting Order or a Parenting Plan in place our Parenting Coordinator works with parents to help them carry out their ongoing parenting arrangements more easily.

Parenting Coordination is not a confidential process and sometimes the Parenting Coordinator may provide their observations and recommendations to a Family Court. This helps keep everyone on track and accountable.

Parenting Coordinators do charge for their time, traditionally on an hourly basis. The parties can agree on the allocation of responsibility of fees, or the court can determine the allocation on their behalf. Most often the fees are split equally between the parties.

A Parenting Coordinator is usually appointed for 24 months with monthly joint meetings.

Lauren Patford-Smith is a trained Parenting Coordinator and Parenting Coordination sessions cost $250 plus GST per parent.

Most matters we are involved in settle without having to go to Court. Even when matters go to Court, the majority settle without a Judge having to decide the case. Our aim is to resolve matters for our clients as cost effectively and satisfactorily as possible.

However, there are some cases in which the issues involved or the expectations of one or both of the parties make it necessary to bring proceedings in a Court and in some cases have a Judge decide the issues.

We regularly appear in other Courts including the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, the Children’s Court and the Magistrates Court.

Empathetic Divorce Lawyers in Melbourne

Our non-traditional family law and divorce lawyers in Melbourne enable you to choose the process you require at a fixed price. Talk to a representative at our boutique firm to acquire advice and assistance.

You can make a Divorce Application online at You will need a copy of your Marriage Certificate. If you would like some assistance with the Application, or would like us to complete it for you, please contact our office.

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