Our Team

The family law team is led by James Bailey, Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law and Partner of the firm. James supervises a team of family lawyers that includes Peta Krarup, Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi and Lara Tom.

Initial appointment – advice, costs, plan of action

Wallace & Wallace Lawyers’ family law team offers a fixed fee appointment for new clients of the firm for a 1 hour initial interview for $297.00 including GST. During the initial interview we discuss your family circumstances, provide some preliminary advice, provide possible action plans and provide an estimate of cost to achieve a solution.

Working your way through the maze of counselling, mediation, and the complexities of the court process, can seem daunting. Talking with one of our lawyers can help you pinpoint problems and map out a plan for you to move forward. Should you be unable to attend our offices we are also more than happy to arrange an in home visit to ensure your needs are met.

Part of a bigger team

We also offer within the firm legal services in every field complementary to family law, reducing the likelihood of delays, costs or hassles in the resolution of your family law matter by facilitating easy access to additional legal services such as:

  • wills and powers of attorney
  • property sales and purchases
  • commercial
  • business structures and trusts

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a divorce?

Australia has a “no fault” divorce system. The only ground for divorce is the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. You only need to show that you have been separated for 12 months and that there is no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed (i.e. no likelihood of the parties getting together again). It is possible for a couple to have lived “separately and apart” for 12 months even though they still live under the same roof. The Family Court will however examine such a claim very carefully, and usually require a statement from an independent person to confirm the separation in those circumstances. If you have children who are under the age of 18 years, you must also demonstrate to the court that suitable arrangements have been made for their welfare.

Do you do no win no fee for family law?

The firm does not offer no win no fee in family law however we will agree to defer payment of your legal fees in some property settlement related matters on certain conditions.  You must pay for your initial appointment where we can determine whether we can agree to act for you on a deferred fee basis.  In the event that we defer payment of your fees until the conclusion of the matter you will need to sign an agreement which includes an acknowledgement of how we charge our fees and our fee estimates and that you agree to pay our fees at the conclusion of your matter.  We will provide you with regular updates in relation to your fees so that you remain in control of your fees at all times.

When is the best time to get legal advice from a family lawyer

The answer is the sooner you get legal advice the better. You need to educate yourself and find out the answers to your particular problem rather than guessing the answer or accepting the often incorrect (but well meaning) advice of friends. What you choose to do after you get your legal advice is up to you. You can choose to do nothing and your appointment remains completely confidential. Getting early advice can be crucial in helping you to avoid making a mistake.

How does the court decide whether there should be a 50-50 equal time shared care custody arrangement?

It all depends on whether a 50:50 equal time arrangement is in your children’s best interests and is reasonably practicable. The Family Law Act provides a list of considerations about how you determine what is in your child’s best interests and whether it is reasonably practicable. There are a range of things you can do to improve your chances of getting your children on a 50:50 basis. You need legal advice about your particular circumstances to see whether it is likely or not in your particular case. Get legal advice about the many things you can do to maximise your chances of showing the court that it is in your child’s best interests and reasonably practicable to have a 50:50 equal time shared care arrangement.

Following separation what responsibilities do I have with respect to a child?

The Family Law Act recognises the responsibilities of parents and that children have rights too, including:

– The right to know and be cared for by both their parents.
– The right of contact on a regular basis with both their parents and with other people significant for their care, welfare and development.

The obligation of both parents is to share duties and responsibilities for the care, welfare and development of their children. The Family Law Act encourages parents to agree about the future parenting of their children, and requires parties to participate in mediation and counselling to assist in reaching an agreement.

The Family Court will make parenting orders where the parents cannot agree what is best for their children. Parenting orders made by the Court include orders about where the children live (residence), who they spend time with (contact) and orders about parental responsibility and health, education, transport and other matters affecting children’s welfare (specific issues orders). A parent, a child or any person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child can apply for a parenting order. Any orders must reflect “the best interests of the child”.

Both parents are also responsible for maintaining their children financially, and may elect to have their child support assessed through the Child Support Agency, or to enter into a private agreement. There are some restrictions which apply to private agreements and you should seek advice as to which of those restrictions may apply in your case.

What is spouse maintenance and who is entitled to it?

Spousal maintenance is an amount of money which one party to a marriage may be required to pay to the other party after separation. Child maintenance is an amount of money which is paid by one parent to another parent for the support of the child. Child maintenance is also called child support.

A spouse may have a right to obtain maintenance for themselves from the other party to the marriage after separation. A party to a marriage may be liable to maintain the other party after they separate to the extent that they are reasonably able to do so if the person seeking maintenance is unable to support themselves adequately because of:

– Their care of a child of the marriage under the age of 18 years.
– Their inability to be gainfully employed by reason of age, physical or mental illness.
– Any other adequate reason.

In Queensland when two people are living as husband and wife without being married, neither party has a legal obligation to support the other on separation. However maintenance or child support for a child whose parents are not married is treated in the same way as maintenance or child support for children of a marriage. Children of a defacto relationship are entitled to the support of both parents. Similarly, children of people who have never lived together are also entitled to the support of both parents.