Family Law

When going through separation and the subsequent family law processes to follow (eg, divorce, property settlement, parenting arrangements), the supports you have around you make all the difference.

Separation can be a complex and emotionally difficult time for many people. Receiving expert legal advice can equip you with the knowledge and confidence you need to take your next steps.

At Smith Family Law, our team of experienced family lawyers have the skills necessary to understand your individual situation and provide tailored legal advice specific to your unique circumstances. We pride ourselves on providing cost-effective, practical and solution-focused advice.

We can help guide you through the process and will work to ensure that your interests are protected and maintained, both now and in the future.

Separation can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced family lawyers.

Contact Smith Family Law: 03 8625 8957

We are experienced in the following areas of family law


Separation, in a family law context, is the ending of an intimate partner relationship. Unlike marriage and divorce, there is no legal process to separation. This lack of legal process can leave you unsure about what to do next.

Learn more about family law after separation 


Divorce is the formal legal ending of a marriage. It is separate and distinct from property settlement and parenting arrangements after the breakdown of a marriage. Unlike resolving parenting or property matters, the divorce process is relatively straightforward. Applications for Divorce are now completed online.

Learn more about divorce in Australia

Property settlement

Property settlements between married couples and between de facto couples are virtually the same. Given the law provides a broad discretion to the Courts on how property is to be divided, and each couple is different, getting early advice to know your entitlements and how best to reach a negotiated agreement (or where necessary, through the Courts) is vital.

Learn more about property settlement

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance (also called “alimony” in the United States) is the payment from one party to a marriage or de facto relationship to the other party, for their financial support. Spousal maintenance is different to a property settlement but can be considered at the same time as a property settlement or later. It is also different to adult child maintenance or child support.

Learn more about spousal maintenance

Financial agreements

A Financial Agreement (sometimes called Binding Financial Agreement or BFA) is a type of agreement that allows you and the other party to have greater control over your own property settlement before, during and/or after separation or divorce, without intervention from the court.

Learn more about financial agreements

Children and parenting

Following separation, many couples are able to come to an agreement between themselves about arrangements for the care of their children. However, often there can be disputes about these parenting arrangements. When parents cannot agree about arrangements for the care of their children, it is prudent to seek legal advice so that parents can reach a resolution that is practical and appropriate for them.

Learn more about children and parenting in family law

Child support

Child support is financial support for a child paid from one parent or carer to another. Parents are legally obliged to maintain their children until they reach the age of 18 years, and in some cases even after a child turns 18.

Learn more about child support

Intervention orders and family violence matters

Family violence is harmful behaviour that is used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear. Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO’s) are concerned with the protection of family members, partners, ex-partners and children from family and domestic violence.

Learn more about family violence in family law matters


In Australia, there are two types of surrogacy arrangements where a woman carries a child for another person or couple; traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. We assist intended parents and birth parents/surrogate mothers navigate the legal requirements of surrogacy.

Learn more about surrogacy


We offer support and advice in relation to issues specific to the LGBTIQA+ community, including:

  • Donor agreements;
  • Parentage;
  • Surrogacy – which is the same for rainbow families;
  • Parenting arrangements – which is the same for rainbow families;
  • Wills and Powers of Attorney – to assist with your estate planning needs;
  • Property settlements and spousal maintenance – which is practically the same for de facto couples and married couples;
  • Financial Agreements - a private agreement about what should happen about property and maintenance before or after separation; and
  • Family violence and Intervention Orders.

Learn more about family law for rainbow families

Out of court settlements and mediation

Keeping your family law matter out of the court system, using mediation and other out of court settlement options is more cost-effective, results in faster resolutions and will reduce stress and anxiety. You can save money on legal fees and be confident in the fact that you can make your own decisions about what the result will be.

Learn more about out of court options, including mediation

How can we help you today?

03 8625 8957 [email protected]

We're here to help deliver a clear path forward to secure your family's future. Getting professional advice early is a great step.

Get in touch

Blogs & News - Family Law

How does mediation work in family law matters?

How does mediation work in family law matters?

When the issues in question are as important as your children, wellbeing, or home, it is important that you are at the forefront of the decision-making process. Mediation is one of several alternative dispute resolution processes in family law which can provide a forum for both parties to negotiate their options and reach an agreed resolution.
Read more
A guide to family law Consent Orders

A guide to family law Consent Orders

Although there is no legal requirement to formalise agreement about parenting arrangements or property settlement, sometimes parties might prefer to make their agreement legally binding. Consent Orders are a way in which parties can formalise any agreement they have reached with their ex-partner.
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What are Search Orders in family law property settlement?

What are Search Orders in family law property settlement?

Search orders are a type of court order that allows one party to search premises related to another party to locate and seize specific documents or other evidence related to a family law matter.
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How does the Family Law Watchlist work?

How does the Family Law Watchlist work?

If you’re worried that your child may be taken overseas without your consent, and there are parenting orders or a court application on foot, your child can be placed on a list known as the Family Law Watchlist (formerly called the Airport Watchlist).
Read more