CG Family Law services

Family Law Lawyers in Adelaide

Children’s issues and parenting orders

Unless a matter is urgent, applicants need to fulfil the prescribed pre-filing procedures and ensure that they have attempted to negotiate a resolution of children’s issues at mediation prior to filing an application in either the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. If, however, you have an urgent application then it is possible to file that application without having attended at mediation. Your solicitor will be able to advise you as to whether or not the particular circumstances of your case will enable you to proceed directly to court and bypass the mediation process.

Each case is treated individually in both the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court. It is important that you speak to a solicitor about your specific factual circumstances and obtain advice as to the most likely outcome. It is impossible to provide any guaranteed result but our solicitors are well experienced in Family Law matters and are able to provide you with the best advice available.


In many instances it is appropriate to engage in mediation to try to resolve matters that may be in dispute. These may include property settlement issues or issues relating to children. Most parties engage the services of a mediator whose job it is to try to bring the parties together and reach a mutually beneficial settlement. It is important that you receive legal advice as to your rights and obligations so that you are fully informed prior to engaging in mediation.

Our team is happy to represent you, to advise you and to assist you through the mediation process. In the event that you are able to reach an agreement through mediation we can prepare the necessary paperwork to have that agreement registered in the Family Court.

Prenuptial Agreements and Binding Financial Agreements

The Family Law Act now enables parties to enter into binding agreements that will put in place certainty in the event that the parties later separate. These are known as Binding Financial Agreements or Section 90 agreements. They are however most commonly referred to as a “prenup”.   Binding Financial Agreements are complex agreements that require a great deal of consideration and often extensive negotiation between each of the parties and their respective solicitors. Both parties need to be legally represented so as to ensure that the agreements are binding.

If you are thinking of entering into a Binding Financial Agreement we recommend that you have a detailed discussion with one of our Family Law experts to ensure that you are aware of the limits of those agreements and are informed of the process involved in preparing a Binding Financial Agreement. These agreements are not suitable for everyone but there are circumstances when they can be an effective way of protecting your financial position and ensuring certainty for the future.

Property settlement

Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, splitting the matrimonial or joint assets can be a complex and difficult process. Our team of experts has a great deal of experience in these areas and can make sure that your best interests are represented when the courts are determining property settlement matters. The factual circumstances of your individual case will greatly affect the outcome of property settlement disputes.

Some of the important information that is relevant is the length of the relationship, the contributions made by each of the parties, the amount of time that each of the parties are to spend with any relevant children and the future financial needs of the parties. Section 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975 sets out the circumstances which the court must take into account when determining property settlement disputes.

Applications in the Family Court

and Federal Circuit Court

With the introduction of the Federal Circuit Court most Family Law applications whether they be property settlement or children’s issues, are filed in the Federal Circuit Court. More complex applications and issues that involve allegations of child abuse or matters that are included in the ‘Magellan’ list proceed in the Family Court which is a superior court.

It is possible to commence proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court and later have them transferred to the Family Court. Once proceedings are issued in the Federal Circuit Court your matter will be placed in a particular judges list and you will usually appear before that judge for the duration of your matter.

Urgent Recovery Orders

If your partner breaks the terms of a “live with”, “spend time with” or “an established arrangement” and refuses to return your children when required, you may need to apply for a recovery order in the Federal Circuit Court. We can help you to prepare an Application, affidavit and complete all the necessary forms to be submitted to the court. Recovery applications are generally dealt with urgently by the court. It is important to act quickly and ensure that little time has elapsed between the alleged breach and the Recovery Order application having been filed.

Time is particularly ‘of the essence’ when an ex partner has taken the children and attempted to relocate interstate without your permission or an order of the court. It is important that a recovery application be filed so that the children can be brought back to the original location as soon as possible.

It is also important to ensure that you receive legal advice from a Family Law specialist as soon as possible in the event that an ex-partner and the children have attempted to relocate interstate or outside the originating area.

Other Matters

We can also assist you in initiating divorce proceedings, locating and recovering children who have been taken overseas and engaging in mediation in an attempt to resolve matters before they go to court. We are also able to help with Legal Aid matters and contact the Legal Services Commission of South Australia on your behalf with respect to funding issues. As specialists in all areas of Family Law, we are able to help and advise you on any matters that may arise before, during and after the separation process.