North Sydney Divorce Lawyers

Do you need an Accredited Family Law Specialist in North Sydney for your separation?

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers have been providing divorce and family law advice and assistance to people from Sydney’s North Shore and North Sydney for more than two decades.

Our family law experts have assisted in the resolution of a wide variety of family law matters including:

  • Divorce Applications, both for couples who have been living separately and apart under one roof and those requiring substituted service on a spouse who is difficult to locate and/or serve.
  • Financial/property settlements, including assisting clients to disentangle themselves from complicated corporate structures and self-managed superannuation funds, and/or requiring input from independent professionals (such as accountants, expert valuers and financial planners) to ensure they are as tax effective and low-risk as possible for the parties.
  • Parenting matters, including those requiring the proper documenting of informal parenting plans as agreed between the parties, contested issues before the Court (sometimes involving an Independent Children’s Lawyer or third parties), and allegations of abuse and/or family violence.
  • De facto matters requiring division of property and/or arrangements for the care of children.

Because we have been working with people from North Sydney for over twenty years we have come to know that North Sydney’s community has been changing. The 2011 Census has shown that there has been a steady increase in the number of couple families, both with and without children, in the area and a decrease in single person households over the last twenty years. Overall there has been an increase in the number of families with infants aged 0-4 years now living in the North Sydney area. As well as this there has also been an increase in the number of retirement aged people who are seeking to downsize but live near good transport amenities and whose family law needs are obviously very different from young families.

Our years of family law and divorce experience means that regardless of your personal situation, whether you are part of a couple, have children or are starting to enjoy your retirement years, our family lawyers can really provide sensitive guidance through the separation and divorce process because they are experts in their field and over the years they have “gone through” a variety of relationship breakdowns and family law issues with our clients. Whilst your experience of your separation will be very new to you, we are so familiar with this area of law that we are best placed to help you through your separation and divorce and the unique challenges this “change of life” experience can throw at you.

Whatever your circumstances may be, we believe it is of paramount importance that if you are contemplating or experiencing a separation or divorce you seek expert assistance and advice from a specialist family lawyer early. A Specialist Family Lawyer will give you proper guidance on how best to take the next steps on your post-separation journey and can assist you develop a proper legal strategy to confidently approach your family law matter.

We believe that with our help you will be in the best position to negotiate and secure the optimal outcome that will work for you and your family whether it be in relation to actually separating or negotiating your property settlement or parenting matter. We will take the time to listen to your story and hear your needs. We can assure you that any advice and direction we give you will be tailored to your personal circumstances and your family’s needs.

Our principal, Lisa Wagner is an Accredited Specialist who is recognised by the Law Society of NSW. As a result of her accreditation on the Accredited Specialists scheme we can confidently say that our family lawyers are leaders in the family law arena on Sydney’s North Shore and accordingly we are one of the best placed family law firms located near North Sydney to assist you to make the best decisions about your future based on the reality of your own personal circumstances.

The family law experts at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are committed to providing the highest quality legal advice to all of their clients and pride themselves on providing sensitive and personal service and support because we understand how difficult the separation and divorce process can be.

We will use our best endeavours to keep your relationship breakdown as amicable as possible and won’t contribute negatively to what is already a difficult time for you. We are professionals who will do our best to settle your matter using collaborative practice and avoid the court process wherever possible. The benefits of using the collaborative practice approach can be best summarised as:

  • giving you and your former partner the ability to have generous input in and control over your matter.
  • allowing independent professionals (such as accountants, financial planners, finance brokers and counsellors) to also have input into the family law process so that they can give you and your spouse practical assistance and support and enable you to each “put your best foot forward” post-settlement.
  • keep the overall costs down by attempting to settle matters via alternate dispute resolution methods such as negotiation (including attendance at roundtable settlement conferences), mediations and arbitrations, and wherever possible avoiding the court process.

However as highly experienced family law experts we understand that sometimes some families/couples require the assistance of the Court to resolve their matter. If you need to approach the Court or defend proceedings commenced by your spouse you can be rest assured that our experienced family lawyers are capable of providing you with strong court representation and are best placed to assist you in respect of arranging the preparation and filing of court documents and evidence for such proceedings and/or preparing you for attending Court.

Our Services:

  • A full range of Family Dispute Resolution and mediation services including collaborative practice. We can also provide parties participating in Family Dispute Resolution with s.60I certificates when required.
  • Preparation of clients for undertaking negotiations with their former partner or spouse and/or commencing in the family law court process;
  • All aspects of negotiating Property/Financial Settlements, including negotiating provisions for spouse maintenance, child support, adult child maintenance, superannuation splitting
  • Drafting and reviewing settlement documents including Consent Orders, Binding Financial Agreements, Deeds of Release in respect of commercial entities and Release Agreements in respect of future Succession Act claims;
  • Drafting and reviewing all manner of court documents including Applications, Responses, Financial Statements, Affidavits, Subpoena, interim applications etc.
  • Coordinating your family law matter with regard to estate and succession planning issues. Our family law experts can also provide you with practical advice about how best to protect your family’s assets against claims by third parties (including new spouses and second families) and protecting yourself against a future Succession Act claim.

Are you separated or thinking about separating? Do you need some expert family law advice about your rights or your responsibilities and where you stand? If you answered yes to any of the above then the team of highly regarded Family Law Specialists and registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help you. So call us on 94370010 or enquiries@familylawyersdw.com.au

These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

Keep Your Divorce Costs Down in your Family Law Matter

When you go through a divorce or separation there are always costs involved.  The emotional cost of separation and the costs of maintaining two homes can be really significant.  You need to do what you can to keep in control of the additional costs of legal representation.

Here are our TOP 7 TIPS to help you save money on legal costs if you are going through divorce or separation and you need a family lawyer in Sydney:-

  • Keep Your Eye On The Bottom Line
    Do your best to look at your divorce or separation as a business transaction as hard as that may be.  It does not make any sense to pay us $500 to get you something worth only $25.  Your frame of mind in divorce or separation can often be one of the most significant components of the entire case and can have a huge bearing on how the case is run and ultimately how expensive the matter is for you.  This is equally true of your ex-partner and spouse.  If you are facing a former spouse who is resentful or hostile towards you it is likely the action is going to take longer and your fees are going to be greater than what they would otherwise have to be.
  • Do Your Homework
    The more work you can do for us the less work we will have to do for you.  Generally we need a lot of information and you are our best source for this.  Completing checklists and questionnaires that we ask you to work on assists us to gather this information in an efficient way.  This is a really good opportunity for you to save money.  Completing this “homework” means we don’t need to gather the information from elsewhere.  This can save you a lot of money.
  • Be Your Own Legal Assistant
    Not only do we require lots of information from you but it is also usually the case that this information needs to be shared with the other side.  Being your own “legal assistant” and providing us with copies of documents means that we do not have to take time to copy documents and this can be a huge saving in overheads for you.
  • Your Divorce Lawyer is Not Your Counsellor
    Divorce or separation is particularly stressful and in our experience you need somebody you can talk with about the emotional issues you face.  We are not trained in this area and so engaging the services of a Counsellor to help you or relying on a friend may be a more appropriate alternative at times.
  • Be Open To Compromise
    Not many spouses “win” in a divorce.  It is more a question of how well the mutual loss is controlled.  Keeping a “middle of the road” approach often makes sense.  Being flexible and creative in your thinking and working towards a settlement rather than remaining entrenched in a position is a good headspace to be in.  The more amicable the conduct between you and your “ex” the more likely the matter can be resolved quickly which ultimately keeps your legal costs down.
  • Use Your Time with us wisely
    Like most service professionals (e.g. doctors, accountants) we bill in incremental units of time.  As soon as we start working on your matter you are charged in blocks of 6 minutes of time.  To help you maximise the efficiency of our billing system it is always best to plan ahead before meeting with us or talking to us on the telephone.  Save your questions for one conversation rather than ringing every time you have something on your mind.  This can result in significant savings for you.
  • You Get What You Pay For
    You should not forsake good legal support.  Hiring a professional Family Lawyer in Sydney is expensive.  However hiring an amateur divorce lawyer can cost you more in the long run.  Getting proper legal advice is highly beneficial and can reduce your stress by providing you with clarity about your rights in the legal process.

Your Action Plan:

  • Get legal advice early on from an experienced Family Lawyer;
  • Make notes along the way of the questions you want answered;
  • Don’t try to prepare complicated documents on your own. You may save money at the start but this can become more expensive later when we need to fix any mistakes that have been made in the absence of proper legal advice;
  • Don’t try to use litigation or protracted settlement discussions as a way to punish your “ex”.  Your ex’s past behaviour or even their present attitude may be unpleasant or even abusive but it’s best to concentrate on the bigger picture and secure a sensible agreement as soon as possible;
  • Provide full disclosure of all your financial interests.  A failure to disclose any financial interests can have a devastating effect on any agreement you reach with your ex and can also significantly add to your legal costs;
  • Keep us fully informed of all significant events but be aware – it’s not necessary to copy us in on the details of day to day interactions with your ex unless this is part of a “bigger” picture that is causing difficulties and needs a legal solution.

As your Family Lawyer, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers take on our role with a strong depth of knowledge and experience, and with great respect for you our client.  We understand that you may be in a stressful and emotional frame of mind when you meet with us and because of this we want you to take the time to understand the above tips.  If you are able to take our tips on board we are confident that you will be able to keep your legal costs at a reasonable level and reach the right outcome for you.  If you are looking for advice about divorce or separation and have questions about the costs involved, contact us on 94370010 or enquiries@familylawyersdw.com.au to discuss in complete confidence. We are conveniently situated in St Leonards on Sydney’s Lower North Shore and have a team of experienced and caring professional Family Lawyers available to help you.

These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.