Accredited Specialist family lawyers guiding people from the St Ives area

At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers we know a bit about the St Ives demographic because we have been helping people living in the St Ives area (and the areas immediately surrounding it) through their separation and divorce for over twenty years.

We know that the information obtained in the 2011 census showed that St Ives had a population of over 15,500 people and that of the people living in St Ives the median age was 43 years and close to 20% of the population was made up of children under 14 years of age, with the bulk of households classified as “family households”.

I also read recently somewhere that the highest proportion of households containing both parents and dependant adult children is to be found at St Ives.

In our experience, as couples are largely choosing to marry later in life so too are they tending to separate and divorce when they are older, in the age bracket of between 40 and 55 years, when they have usually accumulated wealth (assets) and liabilities (debts) and have had children – who are more and more often teenage children and adult-aged children. Accordingly, we have seen an increase in the number of clients from the St Ives area who look to us for family law advice and representation in order to resolve their parenting and property matters.

Since 2011 there have also been lots of new units and homes built in the area (not to everyone’s liking) but this change has obviously resulted in:

  1. A significant increase in the number of residents in the area.
  2. A significant increase in the number of older residents downsizing to more manageable accommodation in the recently built over 55s accommodation, units and townhouses.
  3. A relatively large increase in young families moving to the area seeking larger and more affordable housing from other areas such as the Eastern suburbs and Lower North Shore.
  4. Many “locals” trading up (upsizing) their existing accommodation due to the recent influx of properties on the sales market.

Of recent times we have been approached by clients who are facing or contemplating a separation or divorce and who need solid advice about parenting matters and obtaining the best financial settlement in their circumstances. We have also been approached by a number of parents who are looking to protect their interests having previously loaned money to their children to help them purchase housing in the St Ives area and who are concerned because their children are now having problems in their relationships and maybe facing or contemplating a separation or divorce. If you are looking for a team of Accredited Specialist family lawyers to assist you in resolving issues arising from your separation and/or divorce or a separation or divorce of a family member then you should look no further than Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, because to us you matter. See our full range of divorce law services here.

At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers we pride ourselves on the “fresh” approach to family law. We don’t see you or your family as a number on a file because as a small boutique family law firm you can trust that we will treat you as our number one priority. We will always take the extra time to get to know you and your family and you can expect that we will take the extra care to not just learn but really understand your family’s unique dynamics and circumstances and what’s important to every member of your family so that we can offer you advice which is personalised to meet your exact needs. It is always our aim to secure a resolution of your matter which reflects you and your family’s specific needs because at the end of your matter we want you to have the “best” future possible.


  1. We have a proven track record in respect of resolving financial and parenting matters. We will always use our best endeavours to resolve your matter outside of the court arena to save you the stress and expense of preparing for and attending court. However, you can be assured that if your matter cannot be resolved amicably or without the court’s intervention then we are one of the best-placed family law firms to provide you with strong court representation because we have been dealing with the family law court process for more than 20 years.
  2. We have acted successfully on behalf of third parties in matters where the separated couple has been loaned monies by our clients for the purposes of purchasing properties, starting a business or obtaining financial assistance generally. We take the time to understand the dynamics of each family and will secure the best outcome for you financially by protecting your investment. We will always do our best to ensure the preservation of your ongoing familial relationship with your children and/or grandchildren.
  3. We have successfully negotiated many agreements between parties which recognise the need for ongoing adult child maintenance payments or the provision of lump-sum monies to meet the ongoing accommodation, education and living expenses of non-minor children affected by a separation.
  4. We recognise that if you are older your assets may be limited or you may have greater needs and/or a lower-income earning capacity than a younger client. We will secure the best outcome for you so that you can get on with life confidently.
  5. We are practical in our approach and recognise that “one size” usually does not fit all families. Because we recognise that every family is different we will always look to tailor the advice we give you to meet your specific needs whilst affording you the greatest level of satisfaction and protection.


  1. You will feel like we care…because to us you and your family are not a file on a shelf or a number in a database. We will make time to speak with you when you really need us and we will provide useful guidance and assistance throughout your matter.
  2. You will have a relationship with your family despite the family law matter being on foot because…
    – If you are involved in a messy situation with your ex-partner concerning parenting issues we will give you guidance on how to put the best interests of your children first and advise you as to the Court’s approach in your type of matter.
    – If you have moved out of the former matrimonial home and do not have the children living with you then we will do our best to ensure that you get to spend regular time with your children.
    – If you have concerns about how you will meet the costs of assisting your adult children we can give you practical advice and negotiate a settlement on your behalf which looks to secure the best outcome for you and your children.
    – If you are separated and have previously loaned money from a parent, or if your child is separated and you had previously loaned money to them, we will use all methods available to us to secure that investment and promote your relationship with your family because we realise that a relationship breakdown is stressful enough and you need a solid support system to move on with your life following a relationship breakdown.
  3. You will receive honest, clear and practical guidance and advice. We honestly believe that early guidance can really help you to get clarity during what is a very confusing and stressful time. We will tell you what you should make a priority and focus on, what things you can expect to crop up in the not-too-distant-future and what can wait for a little while until more of the dust settles and things become a little clearer.

We know that seeing a lawyer might be a very confronting experience, especially during what is already a very stressful time but we know we can really help you so please take the first step and call us on 9437 0010 or email us on so that we can help you achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

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.

Family Lawyers St Ives FAQ’s

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The Court initially identifies and values the assets, liabilities and financial resources of the parties, then considers the contributions (financial and non-financial) made by both parties, before looking at the future needs of both parties and ultimately whether the proposed outcome is “just and equitable”.

What does the Court consider when making parenting orders?

Pursuant to section 60CA of the Family Law Act, when the Court is deciding what Parenting Orders it should make, the paramount consideration is “what is in the child’s best interest”.

I have recently moved from the United Kingdom, and I have a UK Pension. Will that be included in the joint asset pool?

If you have a pension as a result of your employment in the United Kingdom, then that pension would be considered a “financial resource” in your property settlement matter.

What is the benefit for me to resolve my matter before going to Court?

There are many benefits to resolving your matter without Court intervention. Firstly, you would save a considerable amount of money on legal costs. Secondly, there are significant delays in the Court system. Finally, your relationship with your former partner is likely to be more amicable than if you proceeded with a litigious Court hearing.

Do I have to go through Family Dispute Resolution, or can I just go straight to Court?

In most cases, you are required to attend Family Dispute Resolution prior to filing an application with the Court. However, there are exceptions, such as if there is family violence involved or in urgent matters such as the recovery of a young child.

My children and I are victims of domestic violence. I do not know what I can do?

The first step is to ensure that you and your children are in a safe location. You should then consider what legal steps you should take.

My former partner states that we separated on a particular date, but I disagree. What happens?

Depending on the difference between the dates, the Court may require this issue to be determined at a hearing. However, if you disagree as to the month you and your partner separated, this may not be a significant issue the Court will likely deal with.