Are you looking for a highly experienced family lawyer?

Look no further than Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, experienced lawyers who have been helping people from the Lindfield area for more than twenty years.

25th March 2015

By Lisa Wagner

For over two decades we have been assisting and advising people from the Lindfield area in preparation for and through their separation and divorce. During that time our family lawyers have seen a significant change in the demographics of the area.

Today, with many people likely to marry and separate at older ages, more and more of our clients from the Lindfield area are “child free” “empty nesters” who no longer have dependent children living at home or alternatively have high-school aged children who are becoming more independent, and perhaps undertaking the final years of their schooling.

As long time practicing family lawyers we know that a separation can be instigated by one or both parties, may be long and carefully planned for, or can come completely out of left field for one of the parties. Whatever the situation might be we know that a separation is never easy or pain-free for either party. We know that the parties are likely to experience some sense of loss and grief, to feel heartbroken or sad and to feel like their situation is really harsh, bewildering, and drawn-out. However we know with our professional help it will get better and you will secure an outcome that works for you…eventually your separation and divorce will become a short chapter of your backstory.

As a result of seeing more and more financially “stable” and mature clients we have discovered that, instead of worrying about how their separation will affect their young children, many are looking for advice on how to approach their new “single” life and all the challenges that this brings. Many want to achieve long-term financial security and to maintain the lifestyle they have come to enjoy and accordingly we have found that these clients are more concerned with:

  • becoming financially independent;
  • having access to superannuation to fund their retirement years;
  • having an unencumbered and suitable primary residence;
  • managing living separately and apart under the same roof for a period of time;
  • maintaining relationships formed with their local community;
  • ensuring that their decision making is based on the reality of their situation including their future needs and any health concerns;
  • having reasonably amicable relationship breakdowns;
  • protecting family assets against claims by third parties including new partners, second families and creditors;
  • being in the position of supporting adult children of the relationship through university/tertiary studies, their careers and entering into Sydney’s property market;
  • divesting themselves of assets, complicated corporate structures (such as family businesses) and family trusts;
  • untangling the often complicated financial background of their lives which may have been in place for decades; and
  • wanting or needing to undertake a career change and/or to retrain in their chosen field, or secure employment on a part-time basis as part of a transition to retirement strategy, or in the case of younger clients needing to fund their new single living arrangements.

As Accredited Family Law Specialists who are recognised by the Law Society of NSW our family lawyers are expertly placed to assist people from all walks of life in respect of all family law matters, and in particular we undertake work on financial settlements on a day-to-day basis. We have assisted past clients with all manner of financial settlements, from the straight-forward to the more entangled and complex. We know that a separation and/or divorce can be the most devastating event that a person can experience. At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers our expert family lawyers are strongly committed to providing all of our clients with the highest level of sensitive and personal service and support as they navigate their way through the highs and lows of their separation and divorce. Our collaborative approach in nearly all of our family law matters attempts to:

  • provide clients with the highest level of input in the settlement process and to allow the parties to keep the channels of commination open so that there is as minimal an effect on their ongoing relationship as possible;
  • give parties a higher level of control of their matter than the alternative court-based methods; and
  • allow independent professionals to have input into the settlement negotiations and/or drafting/review of settlement documents to ensure that the parties will have the most tax effective, financially viable outcome possibly achievable in their circumstances.

We also understand that often our clients are wanting to maintain their dignity, want to continue to have strong relationships with their families and wish to be able to share in future family special occasions including their family weddings, christening and birthdays, as well as Easter and Christmas celebrations. Our Accredited Family Law Specialists are experts at navigating what can be the very difficult family law terrain. Their special and thoughtful assistance will put you in the best position to maintain the most positive relationships with your ex-partner/spouse and your extended family possible. By striving, wherever possible, to use a collaborative approach in each matter

We have often assisted clients who are entangled in long term financial arrangements by helping them to get an idea of the “big picture” through the obtaining of independent financial and accounting advice (including expert forensic accounting professionals) and engagement of expert valuers to value assets and liabilities of the relationship such as real estate, chattels (including furniture, antiques and artworks), corporate entities, agricultural interests, self-managed superannuation funds and the like.

We also have a significant amount of experience in assisting couples with their negotiations of property settlements, both direct between the parties with us providing legal advice from “side stage” and through our attendance at roundtable settlement conferences, mediations and arbitrations. Following on from many of those successful negotiations our family lawyers have been responsible for the drafting and/or reviewing of “iron clad” terms of settlement (contained in financial agreements or Consent Orders) which contain provisions for superannuation splitting, spousal maintenance and the divestment of jointly accumulated assets and liabilities. We have also assisted parties with their representation in court proceedings and have significant experience in dealing with the court process and other family law practitioners.

Whatever your circumstances are, we promise you that we will listen to you to ascertain your wants, needs and concerns so that we can offer you tailored advice which fits your personal circumstances and secures a resolution of your matter which reflects your specific goals.

In our experience we have found that, regardless of the complexity of the financial settlement at hand, it is very important that you have a clear legal strategy in place prior to coming to the negotiating table or engaging in the court process so that you are able to maximise your property settlement entitlements. 

Our Services:

  • Family Dispute Resolution and mediation services including collaborative practices.
  • Preparation of clients in the creating of a “master plan” (legal strategy) for undertaking negotiations with their former partner or spouse;
  • Property/Financial Settlements, including superannuation splitting, spouse maintenance and adult child support provisions; In particular ensuring that we obtain the most tax effective settlement for all of our clients;
  • 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;
  • Coordinating your family law matter with regard to estate and succession planning issues;
  • Providing assistance with respect to the securing of future income streams;
  • Divorces, including separation under one roof;
  • De facto Relationship matters.

Making the decision to separate or divorce is never easy and is likely to have a profound effect on you, your financial security and your family generally. Getting specialist family law advice and guidance early in your separation will set you on the right path towards a steadier and more certain future. If you are separated or are thinking about separating and would like to know where you would stand financially in a family law property settlement we know we can help you because we have highly regarded Accredited Family Law Specialists and registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners on our team. So please take the first step and call us on 9437 0010 or email 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.

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