Your frequently asked questions answered


At DA Family Lawyers in Brisbane we work closely with our clients to ensure that their case receives the best attention from our family law solicitors.

One of the main benefits of the collaborative process is that it allows for open, frank communication. The result may not always be optimal, but in many cases the collaborative process allows relationships and trust to be preserved in way that court proceedings don’t always allow. In trying to give formality to a matter, there is often the risk of losing trust between parties. It is important to note, however, that not every matter is suited to an informal approach. The approach that is taken will depend on the parties involved — some people benefit from the involvement of a judge to be heard in a certain way, while others need to be held to account in a court proceeding.

Yes, absolutely. The team at DA Family Lawyers collaborates with other family law firms a lot, but these collaborations do not necessarily always fall under the formal umbrella of collaborative law. In many cases, they will find a way to resolve a matter more informally, particularly when there is a level of trust between parties and it is possible to achieve a result that everyone will feel comfortable with.

No. While collaborative law takes some of the formality out of resolving a matter, it is still a structured process. Because it involves preparing for and attending multiple meetings, it can be quite costly for clients. Also, clients don’t always feel comfortable within the formal collaborative process. While the team at DA Family Lawyers will employ many methods to try and make their clients feel comfortable, some people still don’t want to sit across the room from their former spouse and talk about what they want to achieve in a family law context.

The first step is for the DA Family Lawyers team to meet with the client individually to assess whether the process is suitable for them. If the client is happy to proceed, the DA team will prepare them for a face-to-face meeting with the other party and their solicitor. If in agreement, the parties and their solicitors will sign a collaborative law agreement. Next, all the interests and issues will be identified and all the parties, including the solicitors, will work together to decide what steps need to be taken to advance the matter towards settlement.

No, this is not possible. Part of the collaborative contract involves an agreement by the parties and solicitors that if the matter does not resolve within the collaborative law process and requires court intervention, then the solicitors cannot be involved in the court proceedings. This motivates the parties to resolve their matter within the collaborative process.

No. When it comes to collaborative law, each case is different. The process takes many different forms.  Some matters will require several meetings and others will not.  Some collaborative matters will involve other professionals such as accountants and counselors.

The definition of domestic violence is very broad. A common misconception is that domestic violence means physical violence. Domestic violence is so much more than physical violence.

Domestic violence includes but is not limited to behaviour that is threatening, intimidating, controlling or coercive, includes damage to a person’s property or threatening to and threatening to commit suicide or self-harm.

Yes, the law that governs domestic violence in Queensland does not discriminate between men and women. However, the law recognises that women are particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.

If you have immediate concerns for your personal safety we recommend you contact the police. If you want to seek advice about domestic violence and what steps can be taken, from a legal perspective, to respond to domestic violence please come and see us.

Yes. The Surrogacy Act 2010 gives individuals, opposite sex couples and same sex couples who have been unable to have children of their own, the opportunity to start a family with the help of a surrogate. In order to form a legal surrogacy agreement, a formal written agreement is required between the birth mother and the intended parents. The formal agreement will include information about how the surrogate will become pregnant, what will occur during the pregnancy, how the birth will occur, and what will happen following the birth of the baby.

The surrogacy process generally starts with the intended parents choosing an IVF clinic to harvest their eggs and/or sperm. The intended parents will then find a surrogate mother, who is willing to undertake that role for no financial reward. The surrogate mother usually undergoes fertility treatments and an embryo transfer procedure will be performed. When the baby is born, the intended parents will take custody. A surrogacy arrangement will be drawn up before the process begins, but it is important to note that in Queensland, a surrogacy arrangement is not binding or enforceable, which means that the birth mother is not required by law to relinquish the child, while the intended parents are not obligated to accept custody of the child.

The process of surrogacy for the intended parents allows them to have a child if they are not able to do so alone, and is often a good option for those who struggle with infertility or who are part of a same sex couple. For the surrogate, the benefits of the process are likely to be deeply personal. For this reason, one of the requirements of entering into a surrogacy arrangement is for all parties to participate in counselling before beginning the process.

Collaborative law is the practice of both separating parties taking responsibility to resolve their dispute without going to court. The separating parties and their lawyers engage in face-to-face meetings to come to a respectful and amicable agreement

The Hague Convention is aimed at discouraging international child abduction by parents. It is also in place to ensure that children who have been internationally abducted by their parents are returned to their country of habitual residence.

This can be an extremely sensitive issue. However, if you have assets that you have acquired prior to your relationship that you would like to protect—just in case—a Pre-Nuptial agreement may be necessary.

The beginning of a relationship may be the best time to draw up an agreement as both parties are able to communicate in a loving and respectful way.

Yes. At DA Family Lawyers in Brisbane our principle solicitor Deborah Awyzio can now offer collaborative practice. This is a process that allows separating parties to resolve a dispute without litigation, mediation or negotiation between lawyers.

No, your child has a right to have a meaningful relationship with each of their parents. It will depend on what is in the best interests of your particular child as to what parenting arrangements are put in place. The court if deciding has to consider as a first option whether it is in the best interests of your child to spend 50/50 time with each parent.

Contravention of a court order is a serious issue, and you may be able to take action. It is important to note however that what might seem like a contravention of a court order to you, may not be according to the law.

If you are worried, then contact DA Family Lawyers today.

DA Family Lawyers can help you work out whether or not you and your partner are in a de facto relationship.  We can also help you protect your assets prior to entering into a de facto relationship.

As DA Family Lawyers is located in the Brisbane City Centre, one of the best ways to reach us is via public transport. There are two ferry stops very close to our firm, and the Central and Roma train station stops are also quite close by.

A pre-nuptial agreement refers to a binding legal agreement that is entered into in advance regarding how property and financial assets are to be divided in the case of a separation in the future. It is a binding agreement under the Family Law Act, and is made prior to marriage, or entering into a de facto relationship. The agreement, which may concern the distribution of property, financial resources, spousal maintenance and incidental or ancillary matters, is made in writing and must satisfy other requirements in the Family Law Act.

A financial agreement can cover a range of issues, including what happens to the assets that you hold at the time of entering the relationship; what happens to the assets you acquire together during the relationship; and how you will pay for accommodation if you are living in a property that is owned by one party who is paying a mortgage in their sole name.

Although it can be a very sensitive and emotional issue, there are actually a number of benefits to entering a financial agreement with your partner. Financial agreements provide very clear guidelines about how matters will be resolved if you and your partner should separate, and because the agreement is formulated in advance, it is possible to communicate your wishes in a respectful and loving manner, rather than when emotions may be running high following the breakdown of a relationship. In fact, many people prefer the certainty that a financial agreement provides about the division of assets and property, as well as spousal maintenance.

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