Family Law

If you are experiencing a family breakdown or separation, you need a confident, experienced and dedicated legal advisor. Family law is a highly specialised field of practice so it's critical to ensure you choose the right firm to represent you - no matter what your situation.

As the leading Family Law team in Greater Western Sydney, we are committed to providing expert and timely advice. Our lawyers are approachable and easily accessible when you need them, often working together to utilise the diverse experience and skill-set available within the team so that you achieve the best possible outcome.

Demonstrated expertise and specialist advice - critical for the best outcome

At Coleman Greig Family Lawyers we are specialists in our field and highly regarded within the legal profession for our experience and expertise.

We have the demonstrated expertise to resolve complex parenting, property and financial issues, and can work with other professionals to ensure you and your family achieve the best possible outcome.

The experience and knowledge you need, no matter where you are

Boasting five Accredited Specialists, our 20-strong team is a force to be reckoned with, thanks to many decades of combined experience in this field of law.

Our team's immediate reach stretches from Parramatta and the Hills District to Penrith and the Nepean, and Campbelltown-Macarthur - not to mention Sydney! However, geography is no barrier, as our team is well-versed in all jurisdictions. We have an increasing number of clients who live overseas but have family law proceedings in Australia. Distance is not an issue and our international clients receive the same high quality, professional legal advice in their family law matter.

Your first appointment

We take the time to make sure that we know the ins and outs of your case so we can provide you with tailored advice.

Your first meeting always takes place with one of our Family Law Accredited Specialists, that way you can rest assured that the key issues at stake, and the best options moving forward, will be identified - right from the word go.

Our Accredited Specialists will discuss your individual circumstances with you and explain the options so that you can make an informed decision about whether you would like to go ahead, and the best lawyer for your situation.

Simple, frank and trustworthy advice

At Coleman Greig we give you sound, professional advice in 'Plain English' so you know exactly where you stand and what to do.

For more information, or to make an appointment at one of our offices, please select from the below.

Family Law - Our Clients

The experienced team of family lawyers at Coleman Greig can provide advice and assistance to clients with any family law issue. Whether you were married or in a de-facto relationship, with children or without, our specialist team can work with you to achieve the best possible results on your behalf. 

We have helped separating couples with complex property and financial settlements, those who own family businesses and those with difficult and complicated parenting arrangements to resolve. In all cases, the breadth and depth of our collective experience and our access to expertise form a range of other areas have resulted in a successful outcome for our clients.

Below are some recent comments from family law clients;  

“…thank you for the excellent work you did for me in my Property Settlement case…I thank you for reviewing my case so quickly and in such a diligent and thorough way…In much less time than expected, my case has been resolved and at minimal cost…I really hope you show this letter to some of your prospective clients because they should know that they’ll always be treated very carefully, with brutal honesty and with great respect.”

“Thanks does not even come close to expressing my appreciation for your wonderful work.”

"For me, the best part of dealing with Coleman Greig is that you feel like you are a part of a team - with everyone trying their hardest to help you, to resolve your issues quickly and effectively and keep you positive.... despite the circumstances"

"I want to thank you so much for all you have done to make my financial settlement possible. You have managed to keep the process moving, and to achieve a really good result. I really valued our meetings and appreciated your understanding of the situation and your incisive actions. Without you, it would not have happened."

"For me, the best part of dealing with Coleman Greig is that you don't feel like a client with a solicitor - it’s like being part of a family and everyone is trying to help you and keep you smiling, despite the circumstances"

"I want to thank you so much for all you have done to make my financial settlement possible. You have managed to keep the process going and to achieve a really good result. I have enjoyed our meetings and appreciated your understanding of the situation and incisive actions. Without you it would not have happened."

"I am sorry to say that I can't really help you to improve the service.... because I can’t think of anything you could improve! Everything was excellent in my experience and I wouldn’t suggest you change a thing"

"I wish there were bigger words to express my appreciation. Thank you does not seem enough somehow. I thank you for your professionalism, your calm empathy, and the example you are as to how to deal with a crisis. Naturally, I thank you for the rest as well."

"I want to personally thank you for everything you have done for me over the time of my case. You have been very kind and patient and I have appreciated it. Whatever the outcome, my sincere thanks. You have made a bad situation a little easier to deal with."

"Thank you so much for your objective advice and for anchoring me and working out what was in my best interests at a time when I thought my only option was to run to court.  Although I would rather not go through this again, if anything comes up I will definitely keep you and Coleman Greig in mind." 

Publications

  • What happens when an Accountant is served with a subpoena in family law proceedings? - 26 Nov 2019
    Anna D’Addona, Danielle Borg
    Where a party has not provided full and frank disclosure of their financial affairs in family law proceedings, a way to obtain these financial documents is for a party to serve a subpoena. In this article, Senior Associate Anna D'Addona and Lawyer Danielle Borg outline what accountants need to do if served with a subpoena.
  • How will the Court divide my assets following separation? - 21 Oct 2019
    Jacob Smith, Nicole Pearce
    If you are thinking about applying for a divorce it is important to note that you must apply to the court for property orders within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. If you were in a de facto relationship, you are able to apply within two years from the date of separation. If you do not file within these time periods, leave of the Court will be required.
  • Top 3 Excuses for not having a Will and why you should - 21 Oct 2019
    Karina Penfold
    Did you know that Pablo Picasso, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and Prince all died without a Will? You might be thinking if such high profile and net worth people didn’t have a Will, you too may be excused from making one, but that’s incorrect. You should have a Will and continuously review it.
  • New Appointments for Coleman Greig's Professional Team - 13 Aug 2019
    Warrick McLean
    Coleman Greig Lawyers is pleased to announce the recent promotion of seven talented and highly deserving members of Coleman Greig’s professional staff.
  • CBD-Style Legal Services Now on the Doorstep for Campbelltown-Macarthur Residents - 23 Jul 2019
    Warrick McLean
    Residents and businesses within the Campbelltown-Macarthur region now have access to a wider range of commercial and personal legal services, expertise and support following Coleman Greig Lawyers' opening of offices in the centrally-located Oran Park Podium.
  • How to Co-parent After a Separation - 13 Jun 2019
    Megan Day
    It is crucial for parties to parenting disputes to understand that if deep-seeded emotions and criticisms of others sit at the forefront, co-parenting can become an extremely difficult process - not just for the parents, but for the children - who all too often get swept up in proceedings.
  • Single Experts in Family Court Property Disputes – What you need to know - 3 Apr 2019
    Anna D’Addona, Danielle Borg
    If you are appointed as a single expert in a property matter being dealt with in the Family Court of Australia, it is important that you read and understand the relevant provisions which govern your appointment.
  • What happens with the family business following a separation? - 19 Nov 2018
    Anna D’Addona, Danielle Borg
    When a party to either a marriage or de-facto relationship has control over a family business, the breakdown of the relationship will often lead to the operation of the business coming under close scrutiny as part of a subsequent property dispute. This piece looks at just what happens to the family business following a separation.
  • Do “prenups” still hold up in the wake of Thorne v Kennedy? - 17 Oct 2018
    Kirstie Barfoot, Madison Kelly
    When the High Court disregarded the Binding Financial Agreement in the Thorne v Kennedy case of November 2017, discussion arose over whether pre-nups will hold up in court. Here’s what you need to know about the case.
  • Updates to the Commonwealth Court's Online Filing System - 4 Oct 2018
    Kirstie Barfoot
    Alongside the recently implemented changes in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court systems, court staff are now looking to streamline the online filing process in order to ensure that both solicitors and self-represented litigants have an efficient method available to provide the court with documents.
  • What Does Same-Sex Marriage Mean for Family Law Proceedings? - 24 Jul 2018
    Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar, Kirstie Barfoot
    Australia is now officially the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage, with the Marriage Amendment coming into effect on 9 December 2017. We take a look at how has this change has affected Family Law proceedings?
  • The Who, What, When and Why of Family Law Mediation - 16 Jul 2018
    Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar, Karina Ralston, Adam West
    Due to delays and backlogs, the Family Court is currently pushing for parties to make genuine attempts to resolve their disputes privately through Family Mediation, one of the more popular Alternate Dispute Resolution processes.
  • Plain English Guide to Family Law Arbitration - 28 Jun 2018
    Family law matters can place serious financial and emotional stress on all those involved in the related court cases. It is therefore no surprise that the long delays and under-resourcing of the Family Court system has placed a significant strain on parties and their families. This stark reality has led to a recent 'blitz' in the Family Court, which has placed emphasis on finalising matters through Alternate Dispute Resolution ('ADR') processes, such as Family Arbitration, in order to tackle the immense backlog in Australia's Family Court system.
  • Plain English Guide to Family Law Mediation - 27 Jun 2018
    The long delays and backlogs in the Family Courts have been well-publicised. These delays no doubt cause frustrations, and can be very costly for the parties involved. For this reason, the court endorses that parties resolve their disputes privately through Family Mediation, one of the more popular Alternate Dispute Resolution ('ADR') processes.
  • Plain English Guide to Preparing for Family Mediation - 26 Jun 2018
    Effectively preparing for your Family Mediation conference will help you to get the most out of the Family Mediation process. This Plain English Guide provides an overview of the steps that Coleman Greig suggests you take in the lead up to your Family Mediation, and discusses a range of things that you should take the time to properly prepare for.
  • Key Changes to the Family Law Rules - 23 Feb 2018
    Jacob Smith
    As of 1 March 2018, changes to the Family Law Rules come into effect. We recommend that you review the new rules and update your precedents and practices to reflect them.
  • Two new Accredited Specialists for Greater Sydney’s premier law firm - 25 Oct 2017
    Warrick McLean
    The Principals of Coleman Greig are thrilled to announce that Hadi Boustani, Litigation & Disputes, and Karina Ralston, Family Law, have become Accredited Specialists in their respective areas of law.
  • Industry recognition for expertise and impact - 6 Sep 2017
    Warrick McLean
    Coleman Greig is thrilled with the recent recognition of two of its Principals, Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar and Caroline Hutchinson, in industry awards.
  • When do children have a choice in family law matters? - 6 Sep 2017
    Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar
    The High Court recently handed down a decision in a controversial case, Bondelmonte v Bondelmonte, which has significant implications for the views of the child in family law proceedings.
  • New appointments - 3 Jul 2017
    Warrick McLean
    Coleman Greig is thrilled to announce the promotion of four of our talented lawyers.
  • Discretionary trusts in Family Law - 26 Jun 2017
    Adam West
    Discretionary trusts have been used historically to protect family or business assets. It is widely seen as an effective means of ensuring that trust assets aren’t construed as property of a particular beneficiary but in a Family Law property dispute, are they really that effective? In short, they may not be so effective but the news isn’t all bad.
  • The basics of property settlement in Family Law - 22 May 2017
    Adam West
    There are five significant steps which Courts will generally follow when determining the division of the matrimonial asset pool.
  • I want to separate but I’m worried about the financial implications - 5 Apr 2017
    Adam West
    There are a range of options available to people who want to separate from their spouse but have concerns about their financial position. These options aim to give people certainty about their financial situation as they prepare to enter discussions about dividing assets, and in some cases, working out the arrangements with respect to the children.
  • Changes to the payment of Court fees - 2 Mar 2017
    Jacob Smith
    Following a large push in 2016 for lawyers and self-represented litigants to use online and electronic Court resources, the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia are no longer accepting cheque or money order payments as of 1 March, 2017. 
  • Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar, Finalist in the 2017 Lawyer’s Weekly Partner of the Year Awards - 1 Mar 2017
    Warrick McLean
    Congratulations to Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar who has been announced as a Finalist in the Lawyer’s Weekly Partner of the Year Awards in the category of ‘Family Law Partner of the Year’.
  • New Principal Lawyer joins Coleman Greig Lawyers’ growing Family Law practice - 1 Mar 2017
    Warrick McLean
    Adam West, a new Family Law Principal Lawyer has joined Coleman Greig Lawyers, Western Sydney’s leading law firm. Formerly of Slater + Gordon Penrith, Adam was officially welcomed into the firm’s Family Law team on 1 March.
  • Poor communication after separation: How does the Court respond? - 1 Mar 2017
    Karina Ralston, Kirstie Barfoot
    What is the impact of hostile or unhealthy communication between divorced or separated parties on parenting arrangements?
  • Welcome Adam West, new Family Law Principal Lawyer - 1 Mar 2017
    Warrick McLean
    The Principals at Coleman Greig are excited to announce the appointment of a new Principal Lawyer in our growing Family Law practice. Adam West is an Accredited Specialist who brings more than a decade of experience in complex family law matters to the firm including property disputes, parenting arrangements and recovery applications.
  • How much does a divorce cost? - 1 Feb 2017
    Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar
    Family law proceedings are emotionally draining and there is an unquantifiable emotional cost, but what is the financial cost of divorce to the individual and society in the context of family law proceedings and family violence?
  • Plain English Guide to Child Support - 1 Jul 2015
    When parents separate, proper arrangements need to be made for the financial support of their children. The obligations of parents to provide for their children are governed by the Child Support Scheme. This Plain English Guide sets out some of the more commonly asked questions regarding child support.
  • Plain English Guide to Divorce and Separation - 1 Jul 2015
    Separation is a stressful time for individuals and families. At Coleman Greig our family lawyers can help you through the process by providing the benefits of many years of practical experience in all aspects of family law.
  • Plain English Guide to Parenting Issues - 1 Jul 2015
    This Plain English Guide sets out some of the key provisions of the Family Law Act as it relates to children and what the Court will take into consideration when determining what arrangements should be made and who will have responsibility for the children.
  • Plain English Guide to Parenting Plans - 1 Jul 2015
    The law encourages separating parents to reach agreement about matters concerning their children. Parents are encouraged to take responsibility for their parenting arrangements and for resolving parental conflict; to use the legal system as a last resort rather than first resort; to minimise present and the possibility of future conflict by reaching a negotiated agreement; and to regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.
  • Plain English Guide to Pre Nuptial and Pre Relationship Financial Agreements - 1 Jul 2015
    The Family Law Act makes provision for binding financial agreements between parties to a marriage and between parties to a de facto relationship. These agreements can be made before, during or after the marriage or de facto relationship. Agreements entered into before a marriage are colloquially known as ‘prenuptial’ agreements.
  • Plain English Guide to Property Settlement under the Family Law Act - 1 Jul 2015
    If you and your partner separate, you need to consider what is to happen in relation to the division of any property that you own. The Family Law Act provides for property settlements between couples who are, or have been, married and also couples who have been in a de facto relationship.
  • Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Interest in a Property - 1 Jul 2015
    When you purchase real estate with a partner or spouse there are two ways in which your ownership of the property may be described: you can hold the property either as joint tenants, or as tenants in common.
  • Plain English Guide to Superannuation and Property Settlement - 1 Jul 2015
    The treatment of superannuation in a property settlement between separating couples has previously been a problem area because of the special qualities of superannuation interests. Because of strict rules in relation to superannuation interests, it has sometimes been difficult to arrive at a settlement which is fair to both parties.
  • New Centrelink Child Support App - 13 May 2015
    Karina Ralston
    Making (and receiving) child support payments has, at times, been a difficult process. A new app for The Child Support Agency has been launched by Centrelink and aims to streamline the process.
  • Relocation of Children – an update - 1 Apr 2015
    Karina Ralston
    Often, upon separation, as a consequence of isolation from family and friends, financial burdens or family violence, one party wishes to move away with the children of the relationship to gain a fresh start.
  • Are all contributions during a relationship treated the same way? - 17 Feb 2015
    Karina Ralston
    In family law property settlements, how does the Court assess the various 'contributions' that have been made by couples? For example, how do financial contributions compare to contributions made by the homemaker and parent?