Family Court Lawyers

Adjust to new circumstances with the guidance of an expert legal team

The breakdown of a relationship can be challenging. It often involves complex legal processes. We understand you may find these difficult circumstances stressful. At Duffy & Simon, our experienced family lawyers are here to provide you with legal support. We will guide you through this difficult process so both parties can move on with their lives, while always advocating for you and your children’s best interests. We are here to listen and run through the best options for you.

We Offer Many Family Law Services

Our team of family lawyers have expertise in different areas of family law. We can assist with finalising your divorce, settling property or dealing with parenting matters for children of the relationship. Each case is different, and each client has different needs. We are a team of experienced mediators, and we embrace innovative methods to resolve complex family law disputes.

Property Settlements

We will assist you through the property settlement process to finalise the relationship. To finalise any property matters, we recommend you contact us when you are considering separation or once you separate. We can then help with preparing documents and financial agreements.

Child Support

This area of family law can be complex. Our team will make sure you understand your rights and obligations within the child support framework. We provide advice, child support agreements, and variation and dispute assessments.

Divorce Applications

You can finalise your separation by getting a divorce once you’ve lived apart for 12 months or more. We provide advice on the divorce process and help you prepare and lodge your divorce application. Our family lawyers can also help prepare required documents for court. These documents may include parenting orders, affidavits and witness statements.


All family law matters involving children are sensitive. We make sure we approach these matters with empathy. Our lawyers provide advice on parenting arrangements, child support, adoption and family violence.

Family Violence

Family violence can take many forms. We provide important advice on the safety and protection of a party or child. Our lawyers can advise on intervention orders and further safety measures for you and your children.

Financial Agreements

Financial agreements allow you to decide how your property and assets will be divided in the event of separation. Our team provides advice about the details of a financial agreement for married parties or de facto relationships.

Why Choose Duffy & Simon

Our lawyers provide clear and easy-to-understand advice, leaving you confident and at ease. We maintain regular communication throughout the entire process. Additionally, each new family law case is handled with the utmost sensitivity, professionalism, and respect.

Our team of lawyers have assisted many different kinds of families in achieving the best possible outcomes. We have the expertise and experience with negotiation, mediation and/or litigation to help you. Whether you need representation in court or assistance in drafting formal documentation, Duffy & Simon will be able to help.

Call Today

Our family lawyers are currently based in Pakenham. If you would like advice, representation or help in any area of family law, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (03) 5941 1622.

We also provide assistance in the following areas: Gippsland, South-East Victoria, and Victoria.

Family Law

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have recently separated. Do I need to go to Court?

There is no obligation for parties to go to Court to resolve property matters. The majority of matters are settled by consent without the need to go to Court. If you and your partner can reach an agreement on how to divide your assets you are encouraged to do so. It is recommended, however, that your property settlement is finalised and that you seek legal advice before signing any documents to ensure the agreement reflects your entitlements.

What are the Best Interests of the Child?

When determining parenting arrangements and matters relating to the care and welfare of a child, the court is directed to a number of factors including:

  1. Protecting a child from harm;
  2. Depending on the child’s age and level of maturity, the child’s wishes;
  3. The right of the child to maintain a relationship with both parents;
  4. The right of the child to maintain a relationship with other important people in the child’s life;
  5. The right of the child to be parented in a way that is consistent with the child’s present and future needs.

Can my partner and I make our own Agreement regarding Child Support?

The answer is yes. Even if your partner has been assessed to pay child support by the Child Support Agency, you are entitled to make your own arrangements. In such circumstances the Child Support Agency may not be able to assist you to recover amounts of unpaid pursuant to your agreement.

Is there a time limit that applies before I can apply for Divorce?

Yes, before making an application for divorce, you must have been separated from your spouse for 12 months and 1 day. It is not necessary for you and your partner to have been living separately and apart for the entirety of that time. There is an option for the 12-month period of separation to include time that you have been separated but, continued to reside under the same roof, however, careful consideration must be given to this issue before the application is made as additional documents are required.

Intervention Orders - What do they Do?

An intervention order is a court order that restrains a person from engaging in family violence, and places conditions on their interactions with the affected family member.

The intervention order will name the person who is protected by the order, and the person who is restrained by the order. It will also detail the types of conditions that apply, which may include not coming within a certain distance of the affected family member’s home, and not communicating with that person in any way.

It is important to understand exclusions that may apply to the conditions of the Intervention order, which may include the ability of a person to communicate with a protected person in relation to children’s matters or where the restraints/conditions may be contrary to a family court order.

Always seek advice in relation to the restraints and exclusions contained in an intervention order before acting, as a breach of an intervention order is a criminal offence and taken very seriously by the court.

What is a Financial Agreement?

A financial agreement is an agreement that meets the criteria set out in the Family Law Act 1975 and is an option available to separated parties to finalise the terms of their property settlement.

Both parties to the financial agreement are required to obtain independent legal advice prior to signing the agreement.

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