Close this search box.
(07) 3231 2444
Close this search box.

Family law

Cooper Grace Ward is one of the few major Brisbane-based law firms with a dedicated team of family lawyers. Our team provides expert practical advice on all family law issues, including the associated tax, superannuation, corporate and property aspects. We pride ourselves on building meaningful relationships and understanding your needs both on a personal and professional level. With our broad expertise in negotiation, mediation, collaborative lawyering and, where best for your case, litigation and advocacy, our goal is to provide clear advice on the likely outcomes and guide you successfully through each stage of the family law process. Our Brisbane family lawyers can advise you on a number of issues including:
  • divorce and separation
  • parenting issues in the context of separation and parenting orders or plans under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)
  • property settlements and spousal maintenance for de facto and married couples
  • child support and child maintenance trusts
  • binding financial agreements for de facto and married couples (prenuptial agreements)
  • surrogacy agreements.
We have put together a list of helpful family law resources for your information, these are available on our useful resources page. You can also follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Divorce and separation can be a very challenging personal experience. It is a time when you need clear advice and solutions.

Cooper Grace Ward’s experienced family law team can assist you to manage this difficult process with a range of advice and services in the areas of:

  • family law advice about all aspects of your children and finances
  • separation and spousal maintenance
  • alternative dispute resolution
  • court appeals and reviews
  • domestic violence
  • international disputes
  • same sex relationships.

Not sure where to start? Discover our guide to divorce and family law. The guide aims to inform and educate clients on what they can expect to go through before they engage a family lawyer.

Entering into a binding financial agreement can be a complicated process, and one which needs to be handled carefully and with sensitivity.

Often referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement, binding financial agreements may be signed before, during or after a marriage. Binding financial agreements include:

  • division of property, finances and debts after a marriage breakdown
  • superannuation
  • spousal maintenance
  • other incidental issues.

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) allows married couples and de facto couples to enter into binding financial agreements in Australia.

Navigating through the complex legalities of binding financial agreements can be daunting for any married or de facto couple, which is why you should speak to an experienced solicitor before making any decisions.

We’ve developed a series of short videos about binding financial agreements, including the advantages and disadvantages, the process, the cost and the potential risks and loopholes.

The law regarding children’s arrangements is complex and anyone considering arrangements for their child should obtain expert family law legal advice.

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) has undergone many changes over the years, including the shared parenting legislation and recent amendments relating to family violence. All of these changes have significantly impacted the types of parenting outcomes that now occur.

If an agreement is reached between parents for their child’s arrangements, that can be documented either by way of a Parenting Plan or a Consent Order.

Individuals and couples who cannot conceive a child naturally have access to a range of services to achieve their dream of having children, including IVF, adoption, and surrogacy.

It is important to consider the emotional, financial and legal implications before choosing the path of surrogacy.

Surrogacy comes in a variety of forms, from traditional to commercial. It is available to same sex couples, as opposed to adoption. Similarly, single people, male or female, can also enter into a surrogacy arrangement as either intended parents, or birth parent(s). Presently commercial surrogacy is not available to prospective Queensland parents.

For a surrogacy arrangement to be accepted by the Queensland Courts, there are a number of steps that need to be followed. If these steps are followed a parentage order may be obtained allowing the child’s birth certificate to be changed.

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) sets out how property is divided when a marriage or de-facto relationship has broken down.

The process is complicated but essentially involves the identification and valuation of the relationship property (which is broadly defined) and then a determination of the appropriate ‘percentage division’ between the couple. The percentages are determined by considering the contributions that have been made by each spouse (including initial, financial and non-financial) and each spouse’s ongoing ‘future needs’.

A property settlement can be done at any time after separation, however, the timeframe to make an application to the court is 12 months after a divorce order is made (for a married couple) or two years after the date of separation (for a de-facto couple).

Read more about the process of determining a property settlement.

Many factors affect your entitlements and obligations following a relationship breakdown. While every family law matter is different, some of the basic questions we are likely to ask you are as follows:

  • Were you married or in a de facto relationship?
  • When did you begin to co-habit?
  • If you have separated already, when did that occur?
  • Are there any children of the relationship? What are the current arrangements for their care?
  • How old are you, your spouse and each of your children?
  • What assets and debts did you and your spouse each bring to the relationship?
  • What property do you and your spouse currently own and what is the approximate value of that property?
  • What superannuation do you and your spouse each have? Do you know the name of the superannuation fund(s)?
  • What debts do you and your spouse currently have, including business debts, mortgages, credit cards and personal loans?
  • What corporate or trust structures have you established?
  • What is your average income and your spouse’s average income?
  • Have you entered into a legally binding prenuptial or de facto financial agreement?

There are a number of issues which you may need to consider in the context of your family law matter. We would be pleased to discuss any of these issues with you. They include:

  • Who is the nominated beneficiary of your superannuation fund in the event of your death? Do you need to change this?
  • Do you need to change your Will?
  • Do you need to change your Enduring Power of Attorney?
  • If you are already divorced, are you still within the 12 month time limit for applying for orders about matrimonial property?
  • Is there a Binding Financial Agreement which affects your property settlement? Do you need one for asset protection?
  • Are you a beneficiary, trustee or appointor of a trust?
  • Are you an officeholder (a director or secretary) of a company?
  • Are you a shareholder of a company?
  • Will you need to be released from any guarantees you have provided?
  • If you have children, are you aware of the provisions in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) relating to the time they may spend with you?

We look forward to helping you with the challenging issues that arise in family law and to working with you to achieve a practical and beneficial outcome for you and your family.

To speak with a family law specialist about a family law matter, including divorce and separation, property settlements, and binding prenuptial and de facto financial agreements, call (07) 3231 2444.

Key contacts

Justine Woods
Leeann Murphy
Special Counsel
Craig Turvey
Special Counsel
Hannah Flanderka


Podcast: Coffee with CGW – Get to know Justine Woods

Join us for a coffee chat with family law partner Justine Woods and private client partner Scott Hay-Bartlem as we delve into Justine's background, explore her life outside CGW, and discuss what gets her excited about her work in this candid conversation.

Family loans - what to do and what not to do

In this week’s video, family law partner Justine Woods discusses what to do and what not to do when it comes to family loans.

Marshalling the evidence you need for your family law matter

In this week’s video, family law partner Justine Woods discusses the evidence that you might need to marshal for your family law matter.