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December 2017


2017 Salisbury Community Christmas Parade


Pascale Legal Barristers & Solicitors were pleased to be part of the Salisbury Community Christmas Parade, exhibiting our funny inflatable snowmen costumes! 


Every year, the Salisbury Business Association hosts the Salisbury Community Christmas Parade. Last year was our first ever year showcasing our costumes, and it was so much fun that we decided to walk in the parade this year too! The parade was held on John Street, Salisbury, and this year there were over 1800 participants in the parade!

We had so much fun handing out lollies and balloons to the children and families who attended the parade. We saw so many smiling and laughing faces as we walked past the thousands of people in the crowd. Some people even usked us to stop for photos with them!

On the way back to the office, we were stopped by a woman who took photos for the Northern Messenger newspaper. In the middle of Ann Street, we got to participate in a photoshoot! It was such a special day.

Below is a funny photo we took to impersonate the Abbey Road Beatles Cover.




April 2017

2017 Adelaide Wedding Expo

Pascale Legal Barristers & Solicitors are pleased to be exhibiting at the Adelaide Wedding Expo, and will be discussing Wills and how marriage affects your Estate Planning needs.

The Adelaide Wedding Expo is held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre this Sunday, 9 April 2017. Promising to be one of the largest in South Australia, and with over 70 vendors, the Adelaide Wedding Expo is the perfect place to plan your special day.

It’s also the perfect place to start thinking about your Will and Estate Planning needs.

With FREE ADMISSION, Free Bridal Bags, Samples, Specials, Tastings and Live Entertainment, why not come down and have a look?

The friendly solicitors from Pascale Legal will be there, providing information regarding Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents, to give you and your family peace of mind. Feel free to also ask us about any other area of law we specialise in.

Every bride receives the free ‘I’m Getting Married’ bridal bag full of freebies, samples and discounts, including a special gift from the team at Pascale Legal.

We will also be handing out our very own bag, including free goodies and discount coupons, as well as free friendly advice about the services we provide!

Why not have a discussion with us about what we can do to help give you peace of mind, and make sure your special day is worry-free and the best day of your life?

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The Adelaide Wedding Expo is held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre this Sunday, 9 April 2017, from 10.00am to 3.00pm.

We’d love to see you there!



April 2017

Marriage and Wills

With the Adelaide Wedding Expo on Sunday 9 April 2017 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider how marriage affects your Will and Estate Planning.

Did you know that marriage will generally revoke your previous Will?

Many people are not aware that getting married will revoke any Will you have previously made, unless that Will was specifically made in Bannercontemplation of that marriage.

We advise you to always ensure your Will is valid and up-to-date, especially when you are entering into a new relationship or starting a new family.

A professionally drafted Will gives you peace of mind, and can help ensure that your wishes regarding your property are followed after you pass away.

A properly drafted Will can also allow you to appoint a guardian of any children under 18 years old, which can help ensure your children are looked after properly by the people you want to care for them in the event of your death.

If you are planning a wedding, or are recently married, we advise you to consider your Estate Planning needs as soon as possible.

You should also ensure that your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents are valid and up-to-date before travelling on your honeymoon.

Second Marriages

While we strongly suggest everyone ensures they have a valid and up-to-date Will, a Will is particularly important for second marriages and blended families.

For second marriages, a professionally drafted Will can help protect your assets, and help ensure that your family is provided for following your death, and that your assets are divided pursuant to your wishes. For blended families, a Will can help ensure your family is provided for following your death.

A contract for mutual Wills can also provide you with peace of mind, and help ensure that children from a previous relationship are not left out.

Your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents

Even if you are not getting married, a family member’s or friend’s wedding is the perfect stimulus for you to review your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.

We also always advise everyone consider reviewing and updating their Wills, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents before travelling.

Because you never know what tomorrow will bring, we strongly suggest everyone has a valid and up-to-date Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive.

The Adelaide Wedding Expo

Pascale Legal Barristers & Solicitors will be exhibiting at the Adelaide Wedding Expo this Sunday, 9 April 2017, at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. We will be discussing Wills and how marriage can affect your Estate Planning needs.

Why not drop by and have a chat regarding your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents, or any other area of law we specialise in?

If you can’t make it to the Adelaide Wedding Expo, why not call us now to arrange your FREE first appointment, to discuss your Estate Planning or any other legal needs.



January 2017

Position Vacant - Legal Secretary / Personal Assistant

Pascale Legal requires a Legal Secretary/Personal Assistant to immediately join the team.

We are a busy Salisbury based law firm mainly practicing in criminal & family law, wills & estates, care & protection and conveyancing.

The successful applicant will primarily work with the firm principal as both secretary and personal assistant but may, from time to time, assist other solicitors.

Only applicants who are team players and possess the following should apply:-

  • Experience in the legal field in this role;
  • High level of written and verbal communication skills;
  • Speed and accuracy in typing, particularly in transcription;
  • Document formatting and time recording/ WIP entry;
  • At least some knowledge in the areas of law the firm practices in;
  • Ability to prepare simple correspondence under direction;
  • Ability to manage and organise both their time and that of the firm principal's;
  • Initiative, common sense and the ability to work autonomously and harmoniously in a team;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Be well presented and friendly.  

Full- time preferred but part- time will be considered. A trial period will apply.

Applications in confidence. Cover letter and resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 4:00 PM, 1 February 2017 to the attention of The Firm Principal.



November 2016

2016 Salisbury Christmas Parade

2016 marked the first year that the team at Pascale Legal participated in the Salisbury Christmas Parade. And WHOO did we dress up as you may ask?

The Grinch who stole Christmas and the WHOOS from WHOOVILLE!


We all dressed in our striped socks, Christmas colours and had our hair platted and teased with bells, bows and teacups. It was such fun and a nice change from our barrister robes, wigs and business attire.

We think everyone else was GREEN with envy (well maybe). It was such a great turn out, the streets were lined with excited members of our community full of festive cheer. We were particularly happy to see children joyfully calling out “it’s the Grinch” and pointing, smiling and laughing at us.

We walked in the parade along with 15 other floats and had the pleasure of handing out toys and treats to the boys and girls who lined the street. We hope everyone liked our friendly GRINCH and all the WHOOS from WHOOVILLE.

We look forward to welcoming Father Christmas into Salisbury next year and seeing all the boys and girls at next year’s Christmas Parade.

If you missed the Parade this year here are some photos of the Pascale Legal team. We hope they make you smile and giggle.

Group 2



November 2016

Adelaide Retirement, Lifestyle & Travel Expo

Pascale Legal Barristers & Solicitors are pleased to be exhibiting at the Adelaide Retirement, Lifestyle & Travel Expo this Friday 11 November to Sunday 13 November 2016.


The Expo is held at the Goyder South Pavilion, Adelaide Showground and is open 10am to 3:30pm daily.

With FREE ENTRY, easy onsite parking and public transport, why not come down and have a look?

The Expo promises to be the biggest expo of its kind in South Australia, providing

ideas, help, information and advice for a worry-free retirement and lifestyle. This Expo is vital not only for those seeking advice relating to retirement, but also for the caring families of retirees.

Pascale Legal will be providing information regarding the legal services we can provide to ensure your interests are looked after, including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directive. You can also ask us about other areas of law we specialise in.

Why not come down and have a discussion with our experienced solicitors about what we can do to ensure you, or your loved ones, have a happy and worry-free retirement?

The Adelaide Retirement, Lifestyle & Travel Expo is open 10am to 3:30pm this Friday 11 November 2016 to Sunday 13 November 2016, at the Adelaide Showground.

We’ll see you there!



September 2016

Intestacy: What Happens If You Do Not Have a Valid Will?

What is Intestacy?

Making a valid Will is the only way you can be sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If you do not have a valid Will, the distribution of your estate will instead be determined by South Australian laws. This is known as ‘Intestacy’.

What Does this Mean?Signing

Under the provisions of the South Australian Administration and Probate Act 1919, if a person dies leaving no valid Will, their estate is distributed depending on their family situation at the time of death.

The formula set out by the law is applied regardless of the person’s situation. Under these provisions, it is possible that someone could inherit part of the estate even though the deceased would never have intended or wished them to do so.

For example, an estranged family member could inherit part of or even the whole of a deceased’s estate, despite having little to no contact or relationship with that person. Similarly, extended family members could inherit under these provisions even though they barely knew the deceased. Where there are no family members, the government receives the estate.

Where there is no valid Will to the contrary, this will occur even if the deceased would have preferred their assets to be given to their friends, or to charity.

How to Avoid This?

By leaving a properly written and valid Will, that carefully considers and outlines your wishes, you can avoid the intestacy provisions discussed above.

The distribution discussed above is general, and can become more complex depending on the family situation. Intestacy can also occur where a valid Will fails to deal with all of the assets of the estate; for example where an intended gift is unable to be given, or where the Will has been improperly or imperfectly written.

Even where distribution of the estate under the above provisions is acceptable, the process of administering an intestate estate can be more complex, difficult and costly than where there is a valid Will.

Strict formalities must be complied with when making a valid Will. If these are not followed, this can create many difficulties for your executor after your death. There is also the risk that the document you signed may not be accepted as your Will. We therefore recommend that all Wills be written by a legal professional. This ensures your Will is valid, and reduces the possibility of it being contested.

The solicitors at Pascale Legal Barristers & Solicitors are experienced in all aspects of Wills and Estates law. Arranging a Will through Pascale Legal is a relatively simple process that ensures your property and possessions will be distributed as you would want them to be.

If you require a Will or assistance with administering an estate (whether or not a Will was in place), or would like some advice relating to Wills and estates, then call us today on 8250 0404 to arrange an appointment at our Salisbury or Adelaide office.



May 2016

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Changes to the District Court Process

District Court Criminal Listings Process TimelineThe District Court of South Australia has recently made changes to how matters progress through the Court in order to streamline matters that are being heard in their jurisdiction.

The changes to the court process are intended to assist matters in progressing through the court system quicker and more efficiently.

We understand that the court process is a stressful experience for many clients and can often cause anxiety. In many cases, anxiety can arise from clients not knowing the steps and the timeframe of their matters travelling the District Court.

As such, and in order to assist any current and future clients who are facing a matter in the District Court, we refer to the flow chart as appearing on the left which was prepared by the Court.

You can also follow the below link to the Courts Administration website for further links regarding the District Court Criminal Listings process.

Link to CAA website for further links regarding the District Court Criminal Listings process

While some matters may of course still have other steps or delays (which could be caused by various factors), most matters will now follow the process that is set out in the timeline contained in the above link.

If you have any questions regarding this flow chart, or about the stages of a matter before it reaches the District Court, or any other queries generally, please contact us on (08) 8250 0404.

If you are an existing client with a criminal matter that is or will be before the District Court, we can address any further queries you may have about the Court process.

If you are not a client but would like to speak to us about a criminal matter you are facing, we can arrange a first free appointment for you to meet with us to discuss your matter.



November 2015

An Interesting Read on the Importance of Advance Care Directives

While we have previously discussed Advance Care Directives on our News Feed, we recently came across an article that discusses how having an Advance Care Directives drafted can assist loved ones when a person is terminally ill or nearing the end of their life.

We do warn that the article may be confronting and the topic is certainly not a pleasant one, however we feel that the article definitely sheds a very honest light in exactly why having Advance Care Directive in place can be very emotionally and mentally beneficial for many parties.

To read the article, please click on the following link: Article by The Age

To add further to the article, we believe it is important that an Advance Care Directive should be professionally drafted to ensure the document is drafted and witnessed correctly, and to ensure the content of the document reflects the person's wishes accurately.

If you or someone you know would like their Advance Care Directives drafted, please call us on 8250 0404. 



September 2015

What to Do After Being Arrested

What you should consider if you have been arrested and what it means to be on bail. 

Being charged with a criminal offence is a stressful and confusing time under any circumstances. Following an arrest, the next course of action should be to see a lawyer and seek legal advice.

When clients come to see us because they have been charged with a crime, whether drug possession, assault or DUI the question we are commonly asked is "what happens next?"

What does it mean to be on bail?

When you haven been placed on bail, you have been allowed to remain within the community until your criminal matter is finalised notwithstanding that you have been charged with a criminal offence.

When on bail, your release into the community is based on the understanding that you follow a number of conditions. Sometimes these conditions are simple such as not being allowed to leave the state and living at a specific address. In other cases, the conditions can be more complex such as having to be at home between certain hours (being on a curfew), not being allowed to leave your home (home detention), or not being allowed to communicate with certain people (non-contact).

Your bail agreement will tell you what offence you have been charged with (or are likely to be charged with), when your court date is, and which court you need to attend. 

If you are on bail, you must always follow your conditions of bail. If you fail to follow your bail conditions, you may be arrested for breaching the terms of your bail and you will have a further criminal matter to deal with. Being arrested for breaching your bail can make it more difficult to be released on bail again and in some cases your application for bail may be refused.

If you need to have your conditions of bail varied, an application to vary your bail must be made in the appropriate way.

If you require a variation to your bail beforeyour first court date, the application must be made to the Bail Sergeant at the police station where you were originally granted bail.

If the variation is required after your first court date, then the application must be lodged with the Court where your matter is being heard. The Court will then allocate a special hearing time for the application to vary your bail and the application will need to be made orally to the judicial officer.

We frequently handle applications with respect to bail, so give our office a call to to obtain advice on this issue. If you have been arrested after hours, you can also contact us on our after hours emergency mobile 0430 296 462.

What if you have not been arrested?

If you have not been arrested then you do not usually have to attend at every court hearing. You MUST however attend at every Pre-Trial Conference hearing, the hearing where a guilty plea is being put forward to the Court, and at Trials.

There are however other circumstances where we or the judicial officer may request you attend court.

If you have been charged with any criminal offences, contact our office for a first free interview so that we can assist you through the process.



June 2015 

Urgent Children's Issues

What to do when your child/children are not returned to you.

We frequently see clients who come to us because they urgently want their child/children back in their care. Unfortunately it is not uncommon that, after separation and when a formal or informal parenting agreement is in place, one parent may refuse to return the child/children to the other parent when it has been agreed that they will do so. This is an extremely stressful situation for any parent but we are here to help. 

It is important to be aware that taking no action can be detrimental to your matter, therefore telephoning and parentchildleaving calm and non-derogatory messages with the other parent will be beneficial. You should advise the other parent that, if the children continue to be withheld for longer than 24 hours, you will seek the assistance of a solicitor to issue proceedings in court.

We suggest to clients that is still important that, immediately after becoming aware that a child/children are being withheld from your care, you should report the issue to police. If you have concerns for the child/children's safety or welfare, advise police of this and ask that they perform a safety and welfare check on your child/children. Unfortunately however, in situations such as these, it is common that the police will not intervene and recover the children without any Court Orders in place unless, in the opinion of police, the safety of the child is compromised. It is only when court Orders are made that the police can then intervene to recover children. 

As such, your first point of call should be a solicitor. We can draft an urgent Application to be filed with the Federal Circuit Court seeking Orders that your child/children be recovered and returned to you. If you are eligible for legal aid funding, we can also assist you by providing you with the necessary legal aid application form and advising you as to what financial documents that you will need to collate for the Legal Services Commission to consider your legal aid application.

Time is of the essence in these type of matters and at Pascale Legal, we are accommodating to urgent children's matters and but we will work with you to ensure all endeavours are made to seek Orders from the Court to have your child/children returned to you as a matter of urgency. 

In such a stressful time be assured that we here to help you achieve a fair and just outcome for you and your child/children.



April 2015

The Importance of Wills

The important difference between having a professionally drafted will and completing a "DIY" will kit.

WillDrafting a will is the easiest method of ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes when you pass away and not in accordance with directions given under relevant legislative provisions which you may not agree with.

Your family will appreciate the effort you have gone to in order to alleviate some of the stresses associated with the passing of a loved one. Your forward planning will ease the heartache of what is already a difficult time for your loved ones, allowing them to focus on more important things.

When you take charge and decide to draft a will, you get to choose what funeral directions you wish to be followed, who your executor(s) will be, and how your estate will be distributed.

You can choose to leave your estate to beneficiaries in equal or unequal shares, give away specific items of significance to a particular person, or make a bequest to a preferred charity.

When your will is drafted, we will tailor it to your specific needs and wishes. We will ensure that your will is drafted in the best way possible to give effect to your wishes.

Sometimes, family circumstances lead people to depart from what is the usual set of instructions left in a will and it is in those circumstances that the drafting of will becomes even more important. For example, some families may be estranged from one another or alternatively, some intended beneficiaries may need to have discretionary or have protective trusts put in place if they are unable to manage their own affairs due to a disability. This is when having your will drafted by an experienced legal practitioner provides the best protection for your estate and wishes.

Also, while the distribution of your estate may seem simple initially, your particular circumstances may require a more complex will to be drafted such as a testamentary or discretionary trust or, where families are blended, a contract for mutual wills which will ensure a surviving spouse of domestic partner cannot amend a will to disinherit children that are not naturally theirs.

Our experience in administering estates has shown that a big "no" when it comes to succession planning, is to draft your own will or complete the readily available 'do it yourself' will kits such as those purchased as post offices/newsagencies or given away with insurance policies. While these options may seem like an inexpensive option or alternative to paying a lawyer to draft your will, too often we see mistakes made within these wills that cost estates thousands of dollars to rectify and the process of administrating the estate becomes more time consuming and complex. When an experienced practitioner drafts a will, it is done based on legal knowhow and skill resulting in a properly drafted will which meets your wishes, follows the law and makes the estate administration process quicker and less expensive.

So with that being said, why not make an appointment to draft your will at Pascale Legal? We're confident you'll be pleasantly surprised with our fees and equally impressed with our legal know how and service to you.

We look forward to meeting you!



March 2015

The Changing Faces of the SA Judiciary

An update on changes in Judicial Officers within our Courts.

Magistrate Joanne Tracey who most recently presided at the Holden Hill Magistrates Court has been appointed a judge of the District Court of South Australia.

As a magistrate, she has presided over cases ranging from animal cruelty to troubled AFL stars.

Attorney-General John Rau said Ms Tracey is an exceptional member of the judiciary.

In other news, Brian Nitschke, Jayne Basheer and Lynette Duncan have been appointed as Magistrates of the Magistrates Courts in South Australia.

Each newly appointed magistrate comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Our congratulations to all.



February 2015

Demerits and Disqualification Periods

Clarifying common misconceptions of how the demerit point system and licence disqualifications work.

There are several misconceptions that many people have regarding the structure of the demerit point system and the impacts and implications of disqualification periods.

It is a common understanding that when you have a full Australian driver’s licence, you will start with 12 demerit points then if you receive fines or commit traffic offences, you will lose points and upon losing all 12 points you will then be disqualified.

How the system actually works is that a driver on their full licence will start with 0 points. If a fine is received and paid, or you are convicted of a traffic offence, you will actually incur the applicable amount of demerit points. You are able to incur 11 demerit points, however upon receiving 12 or more demerit points, the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure (DTPI) will issue you with a licence disqualification period (the length of which is dependent on how many demerit points you have incurred exceeding the 11 points allowed).

KeysDisqualification periods that are issued by the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure are separate from any disqualification periods that may be imposed by the Courts as a result of a traffic offence. In the case that you have a disqualification period from the DTPI, and a disqualification period imposed by the Courts, they cannot be served at the same time, even if they overlap. The disqualification periods must be served in full and therefore one disqualification period must be served, before the other can be served. A common situation for example, is if you have a disqualification period imposed by the Court, with which you also incur demerit points resulting in you exceeding your 11 allowed demerit points and therefore also have a disqualification period issued by the DPTI, you must first serve the court imposed disqualification period before you can serve the DPTI issued disqualification.

It is important to remember that if you are ever in doubt of whether you have a disqualification period still to be served, ensure that you contact the Courts Administration Authority to obtain a certificate of record for any proceedings you have had before the Court where you have been disqualified, as well as the DPTI.

If you are uncertain about any disqualification periods or demerit point issues you have, or face any difficulties in finding this information, call our office to arrange a free first interview so that we can assist you.



January 2015

Power-Assisted Pedal Cycles

Details on how a powered bicycle can be classed as a motor vehicle.

For many people facing an extended period without the use of a motor vehicle due to a licence disqualification, power-assisted pedal cycles appear as an attractive fix to all of their transport related problems.

They are cheap, readily available and require neither a licence nor registration to operate. However, despite being sold as a power-assisted pedal cycle, many are classed as motor vehicles.

In accordance with the Motor Vehicles Regulations 2010, a power-assisted pedal cycle is a “pedal cycle that has 1 or more auxiliary propulsion motors with the combined power output not exceeding 200 watts”. Therefore a pedal cycle with a motor capable of producing a power output in excess of 200 watts is classified as a motor vehicle requiring a licence and registration to operate.

It is essential that, if you are disqualified from driving and considering the purchase of a power-assisted pedal cycle, you identify the power of the motor prior to purchase.
BikeMany of the power-assisted pedal cycles sold on the market today have motors capable of producing a power output in excess of the 200 watt limit and therefore you must do your homework. You should be particularly weary when considering the purchase of a ‘homemade’ power-assisted pedal cycle such as those regularly sold on sites such as Gumtree and eBay. Homemade power-assisted pedal cycles are notoriously over-powered and in many instances unsafe to operate on Australian roads.

Operating a power-assisted pedal cycle in excess of 200 watts whilst not holding a licence or being disqualified from driving is a serious criminal offence and, if found guilty, may result in a sentence of imprisonment. Ignorance of the fact that the power output of the motor is in excess of the 200 watts limit is not a defence to such a charge as it is your responsibility to ensure that you are complying with the road rules.

Should you be charged with an offence arising from a licence disqualification or the use of a power assisted pedal cycle, please do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange an appointment to discuss your matter. 



November 2014

Advanced Care Directives

What has changed and what you need to know!

Did you know that as of 1 July 2014 the new Advanced Care Directives legislation was enacted in South Australia meaning that people are no longer able to have their solicitor draft them a Power of Guardianship?

Prior to 1 July 2014, when clients came to see us asking that we draft them something that outlines directions about how they want their health and well-being to be managed when they can no longer do this for themselves, or if they wanted us to draft something which tells their family that they did not want to be kept alive on the life support if that was the only thing keeping them alive and they were in a vegetative state, we would draft them a Power of Guardianship. Not anymore!

The new document allows you to write down your wishes, preferences and instructions for your future health care, end of life, living arrangements, personal matters and appoint one or more decision-makers to make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do this for yourself.

The aim of the new form is to make it user friendly to the non-legal person, thus encouraging more people to draft it themselves. Our experience in having clients complete this form is that some have found it somewhat overwhelming in terms of its structure and questions while others appear to have embraced the document.

WritingEither way, the new Advanced Care Directive form is the only form that will be accepted as valid if drafted after 1 July 2014. So whether you like the form or not, you must complete it if you want to give specific directions about your future care. You cannot revert back to the old Power of Guardianship document even if you prefer it.  

As a firm, we have now become accustomed to explaining the form to our clients and advising what they should consider when noting down the values and wishes they want people to consider when making decisions (the non-binding ones) on their behalf and what people should consider when noting down their binding refusals of particular health care. We can also tell you where to put the part in about not wanting to be kept alive on the life support machine if you are in a vegetative state and the machine is the only thing keeping you alive.

If you have recently sought advice from a legal or medical professional who has suggested that you draft such a form, remember that the new Advanced Care Directive form is now the only valid form and you should make enquires to ensure that not only do you have the right form but that you are also completing it correctly and in a way that accurately reflects your wishes.

It is also important to remember that, although you may feel that you don’t yet need to draft an Advanced Care Directive form (or a Power of Attorney for that matter), the Advanced Care Directive forms are usually drafted for future use, not present use. So you should prepare it while you still truly understand what you are instructing.

So if you have decided that it’s time to draft your Advanced Care Directive form, or a Will or Power Of Attorney, give us a call to arrange your appointment. We are up to date with the changes in law and are comparably cost effective.

For more information on Advanced Care Directives, visit: -



October 2014

Time Limitations In Family Law

Information regarding the importance of getting your family law property settlement done within time limitations i.e 2 years after separation for de-facto relationships and 12 months after divorces.

De Facto Relationships

new-imageWhat to do after separation? The safest option for you is to seek legal advice straight away. The legislation states that in de facto matters you have 2 years from the date of separation to initiate proceedings in the Family Law Courts. So for this reason it is best to seek advice sooner rather than later. Often we can discuss with you alternatives to initiating proceedings in Court and these may include negotiating with the other party, and drafting and filing Consent Orders. The sooner you get advice the sooner we can commence working on your matter and ensure that if proceedings do need to be initiated they are done so within the 2 year time frame. If your matter is out of time it is not all over. We can seek leave from the Court to initiate proceedings however it just makes the process a little longer and perhaps more expensive.


So you are divorced – now what? From the date of Divorce the legislation applicable in Australia states that you have 1 calendar year to initiate proceedings in the Family Law Courts for a property settlement; that is to divide the assets and liabilities of the marriage. For this reason we often advise clients to initiate proceedings seeking a property settlement first and leave the Divorce Application until later. This avoids any stress associated with trying to keep within a one year timeframe.

What if I’m out of time? We are here to help. Applications can be made out of time and we can assist you in this regard. The Family Law Courts will need to be satisfied that a serious injustice would be had to one party or a child of the marriage if the property settlement was not to occur. Leave is only granted in limited circumstances and so it is best to avoid having to make such an application.

Aside from the legislative time frames it is also in your best interests to have your matter finalised as soon as possible so as to avoid any injustices to you. Sometimes when parties leave it too long values of assets may drop or assets may be sold or lost and this reduces the net asset pool for distribution between the parties. Another consideration is that as soon as your property settlement matter is finalised you are better to move forward in your life and start the next chapter without financial burdens from a past relationship weighing you down. So if you have recently separated then please make an appointment to see us now.

Time is of the essence.