Family Law in Perth has never been more personal or easier. Perth Family Lawyers is a premier Australian law firm practising exclusively in the area of family law. By practising exclusively in this area, we are able to assist our clients in all their family law needs and we are Perth’s leading family law firm.
The directors of Perth Family Lawyers are Melissa Raftis and Nicola Bowen. Both our Directors are well experienced and highly regarded in the field of family law. Perth Family Lawyers always takes a client focused approach to all our clients’ cases. We aim to always deliver effective, expedient and meaningful solutions. The Directors are supported by a team of highly competent, hand picked staff who are also committed to excellent service in the area of family law.
Perth Family Lawyers are able to assist our clients in all areas of family law including divorce, property settlement, childrens’ issues, maintenance and child support. We also provide services in the area of restraining orders, which commonly arise in Family Court proceedings. We offer our clients expert advice and representation in restraining order matters as with all family law issues. We also provide advice in the area of child protection.
Director and Senior Lawyer
Director and Senior Lawyer
Perth Family Lawyers represents Australian clients throughout the country, both locally and interstate. We are also able to represent overseas clients in Australian proceedings. Distance is no obstacle in representing clients wherever they live.
It must be recognized that when someone needs a family lawyer it is because of a crisis in their life. It has been said that after death in a family, changes to the family by way of separation or divorce is the second greatest cause of stress. Here at Perth Family Lawyers, we are always conscious that dealing with family law matters can be extremely stressful. You need time to think and you also need quality advice that does not play on your emotions. Naturally, it is essential that strategies are designed to achieve the best possible outcome for you at the minimum expense.
Perth Family Lawyers is operated by two empathetic women who specialize in the practice of family law. Although the practice is run by two women, this does not mean we are not sympathetic to the plight of many men in family law matters and enquiries are invited from anyone with a family law matter to be resolved.
At Perth Family Lawyers, our dedicated family lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with Divorce matters. We can assist you to apply for a Divorce, or to oppose a Divorce in appropriate circumstances. It is important to note that Divorce can only be applied for after you have been separated from your former spouse for at least 12 months. The Court considers that this period of separation is evidence of the marriage having broken down irretrievably.
You should also be aware that once a Divorce Order is granted time limitations apply to you finalising your property settlement, so it is critically important to seek advice specific to your situation from Perth Family Lawyers.
At Perth Family Lawyers our lawyers are highly trained in parenting disputes. Our legislation provides that at law there is a presumption that it is in a child’s best interests to have both parents involved in their lives to the maximum extent possible consistent with their best interests. This requires a sophisticated approach to resolving parenting disputes, that will ensure we do not damage the post-separation relationship you have with your former partner which is critical to your children’s best interests.
We offer practical, realistic and hard hitting advice tailored to your personal circumstances so as to minimise unnecessary legal costs. Although we are an all female team, we act for Mums and Dads equally and excel at representing our clients across the board. Let us give you an objective and realistic view.
Legal advice regarding your property settlement is invaluable. You need to seek specific advice in respect of your personal circumstances so you can ensure you are receiving a fair and equitable property settlement. At Perth Family Lawyers, our lawyers are highly experienced in complex property settlement matters, which include child support agreements, complex company and trust structures and spousal maintenance issues. In addition, our lawyers are objective, pragmatic and resolution focused so as to assist you to secure the best property settlement for you in a cost effective and expedient manner.
The reality is that following a separation your life is put on hold and litigation with your former spouse can be draining and emotionally exhausting. Our lawyers recognise this, and give you tailored personal advice to help you to move on with your life.
Child support issues can be extraordinarily complex but be assured that our team at Perth Family Lawyers have seen it all. We have represented clients dealing with the Child Support Agency, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Family Court and successfully achieved our objectives. Child Support legislation is cumbersome to say the least, so let one of our lawyers cut through the red tape and dispel any confusion you may have.
We are highly trained, and experts in our field. We are experienced in completing Binding Child Support Agreements and Limited Child Support Agreements, along with dealing with DNA issues and declarations under the Child Support legislation that a person be declared a liable or non-liable parent.
At Perth Family Lawyers our lawyers are highly trained in Violence Restraining Order Matters. The legislation may be confusing as to whether you should apply for a Family Violence Restraining (FVRO) or Violence Restraining Order (VRO). Family violence is not limited to only physical assaults. Family Violence is any behaviour that coerces or controls another family member, or causes them to be fearful. It can include forms of physical, verbal, financial, emotional and psychological abuse.
Our solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers are highly experienced in explaining the process in clear easy to understand terms, and advising you on the most suitable path forward for your situation, as well as representing you in the Magistrates’ Court, and guiding you through the Court system.
I hope no one will have to endure what i’ve been through for the last 20 months and be separated from their children. Being a foreign citizen, it was not easy for Perth Family Lawyer to deal with my case but they’ve managed to finally reach an agreement which allow me to reunite with them and secure my father’s rights in Australia and elsewhere. I would like to thank you Samantha Long and the Perth Family Lawyers for your support and work. I would recommend you to my family and friends, but sincerely hope that this situation will not happen.
From the very first day I walked into the offices at Perth Family Lawyers I was taken care of, treated with dignity and respect and supported in every way. Melissa Raftis made all the difference in my extremely difficult, traumatic and drawn out legal battle. Without her professionalism, compassion, and continued dedication to my case I would not have been able to walk away with the result and the closure that I did. She is an outstanding Lawyer who knows Family Law like the back of her hand, and over the course of a complex 18 month battle, never stopped fighting for me. She and the team at Perth Family Lawyers were steadfast in there commitment to me, and to my case. I will always be grateful.
I had the pleasure of working with Nicola and her team for my settlement. She came highly recommended to me by a friend for her professionalism and ability to communicate each stage of the process in terms you could understand. From day one Nicola was responsive, supportive and the fighting spirit that I needed during a difficult time. Nicola made sure I received the best possible outcome and I am forever grateful for her expertise and advise. I would highly recommend Nicola and her team.
A big thank you to Perth Family Lawyers, specifically Ann Maude. From the first point of contact with the service, I was impressed with the swift response, warm and engaging approach, proficiency and professionalism, and overall knowledge of family law matters pertaining to state of WA. Ann supported me in acting as my voice when required so I could invest my energy in parenting my young daughter and processing my separation. I would highly recommend the service. Location being accessible was so helpful too. Many thanks.
What is separation?
Separation occurs when you or your partner or spouse end the relationship. You and your partner do not have to agree to separate, one party to the relationship can make that decision. If you are thinking of separating or have separated, you should contact Perth Family Lawyers immediately to get legal advice specific to your situation.
Can we continue to live together once separated?
You and your partner may remain residing under one roof after separation, so long as it is safe and appropriate to do so. We recommend that you seek legal advice from Perth Family Lawyers before vacating the family home, as this decision could have a significant impact in your property settlement proceedings. Also, you should ensure your personal safety.
Why is the date of final separation important in Divorce proceedings?
To be able to apply for a divorce, you must have been separated for at least 12 months. If there is any disagreement as to the date of separation you may be required to file an Affidavit which supports the date that you say you separated. If you file your Divorce Application before you have been separated 12 months, your Application will not be accepted by the Family Court. If you have lived under one roof for a period of your separation, additional evidence may be required by the Court. See one of our lawyers at Perth Family Lawyers to assist you to get your Divorce done.
What is a de facto relationship?
A de facto relationship exists when two people live together on a genuine domestic basis. Generally, you need to live together for at least two years for the relationship to be considered as being in a de facto relationship by the Family Court however there can be exceptions to this rule. A de facto relationship can even exist if one of the persons is legally married to someone else or is in another de facto relationship. If you are unsure as to whether you are in, or have been in, a de facto relationship, you should immediately seek legal advice from Perth Family Lawyers.
Can I resolve my property matters by filing a Divorce Application?
Divorce does not deal with property settlement matters. In the event that you wish to or need to complete a property settlement, an application for property settlement must be filed within 12 months of the date of your divorce or within 2 years of the dated of separation of your de facto relationship. These timelines are critical, and you may prejudice your position by not meeting them. Understand your obligations to preserve your best position.
Can I commence property proceedings prior to my Divorce Application being granted?
You are not required to have commenced divorce proceedings or obtained a Divorce Order in order to commence property proceedings. You can commence property proceedings, on the basis you have complied with the relevant pre-action procedures, at any time following separation. There are time limits that apply however, after your Divorce has been granted, or if 2 years has lapsed since the separation of your de facto relationship. We recommend you get advice immediately, to ensure your rights are protected