We are family law specialists, Accredited by the Law Society of New South Wales. We have extensive experience advising and representing clients in relation to a broad range of family law matters, including:
- Divorce and separation;
- Financial settlements and disputes;
- Parenting (child custody) matters;
- Spousal maintenance;
- Interstate and international relocation disputes;
- Private and corporate third-party intervener applications; and
- Child support arrangements.
Divorce & Separation
Divorce & Separation
Under Australian family laws, you may file for divorce if you believe that your marriage has broken down irretrievably and you have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months.
Most divorce applications are reasonably straight-forward and we are able to complete and file the application for you online on the day that you come into our office to see us.
Some divorce applications are, however, less straight forward; particularly if you have lived under the same roof in the 12 months immediately before filing the application. In this situation, you will be required to complete and file an affidavit with your application, outlining the circumstances under which you and your spouse lived ‘separately and apart’ under the one roof during the period before filing the application.
If you were married overseas, the Australian courts may have jurisdiction to grant your divorce provided that you and/or your spouse can demonstrate a sufficient connection to Australia.
If you and/or your spouse have a close connection with more than one country, you may be required to consider a range a complex factors before you make a decision about the most appropriate country in which to finalise your divorce and related family law matters.
Although we are only qualified to advise you about the implications of finalising your divorce and other family law matters in Australia, we have direct access to a network of family law experts in other countries with whom we work closely in helping you to make an informed decision about important jurisdictional and other relevant issues which are specific to your circumstances.
De facto relationships
De facto Relationships
Since 1 March 2009, relationships between heterosexual and same sex de facto couples have been regulated by federal family laws. As a result of the relatively recent changes to the applicable laws, de facto couples are now afforded substantially equal rights and entitlements to those enjoyed by married couples.
Significantly, parties to a de facto marriage now have access to the federal property regime in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FL Act), allowing them to:
- seek spouse maintenance and property adjustment orders;
- access the superannuation splitting provisions in the FL Act; and
- enter into binding financial agreements prior to, during or after the breakdown of their relationship.
Under the FL Act, a de facto relationship can exist between two people of different sexes or of the same sex, provided that “they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis”.
The FL Act does not specify exactly what constitutes “a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis”; however, in determining the issue the Family Court must have regard to a number of factors including:
- the duration of the relationship;
- the nature and extent of their common residence;
- whether a sexual relationship exists;
- the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
- the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
- the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
- whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
- the care and support of children; and/or
- the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
No finding of any particular factor outlined above is necessary when determining whether a de facto relationship exists, however, a court will not recognise the relationship unless the court is satisfied that one or more of the following applies:
- The relationship was for at least two years;
- There was a child born of the relationship;
- The relationship was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory; and/or
- The party seeking to commence proceedings under the FL Act made significant financial contributions and a serious injustice would occur if the proceedings could not be commenced.
Importantly, the Family Court may not make contested property adjustment orders following the breakdown of de facto relationships unless the application is made within two years after the date of separation. The court may, however, grant an extension of time to a party to file contested court proceedings in certain limited circumstances.
We are able to advise you about any family law issue arising from the breakdown of your de facto relationship, including in relation to any parenting and/or financial matter and the steps that you may take to protect your property in advance of entering into a de facto relationship.
Resolving financial matters following the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship can be one of the more challenging situations which people may face during their lives.
We have extensive experience advising and representing clients in relation to a broad range of family law financial matters; from amicable property settlements involving modest assets to contested disputes involving substantial business and private assets, complex financial arrangements, trust structures and offshore property.
We provide strategic, clear and commercial advice and representation in relation to our clients’ financial settlements and, where necessary, work closely with other qualified professionals such as business valuers, forensic accountants, property valuers and private investigators to assist our clients manage and protect their position in negotiations.
We have extensive experience advising and representing parents and other interested parties (such as grandparents and other relatives) in relation to a broad range of parenting and child custody matters; from relatively straight forward settlements about the living arrangements of children to disputes before the Family Court involving complex issues such as interstate and international relocation and family violence.
Where appropriate, we are able to assist our clients to resolve their family law parenting issues using a range of alternative dispute resolution methods which are supportive of the parties and children and less adversarial, including by mediation, Family Dispute Resolution practise and collaborative law.
Family Law Mediation
Family Law Mediation
We are Nationally Accredited Mediators on the panel of mediators for the Family Law Settlement Service of the Law Society of New South Wales.
We also accept instructions directly from private clients and legal practitioners to conduct specialist family law mediations involving a range of issues, including:
- Complex parenting disputes;
- Financial settlements involving modest assets;
- Financial settlements involving significant private and business assets, complex financial arrangements, trust structures and offshore property;
- Interstate and international child relocation disputes;
- The negotiation of Binding Financial Agreements;
- Matters involving gender reassignment procedures and surgery; and
- Family provisions litigation (Wills disputes).
We have internal rooms and facilities at our CBD offices to conduct mediations involving multiple parties at no additional cost. Please telephone us to discuss our availability and professional mediation fees.
Family Dispute Resolution
Family Dispute Resolution
We are Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners registered with the Commonwealth Attorney General to issue statutory certificates under section 60I Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – which is necessary before issuing parenting proceedings in the Family Courts, unless a specific exemption applies to the parties’ circumstances.
We are on the panel of Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners of the Law Society of New South Wales Family Law Settlement Service.
We also accept instructions directly from private clients and referrals from legal practitioners to provide specialist Family Dispute Resolution services involving a range of complex parenting issues.
We have internal rooms and facilities at our CBD offices to conduct Family Dispute Resolution mediations at no additional cost.
Please telephone us to discuss our availability and professional fees for our Family Dispute Resolution services.
Collaborative Family Law
Collaborative Family Law
We are trained collaborative family lawyers and members of:
- Collaborative Professionals NSW;
- Central Sydney Collaborative Forum; and
- The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Collaborative practise is a voluntary process in which parties settle disputes without resort to litigation.
In Collaborative practise:
- The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
- The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the issues that the parties wish to resolve;
- The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually-acceptable settlement;
- Each party must be represented by a collaboratively-trained lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
- The parties may engage mental health professionals, communication and family professionals and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and
- The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.
Collaborative practise provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, collaborative practise allows you the benefit of appropriately qualified experts, including divorce coaches, child consultants and financial specialists, all working together with you on your team.
In Collaborative practise, each person, including the professionals, commits to:
- Negotiate a mutually-acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues;
- Maintain open communication and information sharing; and
- Create shared solutions which acknowledge the needs of all parties to the negotiations.
We accept instructions and referrals directly from private clients and family lawyers who are collaboratively-trained in relation to a broad range of family law matters, including financial settlements involving significant private and business assets, complex financial arrangements, trust structures and offshore property
We regularly advise and act for parties in relation to a broad range of family law matters with an international element, including divorce and complex financial, parenting and relocation matters.
These days it is not uncommon for families to spend extended periods living in foreign countries and for Australians to enter into relationships with foreign nationals.
Australia is also increasingly becoming a popular destination for foreign nationals to relocate or temporarily reside for professional or other reasons.
With increasing globalisation and international social mobility, comes the potential for ever more complex family law disputes involving assets which are located in countries other than Australia and children who have ties to more than one country.
We are able to provide you with expert legal counsel in relation to any cross border or international family law matter in circumstances where your relationship has a requisite connection with Australia.
One of the most important issues which parties to international family law cases may be required to address relates to selecting the most appropriate forum or jurisdiction in which to pursue a resolution to their circumstances. This question is usually best answered through strategic and co-ordinated advice which is formulated between legal representatives who are expert in the family laws of each country involved.
We have access to a network of international family law experts with whom we work closely from a variety of foreign jurisdictions including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Russia, India and New Zealand.
We welcome enquiries from anyone who requires advice about how Australian family laws may apply to their circumstances, including Australian locals and expats and foreign nationals located in Australia or abroad.
Corporate & Third Party Clients
Corporate & Third Party Clients
When relationships break down, sometimes the financial interests of (non-spouse) third parties may be affected.
We regularly advise and act for corporate and other “third party” clients whose financial interests have or may be affected by the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship, including companies, superannuation funds, family trusts, adult children, banks, creditors and relatives of spouse parties.
Such family law matters often cut across other areas of law such as bankruptcy law, commercial law, property law and the laws of equity and trusts.
Although these matters usually have a distinct commercial element, they must nevertheless be resolved by reference to applicable family laws and therefore require advice and representation which is firmly grounded in the family law jurisdiction.
Between them, William Boyce and Robert Minter of Boyce Family Law have many years experience advising and representing clients in relation to family law and commercial matters, and are therefore uniquely placed to provide our corporate and third party clients with solution-driven, first tier family law services.
William Boyce is admitted as a Notary Public in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and is a member of the Society of Notaries of New South Wales.
William provides a full range of notarial services for private and corporate and commercial clients, including:
- Notarising Australian documents for use and production abroad such as academic certificates, birth certificates and other private and government issued documents;
- Notarising foreign documents for use and production abroad;
- Advice relating to the authentication and verification of documents to be produced and acted upon abroad;
- Preparation of Certificates of Good Standing for corporations and entities;
- Verification, authentication and certification of deeds, declarations and other documents relating to intellectual property;
- Notarising the execution of powers of attorney and other commercial documents;
- Notarising documents such as resolutions, minutes, reports and corporate governance certificates;
- Taking declarations and receiving affidavits for production abroad and notarial certifications;
- Verification of commercial and regulatory documents issued by government and semi-government institutions;
- Certifying copy documents; and
- Notarising international investment documents.
Please telephone us to make an appointment and to request a fee estimate or quotation for the work that you require us to conduct. Alternatively, please email us your documents and enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.