With the exception of buying a house, family law, of all the legal fields out there, is the area of law the average person is most likely to come into contact with throughout their life. The reason is self-evident – while most people don’t commit crimes or oversee vast corporate mergers, everyone has a family and most people will, at some point, have a relationship fall apart. This makes family law, a wide ranging discipline covering everything from divorce, dividing property and spousal maintenance to parenting arrangements, domestic violence and child support, a vitally important area, and one which Hunt & Hunt has a long and proud history of assisting clients with. In addition to managing family law proceedings as a whole for private clients, Hunt & Hunt’s family lawyers also provide pro-bono legal assistance to women in need through their legal clinic at The Northern Centre, a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to helping parents, families and the wider community.
In terms of content, family law is relatively unique, with its own set of rules focused more on helping parties to resolve their differences and less on there being a clear winner and loser. Matters are heard in the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court by specialised judges, and there are special rules regarding costs, evidence and how cases are run. That is, when they do run; at present the family law Courts are overwhelmed and overflowing with more cases than ever before, meaning there is a strong incentive for separating couples to come to agreements between themselves – both to achieve a controlled outcome and to avoid wasting years and thousands waiting for their matter to be heard. There is also often significant overlap between family law and other areas, including criminal law, wills and estate planning, taxation, migration and business contracts, and it is important to keep in mind the possible implications any agreement might have on other aspects of your life. This is where Hunt & Hunt Lawyers comes in; with a team of experienced family law practitioners and support from a wide range of lawyers in other areas, our firm is able to guide clients through the many obstacles and options to get them an outcome which is not only fair, but lets them move on with their lives.
Returning to the family law team this month is Kathryn Kearley, who joins as partner heading Hunt & Hunt’s family law practice. An Accredited Family Law Specialist, Kathryn has extensive experience acting in complex family law cases and in utilising a range of methods – including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation and collaborative practice – to help people with issues involving divorce, financial arrangements, de facto and same-sex relationships and parenting arrangements. Kathryn is committed to working with clients to achieve constructive solutions to their family law problems, and to looking at practical ways of resolving a dispute, not just legal ones. A relationship breakdown can be incredibly tough, both physically, financially and emotionally, but understanding your options makes it easier, and Kathryn’s decades of experience can help you move confidently through the tunnel and back out into the light.
If you require assistance you can contact any of our dedicated family law practitioners.
Article prepared by: Benjamin Keyworth – Associate, Sydney