If you have separated or are thinking of separating, the first step for you to take control of your life is to book a Consultation with one of our experienced Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers.
Contact us today to arrange a Consultation with our experienced Family & Divorce Lawyers to have a confidential discussion about your individual circumstances.
How we can help you
Our Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers can help you with all issues relating to your separation, including:
- Child custody Lawyers
- Financial Separation
- Divorce Property Settlement Lawyers
- Fixed Fee Divorce Lawyers
- Fixed Fee Consent Orders
- Parenting Plans
- Domestic Violence Lawyer / DVO Lawyer
- Application for protection order
- Superannuation Splitting & Advice Lawyers
- Spousal maintenance
- Child Support Lawyers
- Mediation Representation
- Non-parent rights;
- Court representation;
- Mediator Services
We are passionate about supporting our clients through their separation journey in order to give them power and control over their future. We are driven to provide more value to our clients through our unique fixed fee model. We are committed to delivering the best practical outcome to our clients, quickly and cost effectively, that makes a positive difference to their lives.
What makes Barton Family Lawyers different?
We understand that hiring a Family lawyer can feel quite daunting.
Our Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers:
- Only do family law all day every day. That makes us really good at what we do;
- Are dedicated to helping you work through your family law issues so you can have a fresh start;
- Have your best interests at heart;
- Have the knowledge and experience to solve your family law problems, no matter how complex;
- Will help you to reduce the conflict with your former partner;
- Will fight for you and your children;
- Provide exceptional quality service to you, tailored to your individual case needs;
- Will educate you about your options, the steps you need to take and we will develop a strategy to help you to achieve a fair outcome and the best practical outcome for you and your family;
- Will provide you with practical, commercial, strategic and solution focused advice to empower you to make smart decisions following separation that will save you time, money and stress;
- Will deliver an outcome to you quickly and cost effectively, with fixed fees for certainty;
- Will do everything within our legal power to get you the best outcome for you and your family;
- Are with you, supporting you, every step of the way from negotiations, to mediation, to litigation and settlement.
Don’t like the path you are currently heading down at the moment in your life? The best way to change your future is to create it.
By choosing one of our Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers, you choose certainty that you are on the right path to taking control back in relation to your future.
How to prepare for your Initial Consultation
Click the link to access the following checklists, in preparation for your initial consultation:
- Separation Checklist – To ensure you have done everything you need to do to protect yourself both before and after separation;
- What to do before your initial consultation – To ensure you are prepared and to gain the most benefit possible;
- Client checklist of Financial documents – We recommend that you start collating these documents and as much information as possible about the assets in your name, joint names and your former partner’s name, prior to your initial consultation. Being prepared for your first consultation with as much information as possible about the property pool allows you to make the most out of your appointment and we can give you more detailed information and advice about your rights and entitlements.
- Master Your Negotiation Preparation Handbook– This is an excellent resource whether you are engaging a lawyer from our team to represent you or even if you are self-representing. Complete the handbook and bring it with you to your initial consultation or email it to us prior to your appointment. The Handbook covers the most important questions we will ask you in your initial consultation, which are relevant to the advice we will give you about your entitlements.
What to expect in your Initial Consultation
During your reduced rate consultation, one of our experienced Brisbane family and divorce lawyers will:
√ LISTEN TO YOUR CONCERNS
√ CLARIFY AND UNDERSTAND YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
√ PROVIDE YOU WITH DETAILED ADVICE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS
√ PREPARE A FIXED FEE QUOTE TAILORED TO YOUR MATTER
√ DISCUSS THE PROCESS AND THE NEXT STEPS
√ FORMULATE A STRATEGY TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE AS QUICKLY AND COST EFFECTIVELY AS POSSIBLE
I want to separate assets and finances
In your initial consultation, we will discuss with you the possible outcomes that are just and equitable to you (aka the ‘range of your entitlements’) based on the facts of your case. This is what we like to call the ‘bullseye on the dart board’ or the ‘goal post’.
During your consultation, we will discuss what is known as the Five Step Process which is outlined in some detail below.
Step 1 – Is it Just & Equitable to make an order adjusting the interest of the parties?
There is no automatic entitlement for you to receive an adjustment of property in your favour. Each case is assessed on its own facts.
In most cases, this element will be satisfied by virtue of the length of the relationship, the contributions of the parties to the asset pool and the intermingling of the parties finances and assets in circumstances where the parties no longer have common use of joint property.
Step 2 – Assessing your current Assets, Liabilities & Superannuation
The second step is to assess your current assets, liabilities & superannuation, whether in joint names or in the sole name of you or your former partner. Assets include, for example, the family home, any businesses, cars, shares and all assets whether of monetary or sentimental value. This includes assets you have purchased post separation as all assets, no matter when acquired are taken into account.
After we have assessed the property pool we will ask about what your ‘magic wand’ outcome, for example, whether your goal is to keep the family home or have enough money to buy a new home. We will ask you whether your priority is retaining more cash or super.
It is important for you to have estimates of the values of the assets, liabilities and superannuation so that we can refine our preliminary advice to you. If you are unsure about what the assets, liabilities and superannuation are, we will ask you to do some further investigations post the appointment or alternatively, when you engage our services, we will seek this information directly from your former partner.
We will provide you with a client checklist of financial documents at the end of your appointment called ‘disclosure documents’ which you can then start collating (if you have not done so already) so when you are ready to engage us, we can hit the ground running and make the most of your fixed fee agreement.
Step 3 – Assessing the Contributions made by you and your former partner
This is where we assess the contributions made by both you and your former partner to that pool. A contribution can be:
- financial (e.g. paying the mortgage);
- non-financial (e.g. looking after the children, cooking and cleaning or renovating the family home).
Contributions as homemaker and parent are considered just as important as contributions of the breadwinner in any financial separation. We will need to know what assets you each had at the commencement of your relationship. Advising our Family Lawyers of any lump sum payments, gifts or inheritances received during the relationship and when these windfalls were received will assist our lawyers determining a just and equitable settlement. Our Family Lawyers Brisbane will also ask who has been paying the bills post separation and they will talk about spousal maintenance where relevant to your case. This information will help us to determine what a Court would say your contributions-based entitlement is e.g. 40%, 50%, or 60%.
These contributions made in the relationship are the most important factor in determining the division of your assets in your property settlement. However, the length of your relationship will determine the impact these contributions have on your settlement because they will have ‘eroded’ in importance over time. Any windfalls will be considered in the context of when they were received. The more recent a windfall is e.g. if it was received close to or after separation, the more relevant it will be.
As you can see, the length of the relationship is pretty important in assessing your entitlements.
Step 4 – Assessing Future Needs
Step four is to look at the future needs of either party. Future needs will play a major role in determining what is considered equitable in a financial settlement. There may be what we call an ‘adjustment’ in favour of one party if their future needs are greater than the other party.
We will ask you how old you are, what your respective income capacities are, any health issues, and what the current care arrangements are for the children.
We will also ask about any anticipated inheritances, new partners, and any other factor affecting your future financial needs.
Step 5 – Assessing what is Just & Equitable
Having regard to the first 4 steps, we will provide you with a preliminary assessment as to the percentage of the property pool that you are entitled to and we will discuss different options to negotiate this split, and the next steps to be taken to achieve your goals.
When we are giving you legal advice about your entitlements, we will usually express our advice as a range (e.g. 60% – 70% of the property pool). Your entitlements are expressed as a range because every judge is different and each judge has discretion, meaning that two judges reviewing the same facts, could make a slightly different decision.
As part and parcel with this step, we review the current ownership of the assets, liabilities and superannuation between the parties and determine what actual assets you should each receive, including what adjustment, if any, is required to you/the other party (e.g. cash/super) to affect the percentage split that you are entitled to.
The final division of the actual assets is relevant to determining the justice and equity of the orders. E.g. if one party receives only super which they can only access at retirement, whilst the other party receives a house unencumbered, the Court may question whether such an order is just and equitable in all the circumstances.
Every case is different. Each case will be determined on its own facts.
Contact us to book a reduced rate initial consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers and we will be able to give you preliminary advice as to your range of entitlements.
Complete our Master Your Negotiation Property Settlement Preparation Handbook and bring it to your initial consultation, so you can make the most out of it and so as to enable us to provide you with detailed advice about your entitlements.
The process to split assets & finances
In most cases, the pathway to resolution of your property settlement matter looks like this:
Whilst the pathway set out above may seem simple and straightforward, in our experience, there are often bumps in the road along the way, for example, if your former partner is hiding money, selling assets or refusing to provide disclosure to your lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will discuss a strategic plan, specific to your case, to protect your rights, and to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be, as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Is Negotiation/mediation not appropriate in your case?
Court is always the option of last resort. There are a number of pre-action procedures that must be followed before a Court application can be filed, except where limited exceptions apply. These pre-action procedures include attendance at mediation, the provision of disclosure and the exchange of offers of settlement between the parties.
Speak to one of our experienced family lawyers if you are of the view that mediation/negotiation prior to court proceedings is not appropriate in the circumstances of your case.
I want to negotiate Child Custody
If you are concerned about parenting and child custody related issues, we will listen to your concerns and clarify and understand the reasons you have come to us. We will ask you about the care of your children during the relationship and following separation. We will ask you what you want, what your ‘magic wand’ outcome is and what you can live with as a compromise.
After hearing about what is important to you and what the best practical outcome for you and your family is, we will provide you with advice about whether that is possible, the steps that will be required to achieve that outcome and we will develop a strategic plan to help to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
- Provide advice on how to negotiate an agreement with the other parent in relation to the care of your children;
- Discuss the options with you, including negotiation by letter or through a process called mediation;
- Talk about court as an option of last resort and the costs if you want to engage us to prepare your court documents and to represent you in court;
- Provide you with our recommendation as to which option is right for you in the circumstances of your case; and
- Discuss the options available to you to document your parenting agreement when one is reached. We will talk about the difference between the consent order and a parenting plan and the pros and cons of each option.
If your matter is already in court, we will discuss your case, review your court documents, talk about your upcoming court date and provide you with advice about the likely outcome and the cost if you engage us to prepare response documents and to represent you at court.
The process to resolve child custody
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your former partner in relation to the living arrangements of your children, as well as other important issues to do with their care and welfare, the process is as follows:
Family law Mediation with a dispute resolution practitioner is a compulsory step that you must take prior to making an application to the Court for parenting orders. Whilst there are certain exceptions where mediation may not be required, for example, circumstances of urgency and/or risk, in the large majority of cases, you must participate in mediation first. A list of exceptions when you can seek an exemption from participating in mediation prior to making an application to the Court can be found in our article: Do I have to mediate before Court? The exceptions explained.
When you file your application to the Court, you must prove that you have participated in Mediation by attaching a copy of your dispute resolution certificate, known as a ‘section 60I’ certificate. You should be aware that a section 60I certificate is effective for twelve months only.
To find a dispute resolution practitioner in your local area contact us for a list of private mediators recommended by us. You can also engage in mediation with a dispute resolution practitioner at Relationships Australia. Relationships Australia is a free service. However, mediation through Relationships Australia may take many months to arrange, whereas if you elect to engage a private mediator, you can arrange a mediation within a couple of weeks.
To find out more about the process once you file an application to the Court for parenting orders, click the link: Child Custody Lawyers.
What are your fixed fees?
We are one of the only firms in Queensland who offer fixed fees for all services.
To find out more about our Fixed Fee offering, click the link.
During your initial consultation, our Family Lawyers will discuss our unique fixed fee structure and provide you with a fixed fee quote tailored to your case.
How much is our First Consultation?
Our First Consultation is offered at a reduced rate of $250 for all new clients.
Contact us today to make a booking for a consultation with one of our experienced Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyers. Your future starts today.
Courney is the only person I would call if I ever had any legal issues. Her help, knowledge and experience had helped tremendously through the rough times during my children and property court battle. I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers!
Found Courtney and George not only to be very professional but also very caring and courteous and I would strongly recommend using their services to family and friends if ever needed.
Courtney is a master at her profession.She promised me she would get my power back ,and she delivered.She is a balance of great empathy and fights for you all the way ,the outcome was exactly what i needed.I highly recommend her and her amazing team,to get you the outcome you want.
I had Cortney help me with my family court matter. I couldnt have asked for a better team. From the start the care and understanding from the whole team at Barton was outstanding. I will be forever grateful for the outcome. If you are after a awesome family lawyer look no further. The photo never would have been possible without Courtney and her team. Thank you
Thank you to Courtney and the Barton team for guiding me through a difficult and confusing separation process. Barton Family Lawyers kept me updated, acted immediately on my questions and instructions and most importantly put my best interests forward at all times.
There really is no way to put a price on the stress relief Barton’s exceptional service, understanding and drive for results brings.
Highly recommended if you want the work done right, first time.
Courtney and her team have gone above and beyond for myself and children. I’m so appreciative of them fighting for what was fair for myself and children.
Courtney knows how to deal with narcissistic behaviour and she had given me support and guidance through this traumatic experience.
Courtney is open with you and honest. Every email she sends or receives comes back to you and she will let you know what is important or not. They helped me through the process with detailed billing.
I could not have found anyone better to deal with my difficult separation than Barton family firm.
Everyone in the team I can’t say how grateful I am to everyone who work on my case. Thank you is not big enough. But I am thankful.
So far so good Chris, Rachel and the team at Barton Family Law, have been a exceptionally patient & helpful with my somewhat difficult case. As a veteran things can be quite complicated with regards to family matters. Would highly recommend 🙂
Barton Family Lawyers, or the ‘Dream Team’ as I like to call them. I cannot recommend Courtney, George and the team at Barton Family Law highly enough.
The last couple of years have been the worst experience of my life, but I was backed and supported 100 percent by the whole team at BFL. Nothing was ever an issue, me asking thousands of questions, me emailing stacks of questions, me crying on the phone was never an issue. I had nothing but support and expert advice the whole way through.
I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything Barton Family Lawyers did for me. Courtney, George, Tenayah, Ellie, Alice, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. The whole team got me the absolute best results and I will forever be thankful.
To the queen of her team, Courtney, thank you. Thank you for absolutely everything. From day one you have been right at my side and have made me stand up and fight for what is right. You have given me back my power and I can never thank you enough for it all. You have been my voice when I wasn’t able to speak and have fought for me the whole way though.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I will scream the praise of you and your team to anyone who will listen.
To whom it may concern,
Ellie Prior and Barton Family Law were great to work with during a difficult time. Separations are tough, but Ellie consistently kept her cool and remained positive. Ms Prior offered timely expert advice/options for each circumstance throughout the proceedings.
Gladly, an agreement was reached that both sides were comfortable with. My family’s future is bright and I appreciate Ellie’s hard work.
Lawyers are expensive… Although, I am preferential to the Barton Family Law billing process. IMO Barton’s billing is superior to the law firm I was previously engaged with. Basically, Barton Family Law quote in stages for their work and don’t hit you with surprise extra charges. Three times money was left over in trust to be used for the next stage in court. My feeling throughout the proceedings was that Barton’s billing was fair.
Separations are stressful, Ellie and the Barton Family Law crew helped to make it as painless as possible.
Thanks Ellie, Courtney and the Barton Crew.
Amazing, amazing people, amazing location, just amazing everything
Thank you Courtney for your excellent service. Amazing professionalism & so efficient also showing compassion & understanding..the BEST in her field & I was so fortunate to have her support & advice…highly recommend.
Courtney and her team have been terrific in assisting me with my matter. Excellent communication, swift action and a very professional service – I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers.
I can’t thank Courtney enough for her dedication to achieving not only the best outcome for me but also what is fair and right.
My children and I are forever grateful.
The team at Barton Family Lawyers went above and beyond to enable a property settlement which enable me to move forward with my life. I highly recommend Courtney and the team for all your family law needs.
With experience and know how far beyond her years. I cannot thank or recommend anyone any higher than Courtney.
Having worked with many lawyers over the past 10 years she not only did the legal work to its absolute finest but more importantly she got my daughter back in my life at a time when at one stage I had given up hope.
She is such an authentic person & while she won’t sugar coat anything she is someone you want in your corner.
I highly recommend Courtney Barton, of Barton Family lawyers, for matters including domestic violence and property settlement. The legal system is very traumatising for domestic violence victims and Courtney helped me navigate this, with empathy and her extensive knowledge of the legal system. Courtney clearly explained the process and my options. Courtney helped enable me to successfully seek a domestic violence protection order, and a favourable property settlement outcome.
Divorce is never an easy journey for any individual regardless of their background, occupation or gender. Particularly so, as emotions are running high, all logic flies out the door and extreme frustration looms over one’s mind making it impossible to make a rational decisions. In a such volatile journey, having the right legal partner makes all the difference. Barton Family Lawyers have helped me keep my emotions at bay and enabled me focus on the issues at hand with a rational mind and thereby allowing me to reach a good result in my property settlement and my divorce.
I was not just a mere client but a lawyer (who practised a different area of law) myself and therefore questioned, examined thoroughly every advice and process Barton Family Lawyers gave and undertook in the family court. I wanted a lawyer who would strongly advocate for me, communicate my arguments/issues with the court and the other side like I would have if I was to defend myself. Barton Family Lawyers did exactly that. They exceeded my expectations and advocated for me so strongly in court or whilst communicating with the other side, but most of all, took all reasonable endeavours to enable me to reach my desired result. I strongly recommend Barton Family Lawyers to anyone who is looking a lawyer that is worth every dollar, produces outstanding quality work and wishes to feel the same vindication I felt through this journey.
From the moment we met Courtney we knew she meant business and that’s exactly how she performed right from start to finish.
She totally exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend her.
Thanks so much Courtney. A job well done and thanks to you a five year old has been reunited with his family
Courtney and her team are nothing short of amazing. Prior to and on the day of our case, the level of organisation and professionalism that was shown was incredible. We got the result we were after and I would recommend Courtney and her team to anyone. ThankYou again to the Barton Family Law team!
Excellent law practice. Courtney is amazing and the support staff are second to none. Very happy with their conduct of my matter and with the result. Highly recommended
I highly recommend Courtney and her team. I was amazed at their response time and their professionalism. They helped my daughter to navigate through a very difficult settlement, giving expert advice and making her feel at ease. There were tight turn around times and they not only met those timeframes but exceeded our expectations. Thank you Courtney, George and Tenayah, you are all amazing.
I highly recommend Courtney for child matters. She is highly professional, very responsive and efficient. Her knowledge and experience with Family Law helped to achieve the best possible outcome for my daughter. I couldn’t have gotten through this difficult time without her honest approach to working with me as a client.
I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers, Courtney is an amazing lawyer coupled with high level professionalism, empathic and efficient it is an unbeatable combination. She is able to handle any client’s emotional response with calm and confidence, I would not have been able to cope without her direct honest approach. The bonus is that Barton Family Lawyers are fixed fee and very clear so you know where you are a each stage. No surprises at the end and always available. Thank you so much.
Courtney was amazing from our first meeting. The fixed fees are great as you know what you are in for cost wise. She was super organised and and professional and got me a great outcome in the end. A big thank you to both Courtney and George for all your hard work.
Courtney and her team are nothing short of absolutely astounding. Courtney recently represented my partner through an absolutely awfully vindictive and horrid domestic violence and property matter with very very short notice coming up to a court judgment.
Courtney and her team were extremely thorough, fast to respond and spoke from the heart of exactly how my partner was wanting things to be put across.
I’m not sure where we would be without Barton Law, you guys are incredible!