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Child Abuse Awareness in Australia

Basil Hanna, Chief Executive Officer at Parkerville Children and Youth Care, visited our offices on 12 June 2015 to create greater awareness of their work and the issue of child abuse in Australia.  Basil hopes that by continuing to generate awareness, he will encourage people to become advocates for their cause and share their vision …

How to Get the Best Out of Your Lawyer

Separation and divorce can be particularly traumatic, and our role as Family Lawyers is to help you through this difficult time with as little stress as possible. Here are our top 5 ways that you can help us to help you: Tell your lawyer everything! Sometimes the things which you may consider irrelevant are very …

Catherine Leach Speaks with 7 News

Becoming a Legal Couple Australian laws move hard and fast when identifying two people as a legal couple. It’s imperative you understand where you stand, knowing the ins and outs of your partners past and current situation to ensure your financial freedom is secure. Catherine Leach speaks more on the topic to 7 News, and …

Surveillance Devices and Secret Agents

Your name is Bond. James Bond. That might not be your real name. You’re a secret agent. A very, very secret agent. The family law negotiations have come to a stalemate. Your lawyer has told you that there is just not quite enough evidence to support your claims. You’ve had enough. No more Mr Nice …

Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement?

A Binding Financial Agreement (“BFA”) is a written agreement between parties to a marriage or de facto relationship. Couples can enter into a BFA when they are contemplating marriage or cohabitation (commonly known as a “pre-nuptial agreement”), during the relationship, or following separation. The focus of this article is on “pre-nuptial” agreements. A BFA can …

BOOTH [2010] FMCAfam 1269

23 November 2010, published 5 November 2014 Property – Long marriage – Initial contribution of home by Mr Booth the primary asset – Contributions assessed 61/39 of $711K pool (1 per cent being for Mr Booth’s care of children) – No s 75(2) adjustment – Husband’s non-disclosure of earnings FACTS: Mr. and Mrs. Booth married …

Untying the knot

When things turn sour, the source of information about rights and responsibilities can contribute to the pain of separation. We naturally turn to our friends and family for support and advice when things go wrong. The problem with that is the advice can be based on outdated concepts or outright misinformation. While lawyers might be …

Does your Family Lawyer Understand You?

After working in Family Law for over 20 years I have come across many different types of relationships. My biggest challenge is to make sure I understand what has taken place and not to place “labels” on things. Many years ago I had a client who had just separated. The children were living in the …

New Family Violence Restraining Order for Western Australia

The WA Government is introducing a new type of restraining order later this year to specifically address violence that occurs within a family environment. The number of reported incidents in 2012 was 45,000, an increase of two and a half times in the last ten years. Attorney-General Michael Mischin said the Family Violence Restraining Order …

Social media and separation

It started with chain emails and ICQ, progressed to MSN Messenger and has advanced to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Tinder to name but a few.  Electronic communication has assisted the practice of family law in countless ways, such as giving us immediate access to online research platforms and the ability to instantaneously communicate with …

Living Under One Roof and Divorce

Did you know that you can still apply for a Divorce if you have been living under the one roof with your Husband or Wife since separation? Lots of couples continue to live under one roof after separation for many reasons, including for the benefit of the children or for financial and practical reasons. This …

New Year’s Resolutions

It is very easy to become emotionally driven during family law settlements, particularly when our children are involved. Past behaviours and things said in the heat of the moment are often very hard to forget. Unfortunately, feelings of hurt and disappointment can sometimes stand in the way of a negotiated settlement. As we enter into …

Sexually Transmitted Debt

What you need to know about separation, divorce and debt Debts, just like assets, are usually factored into a property settlement. Even if the debt is not in your name, and/or you did not know about it, it is likely to be part of the overall asset pool. If your ex does not “put the …

8 Simple Bits of Advice for Separated People

This great advice comes from Reddit (www.reddit.com) from people who separated and survived. 1. You have to love your kids more than you hate your ex. 2. It will take time, but you will get through this and life will get better. 3. Freedom is amazing. 4. Pain is a huge catalyst for change; use …

Domestic Violence – We All Have a Responsibility

I have worked in Family Law for over 20 years and sadly I have acted for many clients, both men and women, who were victims of domestic violence. It is devastating to see people from all manner of families arrive in my office with such a sad history of abuse. The years, sometimes decades of …

Why Documents Matter in Family Law

Why Documents Matter in Family Law When a couple separate, they are usually asked to tell “their story”.   They individually tell friends, family, colleagues and professionals about their relationship, why it ended and what their expectations are moving forward. Amazingly, each person will tell a different “story”. These different stories can sometimes be very …

Working with Documents? Things your Lawyer should tell you

You can spend a huge amount of money with your lawyer on providing documents to prove your case.  This is called disclosure. You are required to provide disclosure to the other side, whether you are negotiating, mediating or involved in Family Court proceedings. Your lawyer will tell you what documents you have to provide.  If …

The Five Most Common Reasons Why Couples Divorce

Although I am a Family Lawyer, and not a relationship counsellor, in the last 20 odd years I have seen thousands of people and listened to their stories about why their relationship ended and what has finally brought them to a Family Lawyer. No two separations are ever the same, but there are a few …

The Five Most Common Reasons Why Couples Divorce

Although I am a Family Lawyer, and not a relationship counsellor, in the last 20 odd years I have seen thousands of people and listened to their stories about why their relationship ended and what has finally brought them to a Family Lawyer. No two separations are ever the same, but there are a few …

How to Tell Your Lawyer That They’re Wrong!

After 25 years in law, I know how stressful divorce and separation is, and how demanding and time consuming the process can be. I also know that an organised, strategic and properly managed client case is usually going to be less expensive, less stressful and provide better outcomes for the client. I know from speaking …

Keep Calm And Carry On… Managing Your Separation

The top 3 life stressors, according to the Holmes-Rahne Life Stressors Scale are: 1. Death of a spouse 2. Divorce; and 3. Marriage Separation. When you separate from your partner, there are so many things you need to think about from a practical, emotional and financial level, that it can become overwhelming. While it would …

Magistrate Writes to the Children

A recent Family Court case has reached the news. In my many years of practise as a Family Lawyer, I have never had a Family Court Judge or Magistrate speak to the children or even see the children. In this case Magistrate Altobelli wrote a letter to the children, who were aged 10 and 6, …

10 Top Tips for Separated Parents from a Perth Family Lawyer

Divorce is difficult, very difficult. And, in my 16 years as a Family Lawyer in Perth I have seen families devastated by divorce, but more often than not I see families that grow stronger as separate units. Leaving the past behind them and moving out of the conflict zone. Don’t beat yourself up if you …

Top tips for when you first separate

Catherine here – Following is a guest blog from Samantha Baily, who joined my law firm Leach Legal recently. I hope to share her thoughts with you from time to time….. When a couple decide to separate it can be a very stressful and emotional time, and sometimes it is hard to see through the …

Another legal point of view

Normally I just talk about my point of view on legal matters here, however I have someone I’d like to introduce you to. I’ve had my eye on Samantha Baily for sometime now. She’s a smart, very experienced lady, who is down to earth and sensible, and she recently joined my firm, Leach Legal as …

Documents are King in Property Settlement Negotiations

If you are anything like me, and like most people, your memory is not perfect. You may remember birthdays but forget how much you paid for a couch, or you may be really good with remembering when you moved into your first house, but you can’t remember which bank you got the loan from. That’s …

Talking Marriage, Divorce and Myths with Undercurrent

I had an enjoyable chat with Nic Hayes from Undercurrent TV about some of the myths around the divorce process. Seeing a lawyer for your divorce is not about ending up in court, it’s about understanding the life changing process you’re about to go through and heading off in the right direction. My only advice… …

Talking De Novo with Howard Sattler

I was recently on Howard Sattler’s program chatting about our De Novo Guide to amicable divorce. There are many people who would love to have an amicable divorce, but it does require the right approach from both parties. I strongly believe that good advice early on can set you off in the right direction and …

Seven things to get from your first family lawyer meeting

I always like my clients to have a sense of value out of any meeting we have together, so I’ve prepared this outline of what your first meeting is all about so that you can be adequately prepared and clear on your expectations, regardless of which Perth family law firm you have chosen to use. …

Defacto or Not Defacto?

Not all of my clients in my Perth family law firm are married. Quite often they have been living together and are seeking advice on whether they should go through a legal separation, or just break up and go their separate ways. The first question we need to establish is whether or not they are …

Family Law Firms that Inspire Me

I’m always on the look out for inspirational people in Family Law, and a company caught my eye at the recent Family Law Awards in the UK (and as a bynote, I love an industry event that promotes excellence for its clients). The winner of the Family Law Firm of the year was Family Law …

Infidelity. Does it Change Things?

My clients often tell me why their marriage or relationship broke down. Frequently it is because they “grew apart” and hadn’t been happy for some time. Often it is because of clashes with family members, particularly the mother-in-laws (on both sides). Occasionally it is because one or both partners have been unfaithful. I have had …

The De Novo Guide video

This is a video I put together to explain our De Novo guide to amicable divorce and separation, and why we think it’s such an important product for people seeking a DIY solution.

8 Questions for your First Meeting (and some extra info)

It may seem strange for a lawyer to give advice that would help a meeting go more swiftly, but that could explain why I don’t drive a Mercedes! If you’re preparing for your first meeting with your Family Lawyer, then be prepared to answer the 8 questions below, and get the most out of your …

Mediator vs lawyer. What do I need?

You might think it’s a little predictable of me to say that in most instances, you are well served using both, but let me explain why within the context of an amicable divorce or separation. A mediator is someone who is trained to help you reach an agreement about your divorce and property settlement, arrangements …

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