Leach Legal

Family Lawyers: Who’s Right For You?

Family law is a highly specialised field of legal practice most commonly dealing with divorce, separation and child custody cases. A skilled specialist family lawyer is also equipped to handle financial agreements, adoption, domestic violence, property settlements and more. Your lawyer should not only represent you with the utmost professionalism, but also be a confidant …

Protecting Your Business from Divorce

Nobody goes into marriage – or business – expecting it to end badly. However, if the Family Court determines your ex-partner had a material impact on growing your business you could be facing a large payout or worse. Divorce can have damaging effects for small business owners, especially if the separation comes unexpectedly some years …

International Travel in a Separated Family

International travel can be a source of stress for separated families if one party does not consent to the trip. Even if your separation is amicable it is important you are prepared as a single parent travelling with your child. Getting a passport If your child does not currently have a passport both parents will …

Who Gets What? Common Misconceptions

There are no universal rules for dividing assets after separation. In Australia the family law system is discretionary meaning despite what you may have read or heard it is not as simple as dividing property and financial assets 50/50. Property settlements aim to reflect what is fair for both parties. Reaching an agreement without the …

How to prepare for your first legal meeting

During your first meeting with your lawyer, it’s important that you walk away feeling confident and at ease with the process. Your lawyer is there to help you navigate through this difficult time, and the expert team at Leach Legal have put together several tips to help you get the most out of your initial …

Starting a New Chapter

Starting a New Chapter

The presents are unwrapped, the Christmas tree is put away and you have somehow managed to survive the mayhem of the holiday season. Now, the New Year is upon you and reality sinks in once again. For many people the New Year is a time to reflect on their family and relationships and start a …

Before your reach for your mobile phone

Before You Reach for Your Mobile Phone….

So, you are currently a party in proceedings before the Family Court of Western Australia.  The process has been very emotional and stressful and your relationship with your former partner is very strained.  You are doing your best to ensure the best for your children, but you have some real concerns about the behaviour of …

Recovering from Divorce

Start Your Recovery Now

Relationship breakdowns and divorce are never easy. It’s even more difficult if it was a surprise to you, or if your ex is moving on more quickly than you. The end of a relationship brings mixed emotions, and grief is often involved. It’s important to remember that grief requires recovery. Grieving Yes, you are grieving.  …

Is the Family Court Doomed?

According to a recent announcement by Attorney-General Christian Porter, the Family Court of Australia will be merged with the Federal Circuit to form the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA).   This sweeping change will result in the two Courts being administered out of one Court rather than the two completely separate systems that …

Family Lawyer considerations

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Lawyer

When facing a divorce, one of the first questions that springs to mind is “how do I find a good lawyer?” Knowing how to choose a divorce lawyer that will provide you with the legal advice you need, at a price you can afford and be the right fit for your situation, isn’t an easy …

Mediation Process through divorce explained

What Does the Mediation Process Involve?

Mediation can be a useful process to resolve family law disputes – even in complex and high conflict cases. At Leach Legal, we often partake in mediations and have a high success rate. The actual mediation process is not set in concrete, as the process is tailored to suit the needs of the parties. However, …

Interview by the College of Law

In 2012 I completed my Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) through the College of Law, which enabled me to study Family Law at a much deeper level and proved to be a really useful and practical course. Recently I was privileged to be interviewed by the College of Law for their Insights section. Read …

Think before you text, tweet, snap or update your status

In the last month the media have reported that divorce lawyers could “soon” gain access to the web, phone and email use of every person in Australia.  Privacy advocates and others have criticised the possible move to change data retention laws as intrusive. Under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 Australian phone and internet …

What Do I Do When The Law Firms Are Closed?

Christmas and the New Year period are often times of great stress, and often that stress becomes too much and people decide to end their relationships. But what can you do when the law firms are closed over the Christmas/New Year period? If your matter is urgent, the following institutions are available: The Family Court, …

What are your plans this Christmas?

With just under 2 months until we deck the halls with holly and wait for the big guy in the red suit to squeeze down the chimney, now is the time to consider the arrangements for your children over the Christmas period. If you and your former partner cannot agree on arrangements for this Christmas, …

Stress and separation

When I was a law student, I learned a valuable lesson in stress management. I had a large assignment which I had helpfully left until the last minute. Burning some midnight oil, I was tidying up my footnotes when my monitor froze, and then went black. A reboot proved that all of my work had …

Lawyers and Legal Costs

I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every person who has said to me… “We want to settle this without lawyers”. I have been a family lawyer for nearly 40 years. In approximately half the cases I have dealt with in that time we were able to negotiate a settlement …

Separation when pregnant

Separating when one party is pregnant presents some interesting legal and practical issues. What are the Father’s obligations? Can you commence proceedings for parenting orders? Can you stop the pregnant woman from relocating elsewhere? Who pays the medical costs? Spousal maintenance To apply for spousal maintenance, you must first be in a position to invoke …

The Cardinal Sins of Family Law Matters

Going through a relationship breakdown is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Aside from the emotional turmoil that inevitably accompanies a relationship breakdown, you will find that EVERYONE is a family law expert- your friends, the internet and your family often provide [well-meaning] incorrect advice. Here are some very specific …

Why does the date of separation matter?

Separation occurs when a marriage or relationship breaks down. The date of separation will be when either or both parties to the relationship: form an intention to separate; and act on that intention, usually by communicating to the other party that the relationship is over. Parties can be separated and still live under the same …

5 Family Law Terms People Commonly Misuse

1. Guardianship Prior to 2006 parents were awarded either “sole guardianship” or “joint guardianship” of their children. The law changed in 2006 and this term was abolished and became “parental responsibility”. Both terms relate to decisions about a child that are major long term issues – such as education, religious and cultural upbringing, elective surgery …

The Ungodly Divorce

I recently met a man, let’s call him Ashton. Ashton asked me if Family Law had changed over the years. I told him that prior to 1975 there was “fault” divorce and that unless you could prove that someone had done the “wrong” thing, the Court would not approve the divorce. Adultery, cruelty and desertion …

Do I Have to Go to Court?

The short answer is no. Going to Court is a last resort used when negotiations have been unsuccessful. Before commencing proceedings, we use a range of negotiation tools such as letters or emails, informal conferences and mediations. If you and your former partner can reach an agreement about your children and / or financial matters, …

4 New Year Resolutions that will change your 2016

Happy belated New Year from all of us at Leach Legal. We have built a fantastic team and I have spent some time over the break thinking about how I can continue to grow and improve personally and professionally.   Working on the “Keep it Simple Stupid” principal, I have identified four things that I …

Should you look a gift horse in the mouth?

Over the course of a marriage, or even prior to, a couple may receive funds from their respective parents, often to assist them to purchase a house. The status of these monies may come into contention pending a property settlement as the Family Court treats gifts and loans differently and the difference can have an …

What you need to know when attending Court for a Family Law matter

The Basics Be prepared. If it is your first time appearing in court it may be helpful to attend a hearing beforehand so that you have an understanding of the process. Arrive early! Give yourself time to find the courtroom and discuss any outstanding matters with your lawyer before your matter is called on Always …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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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