Ending a relationship

The end of a relationship is a highly emotional, stressful and confusing time is anyone’s life.

That’s why it’s vital to have an expert Family Law team, with genuine interest and care for you, in your corner.

When a couple decides to separate, or their relationship breaks down, there are many decisions that need to be made. While these decisions may seem ‘practical’ – where everyone will live, how things are to be paid for, who has the children and when – they can also be extremely emotional and challenging.

Years of experience in Family Law means the team of solicitors at Kelly Legal have seen first-hand the importance of mediation and legal advice as early as possible.

Contact Richard Callaghan and his team of experienced family law solicitors on 4911 0500. With a genuine interest in you and your situation, they will guide you towards the best outcome for you and your loved ones.

Mediation when ending a relationship

Mediation is commonly used in the resolution of parenting matters; property matters and spousal maintenance matters.

Mediation is available on a private basis when both parties engage their own legal representative and participate in a process of communication and negotiation towards a mutually agreed and beneficial resolution.

In the mediation of parenting matters a qualified Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) is recommended. Read more about mediation in parenting matters here.

A skilled family lawyer may be able to recommend a mediator, or you can find mediators in private practice or through services such as Relationships Australia or Family Relationships Online.

Some of the benefits of using a mediator include:

  • Calming and neutralising of emotions, leading to better outcomes for all, especially children
  • Helping to clearly define the issues at hand and decisions that need to be made
  • Preparing legally binding Consent Orders that can be filed with the Court
  • Maintaining legal costs by avoiding protracted litigation associated with a trial

It is important to understand that mediation is not an opportunity for reconciliation or a substitute for relationship counselling.

Mediation provides the framework for parties to work through issues like:

  • How property, assets, liabilities and superannuation interests will be handled
  • Creating a pathway for parenting arrangements including child support
  • Determining and negotiating financial obligations, especially for children

Call today on 4911 0500 to book an appointment and take the first steps in the right direction.


Separation and divorce are terms that are often confused and used interchangeably. It is important to understand the difference, and the legal implications, of each.

Separation, in its simplest terms, is when you stop living together as a couple. This doesn’t mean someone must physically move out of the home, rather you both have the understanding that your relationship has ended, and you have separated as a couple.

You do not need to make any official notification of your separation however, there are a few things to consider:

  • Make immediate decisions regarding the care of children and dependants
  • Determine ongoing living arrangements for yourself, your partner and children
  • Let your close family and friends know to ensure they can support you
  • Inform important organisations like Centrelink, Department of Human Services (Medicare, Child Support etc), your bank, financial institutions, superannuation and insurance providers may also need to know the change in circumstances
  • Ensure you understand your financial and property affairs as you will need to divide your assets between you fairly and equitably
  • Consider estate planning, especially changing your Will if your partner is the primary beneficiary

The timing and pace of separation is different for everyone, but it is important to remember that you are still legally married, even though you have separated.

When the time is right, and a minimum of 12 months has passed since separation, you are legally able to file for divorce. If you have been married for under two years, different circumstances may apply.

There are many decisions to be made following separation and the Family Law team at Kelly Legal are experienced in guiding and supporting you towards the best outcome.

Separation is a major decision and an emotional time, so call the Family Law team at Kelly Legal on 4911 0500, we’ll guide and support you when you need it most.


Divorce is a legal process in which you are notifying the Court that you have ended your marriage.

Once you have been separated for a minimum of 12 months you can apply to the Federal Circuit Court for a divorce by yourself, as a sole applicant or together as a joint application.

If you have children with your partner, you will need to satisfy the Court that there are appropriate parenting arrangements in place.

A divorce does not finalise issues such as property settlement, child support or spousal maintenance at the time of getting a divorce. There are timeframes in place for when these matters need to be settled so good legal advice is important and timely to ensure the best outcome for you.

Applying for divorce brings forth a range of emotions that differ for everyone. Call the Family Law team at Kelly Legal on 4911 0500 today to discuss how to best get this process started for you.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is available under the Family Law Act as a potential assistance payment for married or de facto couples who have separated.

Periodical or lump sum payments are made by one spouse to another to financially support that party following separation.

Spousal payments are a separate assistance to child support however, child support payments take priority over spousal maintenance.

An application for Spousal Maintenance can be made following separation and the experienced Family Law team at Kelly Legal will start this process for you quickly if required.

Spousal maintenance exists to ensure a party is financially supported following separation. Financial assistance payments are made where there is an imbalance in income or earning potential, especially if one party has taken time out of the workforce to care for children.

Spousal maintenance payments may cease if there is a change in circumstances relating to:

  • Improvement in financial situation or earning potential
  • A new marriage or de facto relationship
  • Changes in caring for children

Whether you are seeking spousal maintenance, or it has been requested of you, Kelly Legal’s family lawyers will provide you with straightforward and thorough legal advice. Call today 4911 0500.

De Facto couples

A de facto relationship in Australia is a legal relationship and is defined by several conditions:

  • You are not legally married
  • You are not related by family
  • You have a relationship as a couple living on a genuine domestic basis
  • Usually, you will need to have lived together for more than two years prior to bringing an application to Court in relation to property of the de facto relationship
  • 5.4AA of the Family Law Acto 1975, assists in identifying what may be a de facto relationship

As a de facto couple your rights are similar to those of a married couple and therefore the process of separation is similar. Property settlement, child support and spousal maintenance must all be considered and settled.

When a de facto couple separates there is a two-year period in which proceedings in relation to property must be brought and in this case the date of separation is important.

Richard Callaghan and his Family Law team are experienced in handling de facto separation with genuine interest, care and respect for everyone. Call 4911 0500 today to schedule an appointment.

Areas of Practice

Send us an Enquiry


When I needed a solicitor quickly, Elspeth’s name was recommended quite a few times from family and friends. My matter was a very stressful and because I had cancer in 2008-2009 I was worried…

— Robert, Rural View

View more testimonials »

Jane's letters that she sent to others on my behalf were brilliantly written.  She always explained everything to me in down to earth terms.  Jane is very intelligent and understanding and…

— JW, Glenwood

View more testimonials »

My husband and myself recently purchased a block of land at Habana and we decided to use the Team at Kelly Legal. We had the up most professionalism and the contact between us and the Kelly legal team…

— KF, Ooralea

View more testimonials »

This was our first property transaction in 48 years. Debbie always returned our phone calls straight away. She was kind to us and helped us understand what was going on and took the time to explain…

— MS & AS, Mount Pleasant

View more testimonials »

Elspeth told us what our rights were and what we were entitled to, and she was spot on.

— SD & SD, Belgian Gardens

View more testimonials »

I found Elspeth to be kind and compassionate, but professional at the same time.

— KA, North Mackay

View more testimonials »

I was able to see an experienced lawyer the next day without going on a waiting list.

— CF, Eimeo

View more testimonials »

Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation