Brisbane Family Lawyers, Accredited Family Law Specialists and Mediators with the expertise and experience to help you successfully navigate legal challenges arising from a relationship breakdown.
Family law proceedings after a relationship or marriage breakdown can be one of the most stressful and traumatic times in a person’s life. You don’t need to go through this on your own.
Our team is committed to providing high-quality family law services that extend beyond our mediation spaces and courtrooms – we are dedicated to providing exceptional legal support with the utmost sensitivity every step of the way.
Our team of Family Lawyers take a compassionate and conciliatory approach to resolving disputes, actively discouraging hostility and conflict. It’s already a difficult time. We’ll work with you to minimise stress while navigating the legal process to reach the best outcome possible.
Our team of highly experienced family lawyers are responsive to your needs. We will keep things simple, explain issues in clear terms and avoid overcomplicating matters. We are not a large firm, and work closely together. We’ll make sure your matter receives the attention it deserves, and take a personalised approach to every case that we work on.
Judy Stewart, our Director, is not only a highly experienced Accredited Family Law Specialist, with over two decades experience, but also a Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Arbitrator, Parenting Coordinator and a Collaborative Lawyer. Her background as a practising Social Worker allows her to deeply understand family dynamics while taking a pragmatic approach to her work.
Explore cooperative and flexible legal solutions that preserve relationships, fostering an amicable and respectful out-of-court approach to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. Both Judy Stewart and Temika Slee are collaboratively trained Family Law lawyers and are able to assist you in reaching mutually acceptable parenting arrangements, consent orders and property settlements using this resolution-focused method.
Resolve family disputes through amicable negotiations using Mediation and FDR, in our purpose-built mediation spaces. Judy Stewart has extensive experience, having been a mediator since 1995, and has tutored ADR techniques at QUT Law School, and has previously worked at the Court as a Child Dispute practitioner. Temika Slee is also a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Hannah, Temika and Judy have extensive experience representing clients at mediation and FDR.
We can support you in reaching a range of agreements to resolve any legal matters relating to parenting and child-related issues. We can help you with informal arrangements, Consent Orders and Parenting Plans, all aimed at the best interests of your family while avoiding the stress of court appearances.
After a divorce, you only have twelve (12) months from the date the Divorce Order comes into effect to apply for property settlement. With a de facto relationship, you have two (2) years from the date of separation to apply for property settlement. We can help you divide assets fairly and finalise your property settlements with Consent Orders.
You can apply for a Divorce Order once you have been separated for twelve (12) months. You don’t need to be living in separate households during these twelve (12) months and can still be considered as separated if you are living under one roof. We can advise you on the best way to approach your divorce and assist with more complex divorce applications.
A Financial Agreement allows you to plan for the division of property in a way that is fair to both parties in the event that you separate or if you have already separated. If you are considering a Financial Agreement, it is vital that you obtain legal advice as one of the requirements for the Agreement to be binding is that each party has received independent legal advice. It is also important that the Agreement complies with the Family Law Act as the Court can set aside an Agreement on a number of grounds.
De facto couples have rights akin to married couples – although slightly different time limits may apply. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia treats parenting orders for a child of a relationship and property adjustment orders in either of these situations in a similar manner to traditional marriage breakdown.
Sharing financial responsibility for children is paramount, and is usually determined by an administrative assessment from the Child Support Agency (CSA), or arranged by private agreement. You cannot apply to the Federal Circuit or Family Court of Australia for child support, unless your child or children are not covered under the Child Support Assessment Act 1989.
Spousal maintenance can be payable if one party has a need for spousal maintenance, and the other has the capacity to pay. The age and health of both parties as well as their income, property, financial resources and ability to work will also be taken into account in any application for spousal maintenance.
If you feel you may be experiencing domestic violence, one of our experienced lawyers can help you apply for a Protection Order and represent you in Court. If a domestic violence order has been sought against you, one of our experienced lawyers can advise you on your options, including consenting to an order without admission or opposing the order and having the matter heard by a Magistrate.
Attending Court can be a highly stressful and daunting experience, with many unknowns, particularly for people who are self-represented. One of the benefits of working with a professional family lawyer acting on your behalf is that you’ll be guided through the process from start to finish. Our team will ensure you feel fully supported if your matter ends up in a courtroom.
Arbitration is an excellent way to efficiently and cost effectively resolve property matters. It’s cost effective and allows your property matter to be determined while maintaining dignity and privacy. Arbitration is akin to appointing a private Judge to determine your matter. As well as representing clients at Arbitration, Judy Stewart can be appointed as an Arbitrator of your property dispute.
Co-parenting isn’t always a walk in the park, even after Court Orders have been made or Parenting Plans have been entered into. Judy Stewart can be appointed as a Parenting Coordinator to help you improve your co-parenting dynamics. This service aims to foster better communication, minimise hostility and stay focused on the best interests of your children.
Are you a law firm with too much legal work to manage, too far away from the court or a conflicting schedule? You can delegate your court appearances to us, knowing that you’ll be supported by a team of Brisbane’s best family lawyers. We’ll handle your court appearances with the utmost professionalism and efficiency. Talk to us about how we can help.
We can assist with all aspects of Family Law; before, during or after a relationship has broken down, including:
The centre of our practice lies in guiding individuals and families to achieve their best outcome through a negotiated process with their ex-partner. We understand the impact that adversarial court proceedings can have and highly recommend that our clients seek practical solutions and minimise legal costs. We assist clients to achieve an early resolution to their family law problems and avoid the need to attend court.
Collaborative Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Family Dispute Resolution are at the core of our Family Law services. We have recently expanded our practice to include multiple mediation spaces and breakout rooms.
These spaces can be used for:
When a relationship ends, many people are overwhelmed by the legal aspects and find the required paperwork and processes confusing and daunting. We believe that when it comes to Family Law, it’s absolutely crucial to communicate in a straightforward manner.
We are dedicated to cutting through the legal talk and providing you with clear, understandable options and explanations. When you partner with us, you can expect an approach that simplifies complex legal issues and presents them to you in a manner that empowers you to make informed decisions.
Our office and mediation spaces are located at North Quay in Brisbane, which makes our family law team located with your accessibility in mind. We are in close proximity to the law courts, allowing us to act swiftly and efficiently on your behalf. Moreover, we offer easy access to public transport and parking options, ensuring that you can reach us without stress or hassle.
What if I can’t make it into the office?
In today’s fast-paced world, we understand that our clients may have busy schedules. To accommodate your needs, we offer the option of telephone and video-conferencing appointments. This flexibility allows you to access our legal expertise from the comfort of your home or office, making the legal process more convenient and accessible.
Amid the challenges and uncertainties that come with Family Law matters, we will be a steadfast source of support every step of the way. We understand that you need solutions, not more confusion. Our experienced lawyers will work diligently to resolve your case efficiently, keeping your best interests at the forefront.
While we always aim to keep matters out of court, we understand there are times this will be unavoidable. If you are facing this scenario, rest assured that we pride ourselves on taking a firm and assertive approach to protect your rights and achieve an outcome where your best interests, and those of your children, are our core goal.
Family Law issues are inherently personal, and we acknowledge the emotional toll they can take on individuals and families. Our approach is anchored in sensitivity, pragmatism and empathy. We understand your situation is unique, and we take the time to listen to your concerns and tailor our strategies accordingly.
We aim to guide you through this challenging period with compassion and respect. We recognise that you’re not just ‘another case’ – this is your life, and decisions that come from our work together will impact your daily life. We are committed to addressing family law issues with the care and attention they deserve.
If you’re facing a Family Law matter and need professional guidance, please reach out to our team – we’re here to help you through this challenging time. We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers to discuss your needs and options for moving forward. Please allow one to two hours for your initial appointment.
Contact us today to schedule a time that works for you, and take the first step to efficiently finalising your legal matters. Our highly experienced team of Brisbane Family Lawyers are here to help, and will support you every step of the way.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Judy to anybody experiencing the pain and challenge of a divorce or custody dispute, no matter how complex the case may be.” – RB, Brisbane
“Please pass on my thanks to Judy, her professionalism, experience and skills were a cornerstone to reaching an outcome and avoiding Court.” – MD, Brisbane
“I am so pleased to be able to keep the home and have 50/50 custody of my children – so in reality I got what I wanted. I am so pleased that this is now over and that I can move on to my next chapter. Once again, THANK YOU!” – David, Redlands
“I wanted to let you know, Temika – how very grateful I have been to have you represent me over the past few years. You have certainly seen my worst side and kept me sane when I have really needed it! Your professionalism is second to none and I couldn’t have asked for any one better to be on my side! So from the very bottom of my heart thank you!!”
As an Accredited Family Law Specialist, with a background in Social Work, Judy Stewart brings a wealth of experience to her Mediation and FDR work with couples and families.
Temika Slee takes a personal and conciliatory approach to her work, and is a Family Law Accredited Specialist, as well as an Independent Children’s Lawyer.
Hannah Robinson has over 8 years of Specialist Family Law practice experience, with her work being recognised by Australasian Lawyer’s Rising Star award in 2023.
Coming to see a family lawyer about your separation and the issues that follow does not mean you will end up in Court. An initial consultation will allow you to be informed about your options.
Judy Stewart, the director of Stewart Family Law, is a Nationally Accredited Mediator as well as an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. In addition to her legal expertise in Family Law, she has a background in mediation, counselling and social work.
You will see Judy, or another accredited specialist of our office, Temika Slee, in the initial consultation and she will talk with you about the number of “non-court” options for resolving matters. Stewart Family Law’s main aim is to resolve your matter as quickly and amicably as possible. We will go through these options during your initial appointment.
Engaging in the legal process, whether it be property settlement or children’s matters, can be a daunting experience, both emotionally and financially. Consequently, people going through a separation may seek to “do it themselves” rather than engaging a legal representative to assist them through the minefield.
Set out below are two key reasons why engaging a legal representative from our firm is the best way forward for you:
Consent Orders are designed to document (legally) the agreement reached between parties, whether it be property settlement or in relation to the care of children of a relationship.
But beware! If you draft these yourself, it is likely that you will miss something or they will not say what you think they say.
We are highly skilled in drafting agreements by way of consent. We can not only advise you in relation to your entitlements but also draft Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement which properly document your agreement.
Consent Orders in parenting matters should assist parties in ongoing care arrangements for your children and minimise dispute/disagreement in the future, so it is very important that they are drafted correctly. It can be very difficult to go back to Court to have them varied, so our advice is have them prepared correctly the first time.
If your Consent Orders document your property settlement, in most cases they are documenting the division of property that it has taken most of your life to save and create. You don’t want to have Consent Orders that fail to cover the division of those assets in the way you thought they did, or alternatively create more problems in the future. This can all be avoided by using a legal representative from Stewart Family Law.
The Court process relies heavily on the documents you have filed on your behalf. Drafting Court documents based on a client’s instructions is something we, as lawyers, do all the time. We are well aware of what issues need to be covered and the best way to present your evidence to the Court to put you (and your case) in the best position possible for Court.
Poorly drafted Court documents may damage your case irrevocably or come back to haunt you in cross-examination. Unfortunately all too often we see self-represented litigants end up in this position. This can be avoided with legal representation.
It is sometimes the case that one party in a relationship is in a position of power over the other. Using our firm to represent you will even any power imbalance. It also obliterates the need for you to communicate directly with your ex-partner/spouse in relation to settlement negotiations, as we step in and communicate on your behalf (with your instructions). This is particularly important in matters where domestic violence has been present during the relationship.
There are so many other excellent reasons for using a legal representative.
Stewart Family Law offer a fixed fee initial consultation. This gives you certainty about your initial costs and the opportunity to ask questions and discuss your concerns without the anxiety of unknown legal fees. Once we know more about your unique situation we will be able to give you an estimate of ongoing costs. Please allow one to two hours for your initial appointment.
It is not necessary for you to bring anything with you. However, to make the most of your time at your initial consultation you can print and complete the Client Instruction Checklist and bring it with you.
For issues with property concerns, it is helpful for you have a list of your assets (including superannuation) and liabilities and the estimated values. You may wish to use our Assets and Liability Schedule.
Property settlement and divorce are two separate Court processes. You can apply for property settlement before or after divorce. However, once you are divorced any application for property settlement (or spousal maintenance) must be filed in the Court within 12 months unless you first apply to the Court for permission to file such application out of time. There is no guarantee that such permission will be granted.
To finalise property matters you can either file in the Family Court an Application for Consent Orders together with Minutes of Consent or you can enter into a Binding Financial Agreement. Legal advice is not required for Consent Orders, however, we recommend that you make an initial appointment to consider whether the agreement is just and equitable and to ensure that your paperwork is completed correctly. To be binding, a Financial Agreement requires that both parties receive independent legal advice.
De facto couples can attain a property settlement in the same manner as married couples (in most cases). There are some variations to this depending on when the relationship ended. If you were in a de facto relationship but have separated, an application for property settlement (or spousal maintenance) must be filed in the Court within two years of your separation, unless you first apply to the Court for permission to file such application out of time. Permission is not always granted. We suggest you make an initial appointment to discuss the matter with us so we can determine your options and provide advice in relation to property settlement.
Before you can file an application in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court concerning children’s matters, you need to have first attended a meeting with a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and obtained a certificate from that practitioner. The current Court does allow a few exceptions to this requirement, such as in cases of urgency and/or domestic violence or child abuse, or if your matter concerns Hague Convention orders or child support.
If you are not sure if you meet these requirements, or you want some further advice about your options, then please contact us for an initial appointment.
If you have already arranged dispute resolution, it is worthwhile being informed about your legal options before attending. Stewart Family Law can provide advice prior to your mediation. Alternatively if you want to attend dispute resolution but don’t want to wait for an appointment at a Family Relationship Centre, Judy Stewart is a Registered Dispute Resolution Practitioner who can offer timely assistance.
Spousal maintenance can be payable if one party has a ‘need’ for spousal maintenance, that is their reasonable expenses are greater than their income, and the other has the capacity to pay, that is their income exceeds their reasonable expenses. There are limitation periods in relation to Applications for Spousal Maintenance and we therefore recommend that you seek timely advice.
If you require further information in relation to spousal maintenance please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our family lawyers.