Family Law Matters
We can assist you with all aspects of family law. The assistance we can provide includes just advice, formalising agreements and court representation.
- Property settlement – marriage and defacto
- Parenting and child arrangements
- Parentage disputes
- Child abduction – international and within Australia
- Spousal/partner maintenance
- Child support and maintenance
- Pre-nuptial and relationship agreements
- Domestic Violence and AVO’s
- Other personal services: wills and powers of attorney
- Children’s court – care and protection
Family law matters require particular care and the highest of ethical standards, as relationships between you and your loved ones can become extremely complicated. At Barclay Churchill, we understand your situation and specialise in providing advice and representation in all Family Law matters.
At Barclay Churchill you will get the skill and expertise of a large city firm, without the inflated fees charged to cover the high intercity costs. Additionally, we are a small specialist boutique firm, and so you can be confident we know you as a person not a number. Our personalised service enables us to consider a wider range of options, including cost effective out of court resolutions.
Our clients come from all over Sydney and, indeed, all over Australia and we also have many international clients.
So what makes us different? We know, and our clients know, there are many answers to that question:
Our knowledge and experience
At Barclay Churchill we have a highly experienced team of Family Lawyers and we are extremely familiar with all relevant law and procedure. Our skill and experience means that we are able to handle your matter efficiently and cost-effectively.
We also invest heavily in ongoing staff training, not only for our lawyers but also for our support staff. So you can be confident we are always up to date with the ever-changing family law.
We know that if you are seeing us you are probably experiencing one of the worst periods of your life. We aim to lessen your distress by listening carefully, advising you properly and providing you with assistance where we can. We know that a large part of family law involves non-legal issues and we have a wide network of professionals who we can refer you to.
Our clients often tell us that we help them feel empowered and that because of the advice and support we provide they knew they could rely on us. We all find great satisfaction in that feeling, and it is a large part of why we practice in family law. We aim to give that feeling to all our clients.
At Barclay Churchill we work with you in an attempt to help you achieve your goals. Most people prefer to avoid the stress and expense of court proceedings, and we place particular emphasis on helping you try to resolve your matter with the minimum of acrimony. Most of our clients are able to reach agreements with our assistance through negotiation, mediation and other dispute resolution methods.
We know that you need to be and feel in control of your matter, and that a large part of a successful outcome is that you are able to move on with your life with your dignity intact. Our emphasis is on helping you achieve this outcome. Some of the ways we do this is by:
- Treating you with respect and as an individual: we will always recognise your very individual needs and concerns.
- Telling you the truth: we will never say something simply because we suspect that is what you want to hear. If we need to give you news that you will consider bad, we will do so with tact and empathy. It is unfortunately a feature of some lawyers that they will tell their clients what they want to hear. We pride ourselves on being straightforward and upfront in all aspects of our work.
- Keeping you informed every step of your matter: we know there is nothing worse than you being kept in the dark.
- Being upfront with costs. At the very start of your matter we will tell you how we will charge: usually that is based on hourly charges, but sometimes we charge a fixed fee. Where we charge an hourly rate we will give you an estimate of your overall costs.
- Giving you choices: we do not just assume that everyone wants the same service from us. Right from the very start of your matter with Barclay Churchill Family Lawyers, you get a say in the service that you want from us.
Our technology and innovation
At Barclay Churchill we don’t just do things just because that’s the way others do, or that’s the way it’s usual to do. We actually think about why we are doing something and how we can do it better. We bring that to our practise of family law and also the way we operate our firm. We use cutting-edge and innovative technology so that we can free our family law staff to do what they do best, which is to help and advise our clients, rather than spending their time doing unnecessary administrative work.
You will see how we have used innovative design and technology right from the moment you first step into our offices.
All our lawyers are trained in collaborative law. Our lawyers are dedicated to, and recognise the value of the collaborative process where it is appropriate for their client’s case.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is different from the traditional adversarial approach to family law. In the collaborative process, the clients and their lawyers agree to work together to find a solution and promise not to resort to court.
Collaborative law has been practised in the USA and Canada since the early 1990s and more recently in UK, Ireland and Europe. It was only recently introduced in Australia, and it is now rapidly expanding in NSW.
How does it work?
First we need to assess whether the collaborative process is suitable to you and your case. It is not suitable for everyone. We can assess this at your first, or sometimes, second meeting.
You and your former partner will both need to agree to use the collaborative process and you will both need to engage lawyers who are trained in collaborative law. We can provide your former partner with details of other collaboratively trained lawyers to assist getting your matter started in the collaborative process.
To start the process, you, your former partner and both lawyers will all sign a Participation Agreement setting out the ground rules for the collaborative process. This Agreement will also disqualify the lawyers from continuing to represent their client if either party commences court proceedings.
The foundation of the collaborative process is an understanding that you, your former partner and your lawyers, will act in good faith, be open and honest in your dealings with one another and respect the fact that different views will need to be expressed to achieve a fair settlement.
Most of the process is done at “four-way” face-to-face meetings between you, your partner and the lawyers.
Why can’t we go to court?
One of the cornerstones of collaborative law is that parties agree not to go to court and cannot use the threat of going to court as a means of coercing the other party to agree to or to accept a position.
Is it right for me?
Discuss this with us. We can use our experience to assess whether it is right for you. If you want to resolve your family law issues in a respectful and dignified manner, where you retain control of your decisions then it may be right for you.
How can I get more information?
Speak to us. You can also get more information at the website of the Collaborative Professionals NSW Inc and website of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.