Family Lawyers Melbourne

It is our intent to help families resolve their family law disputes in a way that reduces conflict and helps everyone involved move on with their lives. Our specialist family lawyers are here to support you and are focused on finding the best resolution for your legal matter.

When you are experiencing a breakdown of your marriage or de facto relationship and a family law dispute arises over children or financial and property matters, the stakes are extremely high. It is important to have the best family lawyer in Melbourne on your side to ensure your interests are protected and to fight for what you are entitled to.

Our experienced family lawyers are renowned for helping families resolve difficult legal issues and we aim to take as much stress away from you as possible during this difficult time. We will instil confidence in you so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that someone has your back. We offer considered legal action to help you resolve your family law matter quickly and cost-effectively.

Divorce and family law matters can be greatly exacerbated when there is jointly owned property or businesses to consider, or if domestic and family violence or abuse is a factor.

Our compassionate and dedicated Melbourne family lawyers have the expertise and experience to assess your unique personal situation and help you set goals and formulate a strategy that will achieve your desired outcome.

We always recommend trying to resolve matters through mediation and effective negotiation strategies before escalating to litigation and family court, which can be emotionally and financially draining for everyone involved.

If your case requires family court intervention, our family lawyers will be ready to assist you and will support you throughout the entire process. Attwood Marshall Lawyers has successfully conducted many complex cases in Family Law Courts, the State Magistrates and Local Court, and we are highly respected in the industry.

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Our family lawyers in Melbourne can support you with:


Divorce is one of the toughest life experiences people can face. Our divorce lawyers can provide expert legal advice when you separate from your spouse. We can assist with filing for divorce or responding to a divorce application.

Property Disputes & Spousal Maintenance

Dividing property and negotiating spousal maintenance when a relationship breaks down can be severely emotionally charged issues. Property settlements can be complex to resolve and determining what is considered a fair distribution for both parties is not always a simple task. Our family lawyers are here to help you negotiate with your former partner and will assist you with formalising your property settlement so that you can move on with your life.

Parenting Disputes

Parenting matters relating to children are some of the most sensitive matters a family lawyer will handle. Our family lawyers understand the difficulties associated with these parenting matters and it is our focus to ensure the best interests of the children are met, ideal parenting arrangements can be made, all while helping you negotiate effectively with your former partner.

Binding Financial Agreements

Establishing a binding financial agreement early on in your relationship can give both partners peace of mind. Financial agreements help reduce the risk of a property dispute arising if the relationship breaks down, which can be extremely stressful and expensive to resolve. Our professional family lawyers can prepare and review financial agreements to ensure your best interests are protected. Financial agreements can be entered into before a de facto relationship or marriage commences, at any stage during the relationship, or after separation. For legal advice about financial matters, contact our expert family lawyers any time on 1800 621 071.

Child Support

Child support is a payment arrangement made between separated parents to help with the cost of raising and caring for children. Parents have a primary duty to support their children and child support should give consideration to daily living costs, education fees, medical-related expenses and health care costs, and any other costs associated with extra-curricular activities. Our family lawyers can help you understand your obligation to pay, or entitlement to receive, child support payments and help negotiate a binding child support agreement.

Domestic & Family Violence

Domestic violence and family violence is an extremely prevalent issue in Australia. Our family law team are here to help you if you need support or protection, including assisting with domestic violence protection orders. For help, call our family law team any time on our 24/7 phone line 1800 621 071.

Meet our Family Law Team

When you are facing contentious family law issues, it is imperative to have an expert legal team behind you that understands the complexities of family law. Our dedicated and experienced family lawyers practice exclusively in family law and have the expertise and knowledge to get you the most optimal outcome.

The family law department is led by Senior Associate Hayley Condon, who has extensive experience in all aspects of family law. Hayley is a member of the Family Law Section of Law Council of Australia and the Family Law Practitioners Association. In recognition of her dedication to her clients and extraordinary work ethic, Hayley was named a finalist in the Women in Law Awards 2022.

The family law team is made up of senior family lawyers, associates, senior paralegals, and a department manager, who are all extremely passionate about the work they do and helping families through tough times.

Donna Tolley - Department Manager - Wills & Estates, Family Law



Department Manager
Wills & Estates, Family Law
Hayley Condon - Senior Associate - Wills & Estates, Family Law



Special Counsel
Wills & Estates, Family Law
Michael Twohill



Special Counsel
Family Law



Senior Associate
Family Law
Emily Edmonds - Associate - Family Law



Family Law
Laura Dolan - Associate - Family Law



Family Law

Where to start when you are separating

If you’re in the early stages of separation, download our checklist for guidance on the initial steps to take and key things to consider.

Family Law FAQs

For separated couples seeking a divorce, you must be separated for at least 12 months before you can make an application for divorce. If you need advice about your separation and assistance in preparing an application, or if you have unique factors to discuss that could complicate the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced family lawyers in Melbourne to be guided through the legal process.

No. Both parties do not need to agree to obtain a divorce. You can initiative the divorce process with or without the consent or cooperation of your former spouse. Our dedicated Melbourne family lawyers are here to guide you through the application process and provide support as you navigate any challenges that may arise during separation and divorce.

Property settlements are determined based on the unique circumstances of each case. A property settlement may not necessarily result in a 50/50 division of the asset pool. When a court considers the division of assets for family law matters, they take into account factors such as:

  • The value of the property pool, including assets and liabilities
  • The contributions of both parties, including financial contributions and non-financial contributions
  • The future needs of both parties, including their age, health and wellbeing, income-earning capacity, and whether there are dependent children to be cared for.
  • Whether the division is fair and equitable, or if an adjustment is required.

Yes. Property settlements and divorce are two separate legal matters. Therefore, you can commence negotiations with your former spouse about property immediately following separation.

Child custody decisions are primarily focused on maintaining a loving and meaningful relationship between the child, or children, and both parents, while ensuring shared parental responsibility.

The family court’s ultimate goal is to prioritise the best interests of the children.

If you are facing challenges in reaching an agreement with your former spouse or de facto partner about child custody and parenting arrangements, it is important to seek guidance from a specialist family lawyer. A family lawyer can facilitate negotiations and assist parents in reaching an agreement that not only aligns with the children’s wellbeing but also ensures everyone involved is comfortable with the arrangement.

Child support is designed to ensure the wellbeing of a child is adequately maintained and that both parents meet their financial obligations. Child support typically covers expenses such as medical and health-related costs, living expenses, education expenses, and extra-curricular activities.

Child support is calculated by looking at how much income each parent earns, how many children there are to support, and the children’s ages.

Parents can choose to either come to their own agreement about how they will continue to financially support their children, or they can go through the government child support scheme. A privately agreed amount may differ from what would be calculated using the set formula by the Child Support Agency.

Under the Family Law Act, your former spouse may have a responsibility to pay spousal support if you cannot adequately meet your reasonable expenses from the personal income you earn or the assets you own.

De facto partners may also be eligible to apply for maintenance.

Where the need exists, both parties have an equal duty to maintain and support each other as far as they can. The extent of the support will be determined by the unique facts of each case.

Spousal support can be negotiated as part of a Binding Financial Agreement, or through alternative avenues such as mediation, arbitration, or family court proceedings in circumstances where you and your former partner cannot reach an agreement.

Speak to our Melbourne family lawyers to understand what maintenance you may be entitled to, and the best way to negotiate with your former partner.

Binding financial agreements are legal documents designed to safeguard the assets of each partner and establish a clear understanding of asset distribution in case the relationship ends. Both parties must obtain independent legal advice from a family lawyer when entering into such an agreement. These agreements can be entered into at the start of a new relationship, during a relationship, or after separation as a way of finalising property and financial matters.

Contact our Family Law Department Manager

Book an appointment with an experienced family solicitor in Melbourne today.



Message our Department Manager, Donna