We are still working despite COVID-19. Read More.

Our advice is accurate and up to date. We pride ourselves in being at the forefront of changes in family law.

OUR EXPERIENCE

Forte Family Lawyers is a leading Melbourne family law firm. Its partners, Jacky Campbell and Wendy Kayler-Thomson, are Accredited Specialists in Family Law and are recognised as leaders in the family law profession in Australia. Our team of lawyers provide expert guidance and high quality services.

OUR EXPERIENCE

Forte Family Lawyers is a leading Melbourne family law firm. Its partners, Jacky Campbell and Wendy Kayler-Thomson, are Accredited Specialists in Family Law and are recognised as leaders in the family law profession in Australia. Our team of lawyers provide expert guidance and high quality services.

Family Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Pro-Bono Contribution to the Community

We give strategic advice and representation, drawing upon our extensive experience and knowledge. We provide pragmatic solutions and personalised service and care.

OUR APPROACH

We are mindful of the emotional issues often involved in family and relationship breakdown. We aim to help you reach a negotiated out-of-court settlement. But if court proceedings are necessary, you will be expertly assisted to achieve the best outcome possible.

We do Arbitrations

Jacky Campbell of Forte Family Lawyers is an accredited arbitrator and a family lawyer of over 35 years’ experience.

Jacky is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law and a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.  Jacky is well known for writing in family law publications for other lawyers and speaking to family lawyers, particularly regarding property, financial agreements, de facto relationships, superannuation and bankruptcy.

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Important Update

Working with you through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Featured Article

10 family tips in a continuing coronavirus pandemic

SERVICES

Forte Family Lawyers is experienced in all aspects of family and relationship law.

CHILDREN AND PARENTING

Reaching agreement on appropriate arrangements for the care of children after separation is a priority for separating parents.

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PROPERTY AND FINANCIAL
SETTLEMENTS

Most separated couples need a property and financial settlement following the breakdown of their relationship.

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PRENUPTIAL AND OTHER FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS

Prenuptial and other Financial Agreements provide a couple with the comfort of knowing how their assets will be divided.

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DIVORCE

Divorce is only one aspect of family law. It is the process of finalising a marriage and is quite separate from sorting out future parenting arrangements and dividing up property.

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FAMILY VIOLENCE
Family violence can affect the outcome of parenting disputes, and sometimes financial settlements. Victorian laws offer protection where there has been family violence.
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CHILD SUPPORT AND SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE
Child support and spousal maintenance can be important aspects of a financial settlement. We give advice and options as to the best approach and outcome
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SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS
In most cases the law that applies to same sex relationships about parenting and financial issues is the same as the law that applies to heterosexual couples. There are, however, complex laws in relation to parenting.
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INTERNATIONAL
We live in a world where people are more likely to move overseas for work and study, or invest overseas, than they did in the past. As a result, separating couples need advice about their rights and entitlements under both Australian and overseas laws.
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COMPLEX FINANCIAL STRUCTURES
Some of the complex asset structures that we regularly deal with include family and unit trusts, companies, partnerships, joint ventures, businesses, property developments, self managed superannuation funds, share options and overseas trusts and assets.
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BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY

Separation and bankruptcy often coincide, or one may follow the other. We act for trustees in bankruptcy and the spouse of a bankrupt or potential bankrupt.

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SUPERANNUATION
Superannuation is treated as part of the property pool. Superannuation can be complex, particularly defined benefits and self-managed superannuation.
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DISPUTE RESOLUTION

There are many ways to resolve family law disputes. The options include negotiation, mediation, family dispute resolution, arbitration and litigation.

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THIRD PARTIES

Sometimes third parties become involved in the family law dispute between a separating couple. A person or a company might be owed money by the couple. Third parties might become involved in the dispute about a property settlement or about the future care of a child.

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TEAM
PARTNER
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST
PARTNER
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST
SENIOR ASSOCIATE
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST
SENIOR ASSOCIATE
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST
Senior ASSOCIATE
ASSOCIATE

PARTNER
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST

PARTNER
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST

SENIOR ASSOCIATE
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST

SENIOR ASSOCIATE
ACCREDITED FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Senior ASSOCIATE

ASSOCIATE

Frequent Topics

01.

Working with you through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

To our valued clients, referrers and community, Back in March 2020 we re-assured you that as the situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continued to develop, we remained confident of being able to continue to service our clients through these uncertain times. You may have heard that under Victoria’s Stage 4...

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02.

10 family law tips in a continuing coronavirus pandemic

In these uncertain times when your personal, study and working life has drastically changed, the legal advice and assistance which you need is much different to your needs 12 months ago. As the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted longer than everyone expected and hoped, the challenges have become greater. This is a list of 10 things...

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03.

The Micawber principles: When bankruptcy and Family Law Collide

1.    Introduction Why is this paper called “The Micawber principles”?  Mr Micawber, in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield is the eternal optimist.  His famous phrase “Something will turn up” is probably reflective of why many people end up bankrupt.  Judge Driver, in a case referred to in this paper, described a bankrupt as...

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04.

Will de-federation of the Family Court fix fragmentation of family law? An analysis of the ALRC’s final report on family law

Family law never stagnates.  Legislative reforms since the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) have often either followed societal developments or, more frequently, led or accompanied them.  However, the next 12 months has the potential for even greater change for family lawyers, the family law courts and parties...

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05.

Financial Agreements: still worth the candle?

Post Thorne v Kennedy (2017) FLC 93-807, family lawyers and clients have reconsidered the worth of financial agreements under the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA). At the outset, it is impossible to guarantee to clients that financial agreements are binding and will not be set aside. Lawyers can, however, take steps to reduce the...

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06.

Tomaras– is the Family Law Act an escape hatch to avoid tax?

The Australian Taxation Office recently appealed to the High Court of Australia on the question of whether there was power under the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA) for the husband to be substituted for the wife in relation to a tax debt owed by the wife of over $250,000 plus interest. In Commissioner of Taxation for the...

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07.

The Family Court: Restructure, Destruction or Fade Away?

"Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot" "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell The Family Court of Australia (FCofA) was established in 1976 as a best practice model offering in-house alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and...

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08.

Hot Cases in family law – 2018

The most important cases in 2018 have been diverse. This paper looks at some of these. Financial agreements continue to raise new legal issues, and defining a de facto relationship continues to be far more problematic than one would expect. An unusual case involved the ability of an adult child to access the court file of his...

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Resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) support services
CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) support services
Child abduction
Child protection (DHHS)
Child support
Courts
Dispute resolution
Family violence
Financial matters / Property settlement
Financial statements
Financial counselling
Individual support (helplines)
Legislation
LGBTIQ support services
Professional bodies
Superannuation and superannuation information request forms
Surrogacy

These websites offer general information about family law and link to support services which may be useful to separating couples.

They are for convenience only. Forte Family Lawyers does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information on the websites.

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER (ATSI) SUPPORT SERVICES

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency

An Aboriginal child and family welfare organisation offering numerous programs to strengthen families, provide parenting support, and respond to family violence.

vacca.org/services/early-intervention-and-
family-services

Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Service Inc

A service for Aboriginal women experiencing family violence. Services include counselling, court support, and a high security refuge.

emhaws.org.au
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support Services

Information about the range of services offered by RAV to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about family relationships.

relationshipsvictoria.com.au/services/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-support

CALD (CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE) SUPPORT SERVICES

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)

Telephone and onsite interpreting and document translation services. Telephone interpreting can often be provided immediately without a booking.

tisnational.gov.au

Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service

Telephone service for women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds who are victims of domestic violence.
1800 755 988

inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence

A state-wide service for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people in response to family violence. Services include crisis support, phone service, therapeutic counselling, men’s behaviour change program, group work, children’s groups, women’s groups, family camps, and holiday programs.

intouch.org.au

CHILD ABDUCTION

Attorney General’s Webpage

This website contains information about international child abduction, steps to prevent a child being removed from Australia, guide for applying for the return of a child taken from Australia under the Hague Convention and contact details.

ag.gov.au/childabduction

Australian Federal Police (AFP) – Family Law Watch list

This website includes information about the police and family law, the Family Law Watch List (airport watch list), how to place your child on the Family Law Watch List and what to do if your child is on the watch list.

afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/family-law-kit

International Social Service (ISS) Australia

An independent, not for profit organisation that provides assistance to families experiencing international parental child abduction. Includes downloadable general information brochure about international parental child abduction.

iss.org.au

Australian Passport Office – Child Alert

This website includes information about making a Child Alert request with a link to the child alert request form.

relationshipsvictoria.com.au/services/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-support

CHILD PROTECTION (DHHS)

Child protection (DHHS)

This website provides information regarding the role and services provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Child Protection unit.

providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/child-protection

CHILD SUPPORT

Department of Human Services (Child Support)
Information on this website includes the child-support assessment process, child-support online estimators, options for the payment and collection of child support, issues when children or parents lived outside Australia and support for people affected by family violence.

New applications for child support can be made online from this page.
humanservices.gov.au/individuals/separated-parents

Child Support Forms
This page provides links to child support forms including Application to Change your Assessment – Special Circumstances, Application for Post Separation Income to be Excluded, Child over 18 in full-time secondary education, Child Support Agreement form, Estimate of Income for use in child support assessment, Non-agency payment details.
humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/child-support

Child Support Guides
A parent’s guide to child support, containing a range of information to help parents understand the child support scheme:
humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/parents-guide-child-support

A technical guide to the Australian child support system containing information about the scheme, child support assessments, registrable maintenance liabilities, the rules relating to objections, reviews, appeals and Court applications under the child support legislation, and options for collection of child support payments:
guides.dss.gov.au/child-support-guide

COURTS

Family Court of Australia
Information available includes daily Court lists, online forms, downloadable brochures, Court filing fees, costs, judgements, legislation, contact details. Contains a wide range of useful information and resources for separated parents and couples, kids and young people and grandparents and other family members including issues arising upon separation, divorce, child related issues, family violence, property and financial matters and the Court process.
familycourt.gov.au

Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Information available includes daily Court lists, online forms, downloadable brochures, Court filing fees, costs, judgements, legislation, contact details. Contains a wide range of useful information and resources for separated parents and couples, kids and young people and grandparents and other family members including issues arising upon separation, divorce, child related issues, family violence, property and financial matters and the court process. Applications for divorce can be made online through the website.
federalcircuitcourt.gov.au

Commonwealth Courts portal
Access to your family law matter online. From this site you can see a list of documents filed and Orders made, file court documents online, see upcoming Court dates.
comcourts.gov.au

Magistrates Court of Victoria
Information available includes daily Court lists, online forms, legislation, contact details. Contains a range of information regarding intervention orders, personal safety intervention orders and Court support services.
mcv.vic.gov.au

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Family Relationship Centres
This website provides general information about ways you can reach agreement about your parenting and property issues without attending court. The Advice Line also provides phone information and referrals: 1800 050 321

familyrelationships.gov.au/home

Arbitration
The Alternative Courtroom
A fee paying arbitration service, offering separating couples an alternative to a Court determined outcome. Jack Campbell is an arbitrator on this website.

alternativecourtroom.com.au

Arbitration and Mediation
AIFLAM – The Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators
An independent body that promotes and offers training in both Family law arbitration and mediation. Jacky Campbell is a member of AIFLAM and is an arbitrator on this website.

aiflam.org.au

FAMILY VIOLENCE

Intervention orders
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria can make intervention orders to protect people who have experienced violent or threatening or abusive behaviour.

mcv.vic.gov.au/intervention-orders
Support services
A wide range of services are available to offer information and support for those experiencing or have experienced family violence.

1800 RESPECT National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Service

National 24/7 phone and online referral, information and support service for men, women and children.
1800respect.org.au

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria
Not-for-profit state wide resource centre that provides training, publications, research and other resources of those experiencing (or who have experienced) family violence, and practitioners and service organisations who work with family violence survivors.

dvrcv.org.au/help-advice

Safe Steps
Emergency accommodation, 24 hour crisis line, referral, information and support services for women and children.

safesteps.org.au

No To Violence – Men’s Referral Service
Confidential telephone service provided for men by men.

1300 766 491
ntvmrs.org.au

Mensline
Telephone and online support, information and referral for men with family and relationship concerns.

1300 78 99 78
mensline.org.au

FINANCIAL MATTERS / PROPERTY SETTLEMENT

Family Court Website
This website of the Family Court provides information regarding financial matters, including reaching agreement without going to Court, spousal maintenance and steps to be undertaken if you agree, or don’t agree, about property and finance matters.

familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Family Court of Australia website
This page on the website of the Family Court provides information regarding a party’s obligation to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances and how to complete a Financial Statement, which must be filed with the Court if a party is seeking a property settlement, spousal maintenance, child support or financial enforcement.

familycourt.gov.au

 

FINANCIAL COUNSELLING

Family Mediation Centre
Financial difficulties arise for a whole range of reasons including separation or inability to manage figures or face conflict. FMC’s financial counselling service is free, confidential and delivered by professionals.

mediation.com.au/how-we-can-help/financial-help/financial-counselling-2/

 

INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT (HELPLINES)

Beyond Blue
This website includes information and support to help members of the community to achieve their best possible mental health. It provides contact information for targeted national helplines and websites as well as support groups and online forums.
beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites

Lifeline
This website provides information for those experiencing a personal crisis and gives access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. It also provides tool kits and referrals to online peer support forums.
lifeline.org.au

 

LEGISLATION

Austlii
This website provides access to legislation and Rules, including:

  • Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – the main legislation covering family law disputes
  • Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) – rules governing the court process in the Family Court of Australia
  • Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 (Cth) – rules governing the court process in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth) – legislation about the calculation of child support
  • Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1989 (Cth) – legislation about the collection of child support
  • Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) – legislation dealing with family violence and intervention orders

austlii.edu.au

LGBTIQ SUPPORT SERVICES

Gender Help for Parents
Website to help parents find information and services for issues relating to children’s gender identity.

genderhelpforparents.com.au

Drummond St – Queerspace
Services provided include individual, couple, and whole of family counselling, relationship and parenting support services, and assistance to victims of family violence for LGBTIQ people.

ds.org.au/our-services/queerspace

Qlife
A national counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ people. It offers a support line as well as web-counselling through an online chat.

qlife.org.au

PROFESSIONAL BODIES

Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
The Family Law Section is a professional association for family law practitioners. Their website provides general information for the public about family law and family lawyers.
familylawsection.org.au

Law Institute of Victoria
The Law Institute of Victoria is the peak body for the Victorian legal profession. Their website includes general information for the public about the law and lawyers in Victoria.
liv.asn.au

Australian Institute of Conveyancing
The Australian Institute of Conveyancing is the peak professional body representing licensed conveyancers in Victoria. Their website provides information regarding where to locate the services of an AIC member near you.
aicvic.com.au

Australian Property Institute
The Australian Property Institute is the leading membership organisation for property professionals. Their website provides information with respect to qualified and experienced property professionals who can assist in your matter, for example by valuing your property.
api.org.au

International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL)
The IAFL is a worldwide association of lawyers who are recognised as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.This website can help you find an experienced family lawyer in Australia or overseas.
iafl.com

Victorian Bar
The Victorian Bar is the professional association of barristers in Victoria. The website provides information about the role of a barrister and includes profiles for all Victorian barristers.
vicbar.com.au

SUPERANNUATION AND
SUPERANNUATION INFORMATION
REQUEST FORMS

These website pages provide access to the Superannuation Information Kit, which provides the forms you need, being the Form 6 Declaration, Superannuation Information Request Form and the Superannuation Information Form, to obtain information from the Trustee of an eligible superannuation plan in order to value a superannuation interest.

Family Court of Australia website
familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance/superannuation/

Federal Circuit Court website
federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fccweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance/superannuation/superannuation

Note: many superannuation funds provide their own version of these forms and/or online fact sheets and booklets regarding the valuation and splitting of superannuation for family law purposes.

SURROGACY

Family Court Website
This website of the Family Court provides information regarding financial matters, including reaching agreement without going to Court, spousal maintenance and steps to be undertaken if you agree, or don’t agree, about property and finance matters.

familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance

CONTACT
Level 2
535 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000 Victoria Australia

PO Box 13172
Law Courts
8010 Victoria Australia

DX 364 Melbourne

Telephone
61 3 9248 5800

Facsimile
61 3 9248 5899

Email
enquiries@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

Website
fortefamilylawyers.com.au