Lighthouse Legal

CLICK HERE TO Download Your Free Guide to Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Divorce Law - NAVIGATING YOUR SEPARATION WITH CONFIDENCE & KINDNESS

Relieving burden, reducing stress and finding a long-term resolution of respect. We’re your guiding light, offering you confidence, control and clarity during this challenging and tumultuous time. From the initial consultation, through the property settlements, children’s arrangements and the ongoing care and support—we’ll make your divorce as smooth and stress-free as possible.

WHAT WE DO

 

No matter which stage you’re at in your journey, we can help you tie loose ends, form a clear picture and achieve your desired outcome. Whether you need help compiling your financial documents for your divorce, you require legal assistance for negotiations, or you need family mediation services—we will guide you through the process each step of the way.

WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT

There are a lot of divorce lawyers in Perth that can facilitate your divorce. However, here at Lighthouse Legal—we do things differently. 

 

We understand that divorce impacts not only your relationship but all areas of your life. We consider the whole picture and have designed our packages to guide and support our clients. Through mental health services, financial assistance and relationship coaching—we do more than provide professional legal assistance, we help you find control in all aspects of your life.

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU

Divorce and separation are one of the most difficult life events you can experience. There are many questions, challenges and arrangements that arise throughout the process. Trying to embark on the divorce journey alone is no easy feat. Our divorce lawyers seek to shine the light on your path, helping you find clear direction to the resolution that’s right for you.

COST EFFECTIVE APPROACH

CHOOSE YOUR PACKAGE

We have all heard about Perth divorce lawyers being expensive, and this is often a source of added financial stress when going through a divorce or separation. This is not our approach at Lighthouse Legal. We have created fixed fee packages with varying price points to suit the level of support you need.

PERTH DIVORCE LAWYERS

HOW IT WORKS

In Australia, a divorce is granted on the basis of “no fault”. This means that the Family Court does not require a reason as to why the relationship ended. You and your spouse can apply for a divorce at any time after you have been separated for one year. You can apply for a divorce as a sole applicant, or jointly with your spouse, and all applications can now be submitted online via the court portal.  

 

While you are waiting to lodge your divorce application, you can get underway with negotiating and finalising your financial settlement, as well as make arrangements for your children’s living and care arrangements. The divorce or separation alone does not deal with your property or children and these matters can be dealt with before the divorce application, or in the case of a de facto relationship, at any time after separation. Our divorce lawyers will work with you to identify your goals to guide you to the right choices for your family and future.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO NEXT

READY TO GET STARTED?

01
15 Minute Discovery Call

Our process starts with a free 15-minutes initial phone consultation to assess your situation and provide you with preliminary guidance and advice.

02
Consultation

If you need detailed advice after our call, we can schedule a consultation at our office or via zoom call.

03
Identify the issues

We listen to your needs, determine your goals, and map out a strategy for your legal matter with you.

04
Set the Scope

Based on your goals, we will provide you with the scope of work to be covered at a fixed price we have for you.

05
Resolution

We work with you to negotiate and resolve your legal issues and formalise your settlement into legally binding documents.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO NEXT

READY TO GET STARTED?

01
15 Minute Discovery Call

Our process starts with a free 15-minutes initial phone consultation to assess your situation and provide you with preliminary guidance and advice.

02
Consultation

If you need detailed advice after our call, we can schedule a consultation at our office or via zoom call.

03
Identify the issues

We listen to your needs, determine your goals, and map out a strategy for your legal matter with you.

04
Set the Scope

Based on your goals, we will provide you with the scope of work to be covered at a fixed price we have for you.

05
Resolution

We work with you to negotiate and resolve your legal issues and formalise your settlement into legally binding documents.

ready to get started ?

Here’s what to do next

01

15 Minute Discovery Call
If you need a detailed advice after our call, we can schedule a consultation at our office or via zoom call.

03

Identify the issues
Based on your goals, we will provide you with the scope of work to be covered at a fixed price we are able to do this for.

05

Resolution
Our process starts with a free 15 minute initial phone consultation to assess your situation and provide you with preliminary guidance and advice.

02

Consultation
We listen to your needs, determine your goals, and map out a strategy for your legal matter with you.

04

Set the Scope
We work with you toward negotiating and resolving your legal issues and formalising your settlement into legally binding documents.

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Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

Faiza has been representing me for multiple Family court matters in and outside of the courts over the past year and has always been very honest and open about the best decisions and actions to take with the children’s best interest at heart.  I started in the Family Courts self-represented and it’s very hard to make good decisions during such an emotional time.  With Faiza’s help I have had very good outcomes in all matters. and it’s very hard to make good decisions during such an emotional time.  With Faiza’s help I have had very good outcomes in all matters.

Kirk H, WA

I take this opportunity to thank you very much for all the support and great effort that you always displayed, that makes a huge difference to us clients when we are suck in emotional and financial distress due to separation and divorce.

Carlotta T, WA

I found Faiza to be an admirable solicitor. Displaying extensive knowledge in Family Law, whilst showing compassion.

Tonya K, WA

Faiza’s professionalism and sharp legal mind are what she brings to each case and she fought for me with a ferocity that I myself lacked at times. I don’t wish a divorce on anyone, least of all a difficult one. However, if that is what is happening, I’d put all my bets on Faiza as my legal representative. Thank you, Faiza.

Kiran K, Singapore

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

Faiza has been representing me for multiple Family court matters in and outside of the courts over the past year and has always been very honest and open about the best decisions and actions to take with the children’s best interest at heart.  I started in the Family Courts self-represented and it’s very hard to make good decisions during such an emotional time.  With Faiza’s help I have had very good outcomes in all matters. and it’s very hard to make good decisions during such an emotional time.  With Faiza’s help I have had very good outcomes in all matters.

Kirk H, WA

I take this opportunity to thank you very much for all the support and great effort that you always displayed, that makes a huge difference to us clients when we are suck in emotional and financial distress due to separation and divorce.

Carlotta T, WA

I found Faiza to be an admirable solicitor. Displaying extensive knowledge in Family Law, whilst showing compassion.

Tonya K, WA

Faiza’s professionalism and sharp legal mind are what she brings to each case and she fought for me with a ferocity that I myself lacked at times. I don’t wish a divorce on anyone, least of all a difficult one. However, if that is what is happening, I’d put all my bets on Faiza as my legal representative. Thank you, Faiza.

Kiran K, Singapore

DIVIDING PROPERTY

DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS

Dividing assets and arranging financial settlements is an important step in settling a divorce. After the end of a marriage or de facto relationship, it is crucial that both parties come to an arrangement about what will happen to the property, or debts, acquired during the relationship. This will end the financial relationship between you and your spouse and allow both parties to have a sense of financial stability and certainty as you move forward. 

 

Although it can be very overwhelming when facing a divorce or separation, it is important to begin discussions about property arrangements as soon as possible after a divorce or separation has been decided. This ensures that the financial values of all assets and debts are most accurate at the time of separation and can be taken into account to achieve a fair settlement. If your family has a large asset pool, it is a good idea to get started with taking stock of all the assets, debts and values right away to save time and expense. If you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement about splitting your finances between yourselves and need the Family Court to make decisions, you must lodge your application within 12 months of your divorce being finalised or within 24 months from the date of separation if you were in a defacto relationship. 

 

This is often a complicated area of law and your situation may be different from others. We recommend talking with our divorce lawyers at Lighthouse Legal to ensure that you are headed in the right direction.

CHILDREN AND DIVORCE

FAMILY ARRANGEMENTS

Divorce and separation can be especially difficult when navigating changes in the living arrangements for the children of a relationship. The Family Court of Western Australia places the best interests of children at the forefront and requires parents to remain child focused while negotiating new care arrangements following a divorce or separation. 

 

While there is no deadline after divorce or separation for either party to bring an application for parenting arrangements to the Family Court, parties are required to attempt family dispute resolution with a qualified Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner first. Family Dispute Resolution encourages parents, or any other significant person in a child’s life, to participate in a mediation-style conference and discuss matters pertaining to a child’s care arrangements. In many cases, parties are able to reach agreements about the child’s living arrangements, and with the assistance of a family dispute resolution practitioner, such agreements can be drafted into a parenting plan. A parenting plan is not a legally binding document, but it does provide structure and clarity about the agreement between parents for their children. 

 

Family dispute resolution may not be appropriate in every situation and there are some exemptions where you can lodge court documents without attending family dispute resolution beforehand. If you are unsure, we recommend that you speak to our divorce lawyers about whether your situation would qualify for an exemption. 

 

With our network of professionally trained family mediators and dispute-resolution practitioners, we will connect you to the right person for your family. In our experience, family dispute resolution can have a very high success rate where both parents attend the session, and going to court can be avoided completely.  

 

Unfortunately, not every couple reaches a resolution and in such cases, a  Family Dispute Resolution Certificate will be issued. If you have already obtained this, our divorce lawyers will work with you to prepare the necessary documents for your parenting application to the Family Court and to represent you at court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce Law

If you have made a decision to divorce or separate from your spouse, be sure to communicate this clearly and make a note of the date. This will be relevant in calculating the 12-month period of separation before you or your spouse can lodge an application for divorce. If you have property or children together, it is a good idea to get some initial advice from a Perth divorce lawyer so that you can get your ducks in a row. Call our team now for a free discovery call.

While you should try to deal with your property matters soon after divorce or separation, this is not usually time sensitive and you should take the time needed to gather your documents and exchange financial disclosure with the other party. However, there are some instances where time is of the essence, and you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to secure your financial position. Examples of urgent property matters include potential bankruptcy proceedings, sale of a residential property that is in one party’s sole name, foreclosure by the bank for non-payment of the mortgage, large withdrawals from joint bank accounts that were not agreed upon and transferring assets out of the country. You may need to lodge an application to the Family Court of Western Australia and seek an urgent injunction to preserve your financial assets while you and your spouse work out how to divide the property.

Where you and your spouse have children under the age of 18 years old and are not able to come to an agreement about their care arrangements following your separation or divorce, you will need to attempt family dispute resolution with a qualified practitioner unless your circumstances justify an exemption. You will need a Family Dispute Resolution certificate before you can lodge an application for parenting arrangements at the Family Court.

Family court orders can be made through a decision of a judicial officer, such as a judge or magistrate, or by consent between the parties. It is common for people who have reached their own agreement about their financial settlement and children’s care arrangements to formalise their agreements in a consent order.

Once you or your spouse have communicated your intention to divorce or separate, you have to be separated for 12 months before you can lodge an application for divorce in Australia. Once your application is lodged, the timeline of the divorce process will vary depending on your situation.

There are court filing fees associated with lodging the divorce application in Western Australia. For the most accurate fees, check the Family Court of Western Australia website. If you are a concession card holder or you are facing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduction in the filing fees.

Each party to a divorce pays their own costs. Where you and your spouse have agreed to appoint any third-party specialists, such as a mediator or property valuer, the costs are generally shared equally by the parties. In some instances, the court may order that one party pays the costs of the other party, but this is in limited circumstances and should not be relied on to meet your own legal expenses and costs.

If you are a concession card holder, you may be eligible for a reduced filing fee when lodging your application for divorce. Otherwise, each party is expected to bear their own costs or share any joint costs, such as the appointment of a mediator or property valuer.

An application for divorce can be made as a sole application or a joint application. As there is a no-fault divorce system in Australia, you do not need the consent of the other party to lodge an application for divorce after a separation of 12 months. If you do make a sole application, you must ensure that your spouse is served with a copy of the divorce application before the court hearing date.

Once you and your spouse have made the decision to divorce, the ideal option is to tell the children together and to answer any questions they may have in a straightforward and age-appropriate manner. If it is impossible to tell the children jointly, set aside a time when neither you nor the children are emotionally heightened, explain that you and your spouse have decided to separate and allow them to lead the conversation through their own questions. Allow them some time to process the information as they may have questions in the following days about their changed living arrangements and how often they will see the parent who is moving out. Avoid making negative comments about your spouse or making promises that you may not be able to deliver on.

Contact Us

You have better things to do – an empire to build, little people to inspire. You focus on that – we can take care of the rest.


FIND US

Get in touch today to arrange an appointment with one of our Family Lawyers.

08 6154 0850

info@lighthouselegal.com.au

Unit 9, 478 William Street, Perth WA 6000
(We are facing Bulwer Street)

OLIVIA HERBERT

Olivia joined the Lighthouse Legal team in October 2022 as our Client Services officer and junior paralegal. Olivia graduated in 2020 after completing her Bachelor of Science degree from Murdoch University.

Olivia has also got a strong background in retail. Always armed with a warm smile, Olivia is enthusiastic about helping our clients through their separation journey.

 

NARESH GABRIEL

Naresh is the co-founder of Lighthouse Legal and the head of strategic partnerships.

As part of the team, Naresh plays a key role in ensuring our clients are connected to our network of collaborative professionals and partners so that our clients are supported holistically as they navigate their separation. Naresh is well known for thinking out of the box and coming up with innovative ways to deal with issues. He facilitates our client engagement experience and is always happy to speak to clients for their feedback about our operations or pricing structures.

As our resident social butterfly, he makes friends with virtually everyone, anywhere he goes. Outside the firm, Naresh is also the CEO and founder of Rai Energy, and a father of two pre-teen daughters.

 

 

Emma Neal

Emma graduated from Edith Cowan University and worked as a family lawyer at other law firms before joining our team in April 2022.

Emma recognises that most people going through a separation are completely overwhelmed and are just in need of simple, pragmatic and practical solutions. She brings her warmth and kindness to each client, and they know she's in their corner as they go through a major life transformation.

Emma is also a separation and divorce coach, helping individuals approaching the end of a marriage to navigate their way to positive and healthy relationship outcomes. Her approach enables clients to develop an empathetic understanding of the divorce process, and to move through it as quickly as possible.

Memberships:

  • Law Society of Western Australia
  • Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia


FAIZA GABRIEL

Having observed her parents go through a messy divorce as a teenager, Faiza knew early on that there had to be a better way and that her calling was to guide people in that direction. Since being admitted as a solicitor and barrister in 2008, she has worked predominantly in family law. Over the years, she has gained extensive experience in family law matters, including complex financial settlements and arrangements for children at the Family Court, before finally establishing her practice in 2020.

Lighthouse Legal is Faiza’s commitment to raise the bar for family law and to help her clients find safe passage through the storm. She provides the attention and the strategic advice necessary to help them move on with their lives.

Trained as a mediator and an independent children’s lawyer, Faiza listens without judgement and will tell you what you need to hear – not just what you want to hear – to help you get back on track.

Memberships:

 

  • Law Society of Western Australia
  • Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia
  • Women Lawyers of Western Australia

 

MEDIATION

Our family lawyers will always try to resolve a dispute through negotiation and mediation first if possible. Applying to the Family Court of Western Australia is time consuming, stressful and often expensive. We’d rather you not have to take things through the court system if it can be avoided.

CONSENT ORDERS

Parties who have negotiated an agreement in relation to their financial matters or parenting arrangements can formalize these into an Order of Court made by consent. Consent Orders have the same weight as orders made by judicial determination, without the lengthy litigation and expensive legal costs. This is the preferred route for most separating couples to finalise their rights and obligations toward each other at the end of their relationship.

Consent Orders can cover both parenting orders, such as who the children will live with and how often they will spend time with the other parent, and financial orders such as how the assets will be split, including real estate, superannuation and shares.

At Lighthouse Legal, we specialize in assisting you with negotiations with the other party so that you can reach a settlement amicably and efficiently. Our team of experienced, professional family lawyers are here to help.

FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS

Event the most amicable separation can get tense when it comes to the finances and this is often an area that is rife with power imbalances and misconceptions.

At Lighthouse Legal, our team is experienced in developing strategies to negotiate your financial settlement by exploring the range of options available to you. We advise you on what property arrangements would be considered fair and equitable, should the matter go to Court, and can refer you to our network of financial professionals for areas requiring specific expertise, to ensure you get the best outcome. We work closely with you to achieve an appropriate property settlement agreement as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

We can also advise you on alternative options such as Binding Financial Agreements and Binding Child Support Agreements.

PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS

We take a child-focused approach to ensure that you are fairly represented when it comes to resolving disputes about arrangements for your children. We are also equipped to deal with urgent parenting matters where a child needs to be recovered after being removed from their usual caregiver, or for restraining orders to prevent a child from being relocated without the consent of either parent.

Grandparents can also play an important role in a child’s life and we can advise you on where you stand if you are facing difficulties in spending time with your grandchildren.

DIVORCE & SEPERATION

When a marriage breaks down, it needs to be legally dissolved through an order of court. This Divorce is a separate legal process from dealing with the division of financial assets, parenting arrangements, spousal and child maintenance, and so on.

In Australia, there is only one ground by which you can prove that a marriage has broken down permanently: that you and your spouse have been separated for a period of at least 12 months. A couple may be considered to have separated even if they live under the same roof provided they have satisfied some requirements.

At Lighthouse Legal, we can assist you with reviewing your situation and advising if you have satisfied the requirements, as well as filing the application for you.

After the divorce application is submitted, a hearing date is set and, if your application is successful, your divorce order will be granted.

A defacto relationship begins without a marriage ceremony but defacto couples have almost the same rights as married couples, as well as the same responsibilities regarding finances and child care. There is no need for defacto couples to obtain an order for divorce when the relationship ends, but it is unwise if steps are not taken to legally finalise their financial or child custody arrangements.