Lighthouse Legal

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

We offer an initial consultation appointment at a discounted rate of $300 + GST. Before your session, we invite you to complete our intake form so that we don’t waste your consultation time gathering background information from you. During your meeting, we’ll be able to dive straight into the issues affecting you and come up with a strategy for how to move forward. We follow up our meeting with a brief letter of advice summarizing our discussion, and legal principles relevant to your situation. You can book your appointment through our portal by clicking the button above or call us at (08) 6154 0850 during office hours.

If you have recently separated from your partner or are thinking about it, we encourage you to download our free guide below and come to our free monthly information session. The session aims to provide you with a brief introduction to family law in Western Australia and top tips on getting yourself organised to make the best of your separation. We believe getting professional help at the start before things become messy is crucial to avoiding lengthy litigation or settling for less than you​ should.

 

If you are ready to book in, contact us for the details of our next session or search “Line Up Your Ducks” on Eventbrite to secure your seat.

We will explore all options with you and provide strategic advice on the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right choice for your family. In most instances, parties can make court orders by consent without setting foot in the Family Court.

You can, and many people choose to represent themselves in court for various reasons – particularly to save costs. However, this may be a false economy if you don’t fully understand the processes and implications and hire a lawyer to get you out of a mess that could have been avoided.

 

At Lighthouse Legal, we offer unbundled legal services to help manage legal costs, so you only engage us for the help you need.

The Family Court requires all parties to provide complete and frank disclosure of all relevant documents, including financial records, on an ongoing basis during proceedings. If you or your ex are deliberately withholding documents, the Court may impose severe consequences and penalties.​
There is no automatic starting point or presumption that the asset pool should be divided equally in all instances. The Court will assess each matter on its merit and will usually consider:
  • what the total asset pool is currently worth;
  • who made direct and indirect contributions toward the asset pool;
  • whether there need to be any adjustments made, and
  • whether the overall effect is reasonable in each case.
A parenting plan is a private agreement between parties and is not an order of Court While the Court may consider the terms of such a plan​ in making their decision, we recommend that any parenting plan be formalised through making orders by consent.

While it is good to gather your support network around you to help deal with the emotional aspects of your breakup, be wary of “legal” advice that isn’t coming from your lawyer. Each case is unique, and there are often differences in each family’s specific details, which means that documents prepared for your friend’s situation may not apply to yours.

We certainly can prepare an application for orders by consent, but we can only act for one of you as our client, which means​ that we would only meet with and take instructions from you and provide advice that is in your best interest. It is advisable that you and your ex seek independent legal advice separately from each other.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF OUR E-BOOK "LINE UP YOUR DUCKS"

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.