Our services

Accredited divorce & separation lawyers Melbourne

Our highly-trained family lawyers are here to help make your separation or divorce process as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2021Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2022Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2023
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Carew Counsel Solicitors staff in discussion at meeting table
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Specialist family law firm

We have 40+ years of experience dealing with family law matters.

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Client focused

Get the help, guidance, and legal support you need to move forward.

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Commendable service

We’re ranked in the top five family law firms in Melbourne.

Open and upfront

We will clearly outline expectations and a quote for legal fees following your initial consultation.

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Transition to a new chapter in your life with our expert divorce lawyers

Divorce is the legal process that formally ends a marriage, and addresses issues such as the division of assets, spousal support, and, if applicable, child custody and support. Before you can apply for divorce, you need to have a 12-month period of separation to demonstrate the irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

At Carew Counsel, we understand that separation and divorce can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on the whole family. There can be even more complexities if children are involved. The good news is, you’re not alone. Our experienced family lawyers are here to support you through the journey, advocating for your rights to ensure you get the outcome you deserve.

Our awards and memberships

Family law services

Get the help you need to finalise your divorce or separation

Our separation and divorce services cover a range of family matters you may encounter during the process. We’ll tailor our services to match your needs so that we can settle your family law matter as soon as possible.

Separation & divorce proceedings

Our divorce lawyers will provide support, guidance, and legal advice, with the aim of finding a resolution without the matter going to family court. 

Financial & property settlement

Deciding how to split assets after a separation can lead to disputes between parties; we can help formalise a financial settlement to give you peace of mind.

Parenting matters

Like you, we have your children’s best interests at heart and will do everything to make this part of the process as smooth and agreeable as possible. 

Mediation

If any disputes arise, we can represent you in mediation or serve as the mediator to negotiate terms and find a mutual resolution outside of family court.

Make an enquiry

Get started by discussing your situation with a family law expert.
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When to seek legal advice from a family law firm

Going through a separation or divorce is a major life change that can leave you feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out how to move forward. Engaging a family lawyer at the earliest stage can help put your mind at ease, as they can offer tailored legal advice, answer any questions you have, and guide you through the separation or divorce process.

Our accredited family law specialists are highly trained divorce lawyers, and can support you from a legal perspective, as well as a personal one.

Benefits of engaging our Melbourne divorce lawyers

Making contact with a family lawyer is the first step towards a new life for you and your family. Let us take some of the weight off your shoulders by mapping out the entire process and guiding you through one step at a time. Here are some other benefits of choosing Carew Counsel:

  • In-depth knowledge of the Family Law Act and divorce law
  • Cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs
  • Resolve the majority of cases in-house to avoid issues progressing to family court
  • Convenient, city-based location as well as Zoom options for flexible consultations
  • Achieve the best outcome for your family law matters, such as property settlement and child support
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Getting started

Our solution-focused process

1

Make an enquiry

Tell us about your situation and a member of our team will match you with the best family law expert based on your needs.

2

Meet with a family law expert, online or in person

During a 90-minute paid session, a family lawyer with experience in your needs will ask you more about your situation so they can determine the best path forward.

3

Receive a roadmap to resolution

Your appointed family lawyer will explain each step of your tailored roadmap and provide a quote for ongoing services.

The Carew Counsel team together
success stories

Client testimonials

Our reviews are a testament to how much we care about our clients and strive to achieve the best possible outcome.

"I would like to thank and acknowledge all the team at Carew Counsel Solicitors for representing me in my recent financial settlement matter. I highly recommend that you engage Carew Counsel Solicitors to represent you in your family law matter."

Frank G
Melbourne

"10 Stars! Very happy & relieved that I chose Alex Carew & Carew Counsel for a family member in an extremely concerning & complicated Family Court/child protection matter. Highly professional, ethical, respectful, knowledeable, hard working, strategic, collaborative, communicative, caring, compassionate & child & family welfare focused. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us protect our little child."

Cygnet S
Melbourne

"In what was a difficult time to go through, I'm thankful that I had the team at Carew in my corner. I received sound advice all the way through the process and felt proud of the dignified way that my case was being responded to. I would certainly recommend Madison and the team at Carew for their professionalism, experience, integrity and dedicated service."

Scott M
Melbourne

"I highly recommend Carew Counsel Solicitors for anyone seeking a dedicated and knowledgeable solicitor for family law matters. Madison Ogilvie excelled in her communication, ensuring I was kept informed every step of the way. Although it got stressful, Madison's professionalism was top-notch."

Shawn C
Melbourne

Why choose Carew Counsel

Trusted family lawyers

Our award-winning team of family lawyers have 40+ years of separation and divorce experience.

Solution-focused

We save you time, stress, and money by settling as many cases outside of the family law court.

We go the extra mile

Underneath each lawyer is a caring human committed to helping you achieve your desired outcome.

Upfront quotes

We’re transparent about our legal fees and tailor our quotes to the services you need.

Meet the team

Meet your team of separation and divorce lawyers, Melbourne

Frequently asked questions

Browse our frequently asked questions about the divorce and separation process.

What is the process for obtaining a divorce in Australia?

According to the Family Law Act, there is no requirement of fault to get a divorce, which is granted once an irretrievable breakdown of marriage is demonstrated by a period of twelve months of separation. Parties may be separated for twelve months despite the fact they continue to live under one roof, though additional evidence is required to corroborate this.

Once family law court proceedings have been finalised, the property settlement must be commenced within twelve months. Some of our clients choose to finalise all financial arrangements prior to the divorce procedure but every case is different. When the court is satisfied that all criteria for a divorce have been met, then one will be granted on the basis of there being no appeal. It will then become absolute in a month, after which time you can remarry.

When children under legal age are involved in the case, the matter can be a little more complex. For children over 18, court presence is not required and the matter will be dealt with in your absence. If, however, this is not the case and there are children under the age of 18 involved, the court will not grant divorce until matters relating to children have been taken care of.

How do you help couples through separation?

If you and your former partner are amicable, we can support you through the dividing of assets and any other matters without you having to attend family court. If a mutual agreement isn’t possible, we can represent you at mediation or at the family law courts if litigation is required.

How much does a divorce cost in Victoria?

Divorce costs vary from family to family depending on your situation and whether you need additional services (such as settling other family law issues, appealing an application, or attending court). A standalone divorce application costs $1060 or $350 if either party is entitled to apply at a reduced rate. If you choose to engage a lawyer, there will be legal fees to pay on top of your application fee, the cost of which will vary depending on the lawyer’s experience, the services you require, and the price structure (such as fixed fee or hourly). At Carew Counsel, we offer competitive fixed fee rates for most divorce and separation cases and strive to reach a settlement without the need to attend court.

Do I need a lawyer to get divorced in Australia?

While you don’t need to hire a lawyer to get divorced in Australia, seeking legal advice is often recommended, especially if there are complex issues involved or you need to arrange things like child support, spousal maintenance, or financial settlement. A lawyer can guide you through the process, ensure you complete the divorce application accurately, negotiate settlements, and provide legal advice tailored to your situation.

When can I apply for a divorce?

In Australia, you can apply for a divorce once you have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. During this time, you and your spouse may be living separately but under the same roof, as long as you have effectively separated your lives.

After the 12-month separation, you can file an Application for Divorce with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. You can apply for divorce jointly with your spouse if you both agree on the terms of the divorce or solely.

In most cases, attending a court hearing is not required. If the application is straightforward and all legal requirements are met, the court may grant the divorce without a hearing.

If you have been married for less than a year, you can only apply for a divorce if you meet certain exceptions, such as attending counselling or receiving an exemption from the court.

How long does it take to get divorced?

The general timeframe for a divorce to be finalised is around 4 months, starting from when you lodge the divorce application to when the court issues a divorce order. If there are children’s matters or financial settlements to take into account, the timeframe is likely to be longer.

Do I need to attend court to formalise a separation?

Formalising a separation does not necessarily require attending court in Australia. It is a personal decision whereby you and your spouse or de facto partner choose to no longer be in a relationship. However, for parenting orders or divorce applications, you will need to have a court formalise these.

Knowledge Centre

Our Melbourne family law office

03 9670 5711
Level 10, 313 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5:30 pm
Wilson Parking on La Trobe St
Complete the enquiry form below and a member of our team will contact you and provide you with further information.
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