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Supported. Understood. Defended.

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and we’ll tell you how we can help.

We’ll be with you throughout the entire process.

Any process involving the family court can be stressful and confusing.

West Coast Legal will support you throughtout the entire process and make things easier.

(08) 9325 3334 Book appointment 

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Time. Money. Emotional energy.

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Every situation is easier when you have guidance.

Select what best matches your circumstances below for some more information.

Your team


Professional and caring lawyers

Tannis Arnold
Partner/Director

Hello, I know it can be a stressful and worrying time for you when going through a divorce or separation. I am committed to providing you with personalised and effective advice. I am also passionate to obtain the best outcome for you at a cost effective and affordable price.

Tannis Arnold

More about me >
Teresa Sutherland
Partner/Director

Hello, I place the highest priority on giving you personalised service and to care and listen to your needs. I am also committed to avoid unnecessary expenses and protracted court proceedings by facilitating mediation services through negotiation.

Teresa Sutherland

More about me >

Real reviews


From people we’ve helped

Tannis, Teresa and team have really helped me to sort out my separation, property settlement and divorce.

I highly recommend them to anyone seeking assistance with any family legal matters. They are very professional, attentive and caring team who manage to achieve a very successful outcome. Thank you
Ana Calado
Stephanie has provided a professional and efficient service.

Everything has gone smoothly, and everything was resolved in a timely fashion.
Mark Peters
I have seen Tannis several times for legal advice for the last 2 years. Until early this year I finally decided to go through with my legal separation.

Tannis was so understanding and accommodating. During this emotional and stressful process she made it easy for me. I highly recommend Tannis and the team.
Tessa Coronel

Why choose West Coast Legal?


 

We negotiate with both sides to avoid costly litigation and provide a better outcome for you.

(08) 9325 3334 Book appointment

We are Perth based Family Lawyers and want to help you find the best solution for your children, financial and property issues. If you are going through a divorce or separation and not sure what to do next, WE CARE. We know that this can be a stressful and worrying time and can offer you personal and professional advice to help you through.

We pride ourselves on providing personal services to our clients. We take the time to listen to fully understand your needs so that we can provide the best solution to your Family Law issue.

We negotiate with both sides to avoid costly litigation and provide a better outcome for you.

Our frequently asked questions:

Do I need a Family Lawyer?

Getting advice from a family lawyer early on can help you avoid unnecessary costs, and save you lots of time. A family lawyer can offer you tailored advice to step you through the confusing Family Law system and help you understand the process off a property settlement, divorce and child custody arrangements.

What is the difference between a ‘de-facto’ relationship and marriage?

A de-facto relationship is when two people live together and have committed themselves to each other, but they are not married. The Family Court will consider a relationship to be de-facto in nature if you and your partner have been together for at least two years, however there can be exceptions to this. If you are not sure if you are in a de-facto relationship, we suggest you seek advice from a Family Lawyer as this may influence your rights in relation to a property settlement. 

How long do I have to wait for a divorce?

You may apply for a divorce if you have been separated from your spouse for a minimum of 12 months and 1 day. There are two ways to apply for a divorce: (1) by joint application or (2) by sole application.​​​​​​​ 

If I am separated, am I divorced?

No, in order to be divorced you must first file a divorce application. You may still be considered separated even if you continue to live under one roof. If you are separated and still living together, we suggest you speak to a family lawyer to obtain legal advice, here at West Coast Legal we have a team of Perth divorce lawyers who can assist you.​​​​​​​ 

Does divorce sort out arrangements for my children and property?

No, a divorce is simply a process of legally ending a marriage. It does not sort out any child custody or care arrangement; or determine who gets what property. You may make property arrangements, also known as a property settlement, and arrangements for the care of your children before or after your divorce. However, certain time frames do apply so we suggest getting legal advice from a Perth family lawyer.​​​​​​​ 

Am I entitled to Spousal Maintenance?

Under the law, if a person cannot meet their own reasonable day-to-day expenses from their own income or assets, then their spouse or ex de-factor partner has a responsibility to help them.

Spousal maintenance is determined by several factors including the extent to which the other spouse is unable to support themselves due to:

  1. Who has the care and control of the child/ren of the marriage, who are below the age of 18 years;
  2. Age or physical or mental incapacity in relation to gainful employment; or
  3. Any other adequate reason.​​​​​​​ 

Can I apply for spousal maintenance if I was in a de-facto relationship?

You may apply for spousal maintenance if you were in a de-facto relationship or married.​​​​​​​ 

Are there any time limits when applying for spousal maintenance?

If you want to apply for spousal maintenance, you must apply within 12 months of your divorce becoming final if you were married, or within 2 years of separation if  you were in a de facto relationship. There are some exceptions to these time limits, so seeking family law advice from a family lawyer is helpful​​​​​​​. 

Can I get a passport for my child if my ex-partner will not sign the application form?

Typically, a passport application form is required to be signed by both parents or guardians. If you have asked the other parent to sign the form and they haven’t, you will need to apply to the Family Court of Western Australia for a Court Order. We often help client’s with this issue at an affordable rate.​​​​​​​ 

Can I go on holiday with my children?

If there are current parenting orders or parenting arrangements in place, it is best to check these before making any plans. Even if there are no orders or arrangements, it may still be best to consult with a Perth family lawyer first. Taking your children on holiday without letting the other parent know will most likely lead to conflict and cause complications.​​​​​​​ 

Do you act for men and women?

Yes, we act for both men and women, mothers and fathers, and even grandparents.​​​​​​​ 

How do I get Child Support?

You and your ex-partner may come to an agreement about how much child support is to be paid. This can be enforced by a binding child support agreement.

If you are struggling to reach an agreement with your ex-partner about how much child support should be paid, then it is recommended you contact the Child Support Agency. The Child Support Agency will assist you by calculating the amount by considering the income of you and your ex-partner equally.​​​​​​​ 

Will a Family Violence Restraining Order (‘FVRO’) stop me from spending time with my children?

Sometimes a Family Violence Restraining Order (‘FVRO’) will protect a child, as well as the person who applied for the order. It is best practice to read the restraining order, as the court may have included conditions about what contact you have with the children. If you are not sure, you may contact a family lawyer to gain some assistance. If you contact your children, and they are protected by the restraining order, you may face serious consequences.

 What is a property settlement?

‘Property settlement’ is the legal term used to describe the act of dividing your property owned and acquired during the de facto relationship or marriage.

What is considered property in a property settlement?

There are many things that are considered property. Property includes things such as homes, cars, jewellery, shares, cryptocurrency, furniture, bank accounts and even our beloved cats and dogs.​​​​​​​ 

How do I get custody of my children?

In Australia we consider two things: who the child is to live with and who is to have parental responsibility of the child. Whilst both parents may have parental responsibility of the child, they may live primarily with one parent and spend, for example, weekend time with the other.

Parenting issues can be resolved in many ways such as by mediation. If you have attempted family dispute resolution and you still can’t reach an agreement, then you may apply to the Family Court of Western Australia for parenting orders. It is however compulsory that you attend family dispute resolution before applying to the Family Court.

If there is presence of family violence, or you suspect so, it is best to first consult a perth family lawyer to obtain legal advice.​​​​​​​ 

Can I relocate with my children?

If you are no longer with the children’s other parent, it is always best practice to first communicate your desire to relocate with them first otherwise a situation of high conflict can result. It is best to get the other parent’s consent first.

If you have attempted to talk to the other parent about moving, and you are unable to reach a decision between yourselves, we suggest you first attempt mediation. In the event mediation is not helpful, you may apply to the Family Court of Western Australia to have the Courts make a decision for you.

Must I go attend Family Dispute Resolution or can I just go straight to Court?

Yes, it is compulsory to first attempt Family Dispute Resolution before going to the Family Court. For example, you may attend mediation with your partner. Family Dispute Resolution is affordable, less stressful and less time consuming than going to Court. However, in some cases, such as in situations involving family violence, mediation may not be the best option. To find out what is the best, and safest, option for you and your children, we recommend speaking with a family lawyer.

What is mediation?

Mediation is when a specialist, known as the mediator, help parties to negotiate a resolution to a dispute they are facing. The mediator helps each party by facilitating an active discussion and promotes each party to discuss their own concerns and helps explore different avenues of resolution.​​​​​​​ 

Who is the best lawyer or law firm for my me?

All of our lawyers have vast experience in many areas of family law. All matters are overseen by our highly skilled staff members. We ensure great value for money, and offer affordable family law services.

Here at West Coast Legal we provide you with a personalised service with care, and we are committed to avoiding any unnecessary cost. Check out our Google reviews to hear from our past clients.​​​​​​​ 

What if I don’t live in Perth?

Not a problem! Although we are located in the Perth CBD, we can help you by arranging appointments by telephone, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. We have assisted clients all across Western Australia, from Joondalup to Claremont, Booragoon to Busselton.​​​​​​​ 

Call us now or make a booking.