News from our lawyers in Perth

Leaving A De Facto Relationship – What Are Your Rights?

July 18th, 2017

In Australia, de facto relationships are recognised by law.

When de facto couples split, they have similar financial rights and responsibilities as their married counterparts.  This includes property, spousal maintenance and child support – and just as married couples who are unable to reach agreement on financial and parenting matters when they separate apply to the Court for a decision, de facto spouses can also pursue a legal route.

A de facto relationship is one where two people who aren’t married to one another and who aren’t related to one another, live together in a genuine ‘marriage-like’ domestic situation.  For the purposes of family law and property settlement, a relationship is given de facto status when the couple has lived together for two years with same-sex relationships also considered to be de facto relationships. A relationship can also be given de facto status if you have a child together who has not attained the age of 18 years old or if the de facto partner who applies for the order made substancial contributions.


Congratulations to our new Associate

July 12th, 2017

Paterson & Dowding are delighted to announce that Chad Heslop has recently been appointed as an Associate. Chad joined us in August 2016 and practices in all areas of Family Law.

Parenting After Separation – What To Do Before Telling Your Children

June 27th, 2017

A family break-up can be a challenging, confusing, emotionally-charged and even chaotic time and it can be difficult to see a clear way forward.

However, once you have made the decision to separate, it will be hugely beneficial to everyone involved if you break things down into manageable, bite-size chunks.   By tackling things one step at a time, the situation won’t seem so overwhelming or insurmountable and you will be able to work out a way to progress.


7 Ways to Help Make Joint Custody Work

June 13th, 2017

Before we look at ways that parents can help make the care and living arrangements (formerly known as Child Custody) of their children work, it’s helpful to put some context around the discussion.


Tips to Stay Amicable Throughout Your Divorce

June 6th, 2017


Divorce is never easy.

It ranks as one of life’s most stressful events, so it’s natural that strong feelings and intense emotions will be involved.  Divorce is not something that goes away once the paperwork is signed and even if the couple who are getting divorced don’t have any children, a break-up always affects other family relationships.

For some people, an amicable divorce may seem impossible.  However difficult it may be, and however traumatic the relationship break-up has been thus far, it is ultimately easier and far less costly for everyone to work hard to try and keep things civil.

Here are some points to bear in mind to help you work towards an amicable solution: