Family Law

Family Lawyer Central Coast

Are you experiencing the hardships involved in a relationship breakup? Do you need expert legal advice regarding parenting issues? Or how your property gets divided?

A marriage or relationship breakdown is considered to be one of the most stressful situations that you may encounter in your lifetime.

A family lawyer on the Central Coast can guide you through this difficult time through providing expert legal advice. Linda Emery & Associates is a family lawyer serving the Central Coast with over 30 years experience and can assist you during this challenging time in your life. 

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Divorce Papers With Rings On Top — Linda Emery & Associates in Gosford, NSW

If you are applying for divorce, the court will need to know several factors surrounding your relationship.

 At Linda Emery & Associates we can advise you on how to proceed, as well as provide further advice on the information you need to provide in court, including:

A Binding Financial Agreement is one method to formalise a family law property settlement. This can be done whether it is the breakup of a marriage or defacto relationship.

To be enforceable this agreement must comply with precise rules and thus requires independent legal advice for both parties. At Linda Emery & Associates, we can provide you with legal advice with making binding financial agreements.

A Binding Financial Agreement, or BFA, is a document that sets out the arrangement for the division of assets in the event that a couple separates. It can be entered into before marriage, during a marriage or after a divorce, before a de facto relationship, during a de facto relationship or after the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

Requirements of a Binding Financial Agreement

In accordance with Australian Family Law, a BFA needs to meet the following conditions:

Termination of a Binding Financial Agreement

A BFA can be terminated under the following circumstances:

The termination agreement must be entered into by all parties, and each party must have received independent legal advice.

The law will recognise your relationship if you and your partner – live together in a de facto relationship as partners on a domestic basis for a qualifying period or have a close personal relationship which is between two adult persons, whether or not related by family, where one or other provides domestic support and personal care, which must not be for fee or reward.


The Family Law Act now applies to de facto relationships as well as marriages. You are able to seek spousal maintenance if you cannot support yourself and if your partner is able to pay maintenance to you. We can provide you with advice on how to pursue such a claim.

When undergoing separation, care must be taken to ensure that as little impact is made on any children involved. Reaching an agreement with your ex-partner is often the simplest way to determine a parenting arrangement. If this isn’t possible, our team can guide you through the process of applying to the court for orders if an agreement cannot be reached.


A parenting plan is a written agreement that sets out parenting arrangements for children. It is not legally enforceable, as opposed to a parenting order, which is made by the Court. A parenting plan is worked out and agreed upon jointly and can avoid you and your former partner  from going to court.

Divorce Contract - Family Lawyers in Central Coast

If you are unable to financially support yourself after a separation, you may be eligible for spousal maintenance. We can provide you with expert legal advice to ensure that you claim what you are entitled to.

Spousal maintenance is a weekly payment made to support the other spouse. It is made under recognition of the mutual responsibilities each member of a marriage or de facto relationship has to the other. Spousal maintenance applies throughout Australia. It takes into consideration any or all of the following factors:

These factors are by no means exhaustive – the courts have a degree of discretion and flexibility.

Is Spousal Maintenance The Same As Child Support?

This is a common confusion. In fact, Spousal Maintenance is assessed separately from Child Maintenance or Child Support. It is purely built around support for one partner from another.

Arranging how property will be divided after a separation involves several key steps. Assets and contributions made by each party must be determined to ensure the property is settled fairly. In this situation, Linda Emery can help you to understand your rights and the most suitable option for your property settlement.

Parties to a case have a duty to make timely, full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to the issues in dispute. Parties should promptly exchange copies of documents in their possession or control relevant to an issue in the dispute before and during a case.


Skilled family mediation seeks to help both parties reach an agreement outside of the courts. Mediation is done with the understanding that there may be anger and hurt on both sides, and that an agreement will be hard to reach.

Family mediation applies the rule and protection of the law in a sensitive and effective way. As experts in this field, we offer a sound and experienced route to settlement. This can help avoid excessive court costs and reduce the time it takes to reach an agreement – mediation can often last weeks rather than months.

Mediation is a way for both parties to move on with their lives, and a can be a way to reduce the trauma of separation.

About Our Family Lawyer, Linda Emery

When you’re navigating the many difficulties of a marriage or relationship breakdown, a family lawyer can help guide the process and offer expert advice going forward. Linda Emery is highly experienced in the field of family law, serving clients throughout Gosford and the Central Coast for over thirty years. She is committed to keeping up to date with changes in legislation and carries outstanding knowledge, care and empathy which truly sets her apart.

Throughout her years of experience, Linda has branched out to cover estate planning, business law and conveyancing, and is equipped with the expertise and professionalism needed to assist clients in navigating a range of legal issues. She strives to ensure every client is given the support they need to understand their circumstances and any potential legal proceedings. With her friendly, thorough and communicative approach, Linda strives to meet each of her clients where they are, consider their situation and needs, and ultimately help them achieve the best outcomes.

As you’re guided through the complexities of family law, you can expect the following:

Whether you’re putting together a pre-marriage agreement or facing a divorce, contact Linda Emery, your family lawyer on the Central Coast. To learn more about your options and how our legal team can help, search the options shown below.

Contact The Leading Family Lawyers on the Central Coast

If you are separating from your partner, whether married or a defacto partner you may need advise on how to divide your property. It is important that you know of the time constraints and other relevant guidelines. For example, any court orders must be applied for within one year from the date of divorce finalisation or 2 years from the date of separation if a defacto relationship.

You may also be eligible to apply for spousal maintenance. At Linda Emery & Associates we are family lawyers on the Central Coast with over 35 years experience and we are here to help.

For legal advice surrounding filing for divorce or a property settlement, get in touch with the Linda Emery & Associates team today by phone on 02 4323 4766, by email or by using our contact form to get in touch with our legal team in Cenrtal Coast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team is experienced in family law, estates, conveyancing as well as several other key areas. Most people will need to use a solicitor at some point in their lives, which is why at Linda Emery & Associates, we aim to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Family matters can happen at any point in life. It is important to seek help as soon as soon as possible. Whether you’re considering separating or are already separated, Linda Emery & Associates is here to help you.

The general consensus is that each party covers the cost of their own legal fees incurred in family law court matters. Unlike other legal proceedings, these costs do not follow the event.

While going to the courts is sometimes necessary to settle a dispute, it also requires time, money, and emotional strength. At Linda Emery, we can advise you on the best course of action for an amicable and beneficial outcome for all. 

 Linda Emery & Associates can help settle a parental arrangement dispute, taking into account the emotional and physical needs of your child or children.

If children are involved in a relationship breakdown, you can protect them by using self-control when speaking about the other party, avoiding name-calling and blame, striving to resolve conflicts positively and with compromise, avoiding making your children a go-between, and working on developing a parenting plan that suits all parties.

A family lawyer handles legal matters concerning relationships, including marriage, de facto relationships, divorce, spousal maintenance, child support, parenting arrangements and property settlement. They can provide legal advice, guide you through the process and help file documents. 

In Australia, family law is primarily governed by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). It deals with family-related issues and the legal processes surrounding them. When a dispute arises, parties are required to try and resolve it through family dispute resolution services. If resolution cannot be achieved, the matter may proceed to court.

At Linda Emery & Associates, we have 40 years of legal experience, and we offer a range of family law services, from divorce proceedings to the creation of Binding Financial Agreements and the facilitation of parenting agreements. We understand the intricacies of dealing with de facto relationships and can help with property settlements and spousal maintenance. We can also manage Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) for your protection. Contact us to learn more.

In Australian family law, certain time limits apply. For divorce settlements, you have one year from the date of your divorce becoming final to file an application for property settlement or spousal maintenance. For de facto relationships, you have two years from the end of the relationship. However, there are exceptions where the court may grant leave to apply for more time.

Timeframes for family court matters can vary based on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. An uncontested divorce typically takes about four months to become final after the application is filed. More complex matters, such as those involving property disputes, take longer. Contact our family lawyers for more information.

Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, known as a mediator, helps the disputing parties negotiate and reach an agreement. In family law, this process is used to resolve disputes over issues like property division and parenting arrangements. The mediator doesn’t make decisions but facilitates conversation and guides the parties towards a mutually beneficial resolution. In Australia, it’s typically required to attempt mediation before taking a matter to court.

A divorce can be granted if the marriage has broken down irretrievably, as proven by a separation of at least 12 months. Either spouse can file for divorce, or both can file jointly. If there are no children under 18 and the divorce is unopposed, the applicant may not have to attend court. If the court is satisfied that the marriage has ended and appropriate arrangements have been made for the children, the divorce will be granted. 

A parenting order is a legally enforceable arrangement for children made by the court that outlines the responsibilities and obligations of each parent regarding the upbringing of their child or children. It provides a comprehensive structure for parenting arrangements and can encompass a wide range of elements. Primarily, parenting orders may stipulate with whom the child will live and who the child will spend time with. This can include specific days, times, holidays and special occasions.

Breaching a parenting order is a serious matter and can result in various penalties. If there are consistent issues with the enforcement of a parenting order, parties can seek further legal assistance or, in some circumstances, return to court. As every family’s situation is unique, it is advised to seek professional legal advice when dealing with parenting orders. 

Contact Linda Emery & Associates for expert advice.

Linda Emery

Linda Emery

Linda Emery has been a local Central Coast resident for 37 years owning and operating her own Law Firm on the Central Coast since 1990. Linda is committed to supporting local businesses & Central Coast residents. Linda is a member of the NSW Law Society, Central Coast Law Society, PEXA (the electronic conveyancing platform) and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers. Linda undertakes work in Family Law, Conveyancing, Estates, Criminal Law and Court Appearances. Linda welcomes all new clients.

For legal advice regarding any of the above information please contact our friendly and expert team at Linda Emery and Associates on 02 4323 4766 today!


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