Welcome to our new Family Lawyers

June 18, 2018

Paterson & Dowding are delighted to welcome two new staff to the team, Patricia Schrape and Ursula Stevens.

Patricia joins us as a lawyer. She has experience in a range of parenting matters such as care arrangements, adoptions and relocations as well as financial and property related matters including settlements involving complex business and trust structures.

Ursula joins us from Slater & Gordon as a lawyer. She has experience in all aspects of Family Law.

Patricia and Ursula are both welcome and valuable additions to our team of experienced family and divorce lawyers


Start the new financial year with the right family advice – $350p/h Initial consultations

June 16, 2018

Let us write the next chapter of your history with you. With the end of financial year approaching you may be thinking about managing your relationships in the year ahead. Let us help you to get your life back on track – for you and your family.

Contact us today. We are offering a special rate for initial consultations of $350+GST per hour (selected practitioners only) if booked between 18 June and 20 July.

Should I move in with my new partner?

May 31, 2018

So you have separated and you are wondering if you should start living with your new partner. Will this affect your claim for property settlement and/or spousal maintenance?

The simple answer is “it depends”.

The legislation says that if you begin living with another person, the Family Court must take into account the “financial circumstances relating to the cohabitation” as a relevant factor when considering your property settlement, or claim for spousal maintenance.

However, the question whether the financial circumstances of your cohabitation with your new partner will actually have an impact upon your claims, will depend on the actual financial arrangements you put in place, i.e. who pays for what.

Note that the legislation refers to you living with “another person”, not necessarily a new de-facto or married spouse. If you move in with say a parent, a flat mate or friend, the Family Court will only be interested to look at the financial circumstances of your cohabitation, not any other aspects of your relationship. Different considerations will apply if you re-marry and begin living with your new spouse. Different considerations may also apply if you enter into a new de-facto relationship and you begin living together.

It is generally preferable not to start living with a new partner before final property settlement because it adds to the factors the Court must consider when assessing your claim. Your partner might find that he or she must disclose his or her financial position to your ex. You may not wish to embroil your new partner in your dispute in this way. However, this may not be a real obstacle to you moving in with your new partner, if it suits you and your new partner to do so. You case simply becomes a little more complicated.

Family Lawyers Run for a Reason 2018

May 29, 2018

Some of the team from Paterson & Dowding Family Lawyers & Mediators braved the cold and wet weather on Sunday and slipped on their running shoes for the 4km HBF Run for A Reason. All of the team said they enjoyed taking part in such a great Perth community event. Well done Team P&D!

P&D join other lawyers in the Law Access Walk for Justice

May 15, 2018

Happy National Pro Bono Day! To celebrate, some of our staff joined other members of the legal community this morning for the Law Access Walk for Justice 2018. The event celebrates the pro bono work of the legal profession of Western Australia and raises funds for Law Access who matches individuals and community organisations seeking legal assistance with pro bono lawyers. To find out what other events are on for Law Week visit The Law Society of Western Australia website.


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