Family lawyers Perth – we understand that family law matters are stressful.

Family Law

Family law services with expert guidance

Our experience and legal knowledge will help you to resolve your family law matter so that you and your family can move forward.

Family court lawyers Perth

We care about you and your family

We understand how difficult the process of separation and divorce can be on you and your family. The decisions you make during this period could affect you and your children for years to come.

As your family lawyer, we will help you navigate this difficult time and guide you towards a favourable outcome as quickly as possible.

We practise in all areas of de facto and matrimonial family law including property and related financial matters, child and parenting matters, spousal and partner maintenance, child support, restraining orders, post separation binding financial agreements and divorce.

As part of our dedication to finding cost-effective solutions for your matter, if appropriate in your circumstances, we may suggest mediation when the time is right.


Leading family lawyers

Experience matters

Our family lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.

For the past 25 years, we have helped clients achieve positive and lasting outcomes. Our team of legal professionals are experienced, dependable and approachable. We are here to provide you with clear legal advice and practical solutions that are tailored to your unique family law needs.

Your case is handled in-house by experienced lawyers.

You can rely on consistent legal representation. Work with the same experienced lawyer every step of the way, across all areas of your family law and divorce matter.

We are a boutique family law firm.

As a boutique law firm, we give your matter the individual attention it deserves no matter how straightforward or complex your circumstances.

Your outcome is our priority.

Perth Divorce Lawyers is a results-driven family law firm. We are here to help. Let us navigate you towards a time and cost-effective resolution.


Family law services

Guiding you on the journey to resolution

We are members of the Law Society of Western Australia, the Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia (FLPAWA), Family Law Section, Australian Institute for Family Law Arbitrators & Mediators (AIFLAM), Australian Mediation Association and Resolution Institute.

Whether you need assistance to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or legal representation in defended court proceedings, we are dedicated to resolving your matter by providing highly professional family law services.

Our family lawyers are able to advise you on your rights in relation to spousal maintenance.

You should seek legal advice to address any financial hardship you may be experiencing following the breakdown of your relationship.

Legally, a party to either a marriage or a de facto relationship (including same sex couples) may be able to seek ongoing financial assistance from the other party. This is referred to as spousal or partner maintenance and is separate from a party/parent’s obligation to pay child support for a child of the relationship.

The test is set out in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)  and the  Family Court Act  1997 (WA). The test considers why a party cannot support themselves adequately, their income and expenses, capacity to earn income and financial resources and the capacity of the other party to pay the maintenance sought.

Although a claim for spousal maintenance is a separate issue from your property settlement, these two issues are related. To bring a spousal maintenance application, the filing party must file an Initiating Application (or Response to an Initiating Application if court proceedings are already underway) and take other steps to help prove a need for financial support and that their partner can afford to pay spousal support.

Mediation (a form of alternative dispute resolution) is a process by which parties resolve their legal differences with the assistance of a mediator. 

The main goal of family law mediation is to help the parties involved achieve a negotiated outcome to their family law matter.

Mediation is an effective option for most family law matters because it is cost effective, allows the parties to reach their own agreement and is private and confidential. Except for any agreement reached, the details of your mediation cannot be shared with anyone else (subject to some exceptions). It is a family-focused, collaborative approach to resolving family law matters that emphasizes solutions and problem-solving instead of conflict.

Mediation is a structured process where you meet with a trained and impartial mediator to resolve your disputes. The mediator will encourage you to communicate with each other and try to identify what the issues are. This does not need to be face to face if you are not comfortable with that approach.

During the course of your mediation, the mediation lawyer will find out what is important to each of you and help you identify possible solutions.

Our director, Annelie van Zyl, is an NMAS accredited mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner registered with the Attorney General’s Department.

After the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship, the division of property is very important to the financial future of both parties. 

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth.) and the Family Court Act 1997 (WA) contain the rules for how a couple’s property should be divided after they have separated. 

In your settlement it is important to identify the assets and liabilities of the relationship. This may be easy e.g. the value of your house or your bank account balance but sometimes it can be more difficult to identity whether an asset is an asset or instead a financial resource for the purpose of your settlement an inheritance, overseas assets or trusts and companies. It is also important to assess each party’s financial contributions (e.g. paid employment) and non-financial contributions (e.g. home duties and care of the children) as well as future needs (e.g. future earning capacity).

For your settlement, it is always important to remember that time-limits may apply. If you were married, you have 12 months from the date of your divorce to apply to the court in respect of property/financial matters. If you were in a de facto relationship, your time limit is 2 years from the date of separation.

Whether you require initial once-off legal advice regarding the division of your joint net asset pool, advice on the preparation of either an Application for Consent Orders or binding financial agreement, representation during the negotiation phase of your property matter or court representation in defended court proceedings, our property settlement lawyers have the experience to assist you.

Following the breakdown of a relationship, one of the most important decisions parents will face, is the future care and living arrangements for the children of their relationship. 

The best interests of the child should be the strongest consideration, including protecting the child from harm and/or exposing the child to risk of harm. Also, the time your child spends with each parent must be reasonably practicable.

You may be able to reach an agreement with the other parent on these matters. If so, it is very important that you take legal advice on how to formalise your parenting agreement to ensure your agreement is legally binding and enforceable.

If you and the other parent are unable to reach an agreement, it may be necessary for you to commence defended Family Court proceedings for the court to make parenting orders. For most cases, before you commence court proceedings, you must attend family dispute resolution as you will be required to provide proof to the Family Court, in the form of a section 60I certificate, that you have attempted to resolve your matter by way of negotiation.

We are able to assist you with and advise you on the requirements prior to commencing defended court proceedings (including obtaining a section 60I certificate), the preparation of your court documents and representation in your court proceedings.

If a child of your relationship lives with you, you may be entitled to claim child support from the other parent. If you are not a parent, you may be entitled to claim child support from both the parents. 

Ordinarily, child support is determined administratively by Services Australia (child support) mainly taking into account the incomes of the parents and the care percentage of the child.

Only in some limited circumstances may you apply to the Family Court in relation to child support. There is also the option for parents to reach their own agreement in relation to the payment of child support. Private child support arrangements can be formalised by entering into either a limited or a binding child support agreement.

International child support issues are not uncommon. This is where a child support assessment or court order was made in an overseas jurisdiction where the child lives and Services Australia (child support) collects the child support from the paying parent residing in Australia. As with any international family law dispute, international child support issues including collection, can be very complex.  It is very important that you obtain legal advice to ensure you protect your interests.

Whether you need legal advice in relation to your administrative child support assessment, the preparation of a child support agreement, dealing with complex child support legislation (e.g. declaring a person as a parent under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989(Cth.) or issues such as DNA testing), your right to commence Family Court proceedings in relation to child support or international child support issues, our child support lawyers are able to assist you.

Perth Divorce Lawyers

Why us

First consultation

Contact us to arrange a fixed fee consultation with no ongoing obligation. You decide the scope of our involvement in your matter, whether that be once off legal advice or ongoing legal representation.

We investigate. We listen.

We give your matter the attention it deserves. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest standard of representation – no matter how simple or complex your matter, it is our priority.

Exceptional client care

We understand that every client is unique. We take the time to get to know you and your situation. We are transparent, approachable and here to help, structuring our legal services to best suit your needs.

Our process

Protecting what you value most

First consultation

Contact us to arrange a fixed fee consultation with no ongoing obligation. You decide the scope of our involvement in your matter, whether that be once off legal advice or ongoing legal representation.

Pre-action procedures

We aim to avoid court and costly legal proceedings where possible by attempting to negotiate and mediate to at least narrow the scope of the dispute, limiting costs and stress for both parties involved.

Initiating application & response

When required, we will handle the application to commence court proceedings and the preparation and filing of any other necessary documents.

First court event

The first court event can be daunting. We will be there with you to negotiate interim consent orders if possible and make submissions to the court on your behalf.


Not all legal matters can be resolved through negotiations and mediation. In this event, the matter will be set down for trial in the Family Court, typically at least 18 to 24 months after initial filings.

Legal representation

Move forward with the peace of mind and confidence that you have our experience and support on your side. 

Get in touch

For legal assistance with your family law matter.


Our team

We are on your side

Our boutique family law firm is well-established, enabling us to deliver high quality legal services across a range of family law matters to clients from all walks of life. We pride ourselves on our approachability and attention to detail, guiding you to resolution when you need it most.

Our mission is to help our clients navigate the legal system with understanding and professionalism so they can get their life back on track.


No.  Solicitors rarely act for both parties to a transaction.  This is because it creates a conflict of interest and would prevent us from being able to act in your best interests and uphold our obligations to you.  We do not act for both spouses in the same matter.

No.  We can meet with you face to face at either our Malaga or Perth office but we are also able to discuss your matter with you via Zoom (or similar video call) or over the phone if this is more convenient for you or if you have difficulty coming to one of our offices.

The initial consultation is an opportunity for us to give you a broad understanding of the law that applies to you including any relevant timeframes.  We will also discuss with you with a range of options to resolve your matter and discuss which options are likely to suit you, depending on your individual circumstances.  The initial consultation allows us to consider your matter broadly so that you have an indication of what a reasonable outcome would be and how to proceed.  From there, you can decide what you want to do next.

Yes, we practise in all areas of family law e.g. property, children, divorce, spousal maintenance and child support.

Please bring with you a list of important times and events such as when you started living together, when you got married and when big events happened for instance, when you received an inheritance or a redundancy payment.   By preparing lists before the consultation, this helps you to prepare yourself and will also help us to find out important information as quickly as possible so we can achieve as much as possible during the consultation.


Absolutely, changes to these arrangements can be made if there’s a significant change in circumstances, ensuring the best interests of the child are always at the forefront. Consult with a family lawyer to guide you through the necessary legal processes.

Mediation and collaborative law are excellent avenues for resolving disputes amicably and outside of court. These approaches promote open dialogue and mutual agreement, potentially saving you time and stress compared to court battles.

Choosing the right family lawyer boils down to their experience, your comfort level with them, and their approach to your specific circumstances. It’s generally a good idea to have an initial consultation to gauge whether they align with your expectations and can handle your case proficiently.

Family law matters for same-sex couples are handled similarly to heterosexual couples, especially since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia in 2017. This includes matters concerning divorce, property settlement and child custody. However, some unique nuances might apply, so seeking legal advice is prudent.

As an unmarried parent, protecting your rights involves legally establishing paternity and understanding your entitlements regarding child custody and support. It’s wise to consult with a family lawyer to navigate the specific legal avenues available to safeguard your rights and the best interests of your child.

Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps facilitate discussions between parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution, steering clear of court battles. It encourages collaboration and can be a less stressful, more cost efficient way to resolve family law disputes.


Satisfied clients


Ballajura, WA
Annelie Van Zyl provided me with excellent legal service. Going through a divorce including property settlement, I didn’t know what to expect. Aside from her obvious skill and remarkable success rate, Mrs. Van Zyl is genuinely committed to her clients. …


Hocking, WA
I approached Perth Divorce Lawyers as I was referred by a good friend and colleague and needed specialised assistance with my Family Court matter. Perth Divorce Lawyers helped me though the complex process of my matters. As there were a number of issues there was a lot of preparation before the hear…


Perth, WA
I approached Perth Divorce Lawyers because I required assistance with my Family Court proceedings mainly requiring legal assistance with parenting and financial matters including the preparation of my will and divorce matters.Perth Divorce Lawyers helped me by providing sound legal advice, complet…


Aveley, WA
Under difficult and emotional circumstances I received expert guidance throughout the legal process. Yes, it is expensive that I can’t deny though in retrospect my final settlement and fees were better than forecast. The decision to choose Annelie and pursue a fair share of assets was without doubt …


Kalgoorlie, WA
Thank you guys for everything will recommend you to everyone who needs a lawyer. …


Perth, WA
Again, thank you so much for your generosity, empathy and strength to fight alongside myself.  From very early on I remained determined to never give up and let [XXX] decide how I would live out my life financially.  I could not have done this without you. I chose very wisely. …


Morley, WA
The quality and promptness of your advice and service has been excellent throughout this experience. Hence you will have noticed I have recommended your services to several acquaintances. …


Bassendean, WA
You’ve been wonderful through the process. Thanks so much. …


Marangaroo, WA
Thank you for all your help and support really appreciate it. …


Ellenbrook, WA
Thank you for everything I appreciate everything done by you. I will recommend your company when I hear of any family matters. …


Clarkson, WA
Thank you for all your hard work. Without you I wouldn’t have been able to navigate family court or settle our finances. You have been amazing.  …


Midland, WA
Thank you very much for your help in this matter. Hopefully there will be no need for it but if I ever need to deal with Family Court matters I will be sure to give you a call. …


Malaga, WA
Thank you for all your advice and help. You are the best! …


Ellenbrook, WA
Up to now all has gone smoothly with my separation. Thank you for your services. …


Perth, WA
What a crazy journey – I really do appreciate the post Family Court Conciliation conference assistance you’ve provided. …


Karratha, WA
Thanks Annelie, perfect again. …


Girrawheen, WA
Thank you for all you have done for me. …


Perth, WA
Thank you for reviewing and editing the Minute – I am very pleased with these changes. Annelie, thank you. You’re amazing at what you do. …