Month: September 2016

Will you have access to your children during the holidays?

Christmas School holidays are fast approaching. Have you finalised your parental access agreements with the other parent[s] of your children? If not, you must apply for a Parenting Order in relation to the whole, or part of the school holiday period – beginning in December, in a year [the application year] and extending to January the following year.

The application must be filed before 4.00pm on the second Friday in November of the application year.

If you fail to file an application for access to your children over the Christmas period, the court will not hear your application until after the Christmas period.


An agreement in writing may not be enough.

We advise people to obtain an order of the court – rather than a verbal parenting plan.

Unfortunately, email and text agreement are not enforceable.  If you do not have children’s orders with the court, the other parent can change their mind the day before Christmas – without any recrimination.

If you are no longer living with the other parent – always obtain court orders that set out the arrangements for you to spend time with your children.


Protect your time with your Children

We recently completed a case where the parents separated while their child was one year old. The case finished when the child was 11 years of age.

As a result of the mother’s continual breaches of the conditions of the order during the past 11 years – the court ordered the child to live with the father.

If those orders were not in place, the father would have no basis of asking the court to order the child to live with him.

The father also kept written records of all breaches [in a diary] of the orders and that evidence was crucial to his win.

If you’ve separated from the parent[s] of your children and you want to spend time with your children, we can help you negotiate parenting orders with the other party. Speak with us today.


This article provides information that is general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.

What you should achieve at your first interview with a lawyer

Before your first meeting with a lawyer, the very best advice we can give you is to be prepared.

Spend time before the meeting gathering all of the relevant documents, setting out your objectives, summarising your expenses and listing the outcomes you would expect.

If you arrive at the meeting with the above information, the lawyer would spend less time trying to find out the facts of your matter from you and more time evaluating your case during the meeting. This is also a cost-effective way of utilising your time with a lawyer.

At HLS, the first hour of your consultation is free, so do your homework before a meeting with one of our lawyers!


You’ve arrived organised – now here’s what you may expect.

With all your documents organised and ready for us to review, we may advise you of your options. As we have not had to spend the majority of your free consultation sorting and interviewing you about your matter, we would have more time to discuss the real issues, to give you legal advice, to advise you on your options, to advise you on our proposed plan of action, to advise on legal costs and to answer your questions.

In short, if you prepare, you may expect to receive a lot more value from your initial consultation. This alone, is a huge relief to many clients.


Don’t have the time to attend at our office for a conference in person? Not a problem!

If you are unable to come to us, you may email us your documents and we may correspond with you via email. You still get one hour of our time, free, for us to read and evaluate your case. Our email address is –


This article provides information that is general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.