Luke is a persuasive advocate and regularly appears in the various Family Courts throughout the various stages of litigation. This usually includes appearing at Conciliation Conferences/Mediations and Interim Hearings. This benefits his clients by avoiding the need to pay for a barrister to appear unless there is a real advantage in doing so. As a strong negotiator, he has the skills to pursue your interests throughout the course of your matter, both in the work he does from our office and at court.
You will have a consistent channel of communication and the confidence that the person you have dealt with from the outset is the one representing you in Court. From your initial consultation with him, he will detail how the family law applies to your situation, outline the relevant processes and advise you of the outcome you can expect to achieve at each step of the process. He will move your matter forward in a meaningful way, making you aware of all of your options and enable you to progress to the next stage of your life.
Luke has a keen interest in parenting cases involving allegations of family violence and property cases more generally. He understands that family law is unique in that you may well experience only one family law dispute in your lifetime and its outcome invariably has a significant impact upon the lifestyle of the client after the matter is concluded. That is why the connection and understanding between a client and their family lawyer is so important.
Luke will advise and direct through the situation, including avoiding pitfalls that you may not have even been aware of.
When not at work Luke can be found watching his Essendon Bombers at the MCG.
Parenting matter resolved in terms sought by our client
Our solicitor Luke Parson assisted the father in a parenting matter.
Immediately after separation, the two young children of the relationship resided with the client and spent time with their mother each alternate weekend. For approximately six months, we endeavoured to negotiate with the mother for Consent Orders that provided for the current parenting arrangement to continue. Our client’s primary goal was to obtain Final Parenting Orders that provided for the children to reside with him. His concern was that the mother would seek to change the current arrangement and, in an attempt to do so, would simply refuse to return the children to him after contact with her.
During negotiations, the mother relocated interstate without advising our office or our client. The children remained with our client in Melbourne. Immediately after this, the mother refused to communicate with our office and our client, and ignored our requests to confirm whether she intended to return to Melbourne or remain living interstate. The children and the father had to live with this uncertainty for some time.
At the next term holiday period, our client travelled interstate to facilitated time between the mother and the children. It was agreed in legal correspondence that the mother would spend a defined period of time with the children and at the conclusion of such time, she would return the children to our client and he would return to Melbourne with the children. At the conclusion of her time with the children, the mother refused to return them to our client and maintained that the children would now reside with her.
Within five days of the mother refusing to return the children to our client, we had filed an Application for a Recovery Order in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, appeared in court, and the court had made orders that the mother return the children to reside with the father in Melbourne. The court noted that the mother should not be rewarded for frustrating the court process and taking advantage of our client’s conduct in facilitating her time with the children, noting the agreement for her to return the children to him was contained in legal correspondence.
In the months that followed, we were able to obtain the mother’s consent to enter Final Parenting Orders that provided for the children to reside with our client in Melbourne.
Parenting matter resolved by consent in terms sought by client
Our solicitor Luke Parsons represented the grandmother in a parenting matter. The client was the paternal grandmother. Her son had died when he and the mother were in a relationship. After his death, our client sought the mother’s agreement to spend time with the child. The grandmother and mother had differing accounts of the grandmother’s relationship with the child throughout the years and the mother did not allow the grandmother to spend time with the child. The grandmother made an application in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for parenting orders to spend time with the child.
Whilst a grandparent can make an application for a parenting order, the court takes a very different approach to an application by a grandparent to one by a parent. A court will make orders for a grandparent to spend time with the child only if it is in the child’s best interests.
Grandparents generally apply for parenting orders where either one or both parents are unwilling or unable to care for the child or lack the capacity to care for the child.
At the first court hearing, the court made Interim Orders that a Child Inclusive Conference report be prepared. That report recommended the grandmother spend time with the child during the day, once per month. At the second court hearing, Interim Consent Parenting Orders were made to adopt the recommendations of the Child Inclusive Conference report.
The proceedings were adjourned for six months which enabled the grandmother to spend time with the child in accordance with the Interim Consent Orders. Both parties then formed the view it was in the child’s best interests for our client’s time with the child to continue, and they resolved the proceedings by way of a Final Consent Parenting Order. It was important for our client that the case resolved by agreement as this fostered her relationship with the mother and they now communicate regularly in relation to the care arrangements for the child and all matters concerning his development.
Property matter resolved without the need for further litigation
Our solicitor Luke Parsons assisted a client who was a party to Final Consent Property Orders that had been made in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The orders provided for the former matrimonial home to be placed on the market for sale by public auction and the sale proceeds to be divided between the parties.
Our client resided in the property that was to be sold. She was also protected by a Final Intervention Order which prevented the husband from coming within 200 metres of the property.
Both parties engaged a conveyancer to prepare a contract for the sale of land and a real estate agent to list the property on the market for sale. Immediately prior to the auction, the husband threatened to cancel the court-ordered auction unless our client withdrew the Intervention Order against him and agreed for him to physically attend the auction. Such a threat was entirely inconsistent with the Intervention Order.
Our office communicated with the real estate agent and we both made it clear to the husband that he could participate in the auction by way of a telephone call with the real estate agent and he could sign the Contract of Sale in person or electronically either at the comfort of his own home or at any other location that was in excess of 200 metres away from the property. Essentially, due to the Intervention Order, the husband was in a position comparable to that of a buyer’s advocate.
Only after our client proposed filing an Application in a Case in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, to seek orders to enable the sale to continue in the husband’s absence did he agree to cooperate with the auction without attending the property.
Parenting and financial matters resolved by consent
Our solicitor Luke Parsons assisted a client in parenting and financial matters in the Federal Circuit Court.
The client had filed applications following the breakdown of his long marriage. He sought parenting orders that the two children of the marriage continue to live with each parent on a week-about basis, as they had done since separation. He also sought financial orders that the former matrimonial property, which the wife resided in, be sold and the sale proceeds be divided as agreed to give effect to a just and equitable property settlement. Whilst the parties owned several properties, the majority of the assets comprised of equity in the former matrimonial home. Negotiations had stalled as the wife did not agree to sell the property and informed our client that she could refinance the mortgage secured over the property and pay him a cash settlement.
Our client was shocked when the wife filed her Response seeking primary care of the children. The wife did not agree that our client was the primary carer of the children during the relationship, even though his employment ensured he was available to care for the children during the marriage whilst the wife was the primary income earner. After our client provided affidavit evidence in relation to the care arrangements for the children during the relationship, the wife conceded her parenting case and agreed to the equal shared care arrangement continuing.
It was critical to the resolution of the financial case that before mediation, the lawyers engaged in substantial negotiations and the parties agreed to the value of all matrimonial assets. At mediation, it was agreed that our client receive slightly more than 50% of the net asset pool primarily because his earning capacity was comparably less to that of the wife’s noting that in contrast to her, he had reached the height of his career and his salary would only increase with the industry award. The wife obtained approval to finance the mortgage in her sole name and our client received a substantial cash settlement shortly after mediation.