Our Family Law Solicitors

Just Family Law is dedicated to providing advice in all aspects of family law at our Dandenong and Melbourne law offices. Our family law lawyers deal with separation, divorce and family law issues including dividing assets after separation, arrangements for children, grandparent’s rights, inheritance disputes, business valuations, loans from parents and claims to property.

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Chris is a longstanding and prominent member of the family law profession… 

Chris Woods

Founder & Principal
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David joined Just Family Law in 2015 to continue his long career in family law…

David Chalmers

Family Lawyer
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Sally joined Just Family Law in 2012 and has practiced exclusively in the area of family law…

Sally O'Connor

Family Lawyer

What our happy clients say

  • I am a lawyer myself and have known Chris well for 4 years. Happily I haven’t had to use his services and I although don’t do family law I know enough to know that he knows his stuff as an accredited specialist in Family law and would assertively fight for his client’s rights in the hard but fair way I observe him on the tennis court. I’d recommend him highly.

    Paul Tamburro
  • You put my mind to ease at a difficult time – I could not have done it without your support and guidance. Good family law solicitor.

    Andy Jackson
  • What a result – Well done Sally & Chris. Thank you so much – I will be telling my all my friends unlucky enough who need a tough family lawyer.

    Jamie Franklin
  • Chris was great his professional guidance assisted me greatly. I would definitely recommend his service.

    Wesley Horskins
  • Brilliant Service! Chris makes everything so easy! Thank you again.

    Maddison Oakes
  • Quick timely advice and follow up helped me get on with life after a nasty divorce. For Family Law advice I recommend them. Thanks Chris, Robert and the girls.

    Sam Kerr
  • David was easy to talk to, and always gave me the step by step guidance that I needed to reach the best outcome. I also felt that I was in great hands, and that gave me confidence throughout the whole process.
    I thank David and the staff at Chris Woods and Associates sincerely for all their help from the bottom of my heart.

    Fathima
  • Listened and acted. I was referred to this Family Law Solicitor in Dandenong by another lawyer who doesn’t do family law and was happy with the service from Robert and Chris and the girls. Happy to recommend to others.

    James Miller
  • From the moment I met Sally, I felt at ease. My case is still pending but with Sally’s prompt and reassuring responses it has been so much easier than expected. I can’t thank her enough. She’s a “Bloody Legend!”

    Shane Merrett
  • Thanks Sally and David & girls. Very helpful at a difficult time. I know I wasn’t happy when I came to see you but eventually, thanks to your help and time I am in a better situation now. My ex husband hates you though.


    Rebecca Stead
  • Great result. I advise anyone unlucky enough to have to need family law advice to use this specialist family law solicitor. My divorce was tough. But it was easier after I after I saw them and made progress to finalize it.

    Frances Brown
  • Chris and staff were caring and handled my family situation professionally – highly recommended.

    David Aikman
  • My experience with Chris Woods & Associates Just Family Law in particular my lawyer Sally O’Connor has been second to none. In the most emotionally turbulent of times, she has guided me through, giving me reassurance and respect. Answering any questions with clarity, professionalism and kindness. The reception staff Georgina and Kim, are also extremely friendly returning calls, relaying messages promptly and preparing paperwork when necessary. I would absolutely recommend Just Family Law to anyone needing assistance and advice.

    Kelly from Rowville
  • I was extremely happy with Just  Family Law, with David and Georgie who work well as a team.

    David provided good advice and support and I believe his clear and measured approach was appropriate for my matter.

    David got my matter back on track, in my favour, and delivered the best possible outcome.

    Brett

Family Law, Divorce, Separation and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 and the Court’s response to the will affect all litigants in divorce and family law matters.

Courts are restricting, adjourning and cancelling hearings.

Matters not requiring litigation will be less effected.  Negotiated settlements can continue as normal.

The Family Court has adjourned non-urgent children’s matters and non-urgent property matters.

What is urgent is up to the discretion of judges, registrars and perhaps counter staff.

The website of the Federal Circuit Court provides some information http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fccweb/about/news/mr180320

Police family law intervention orders are being adjourned for 20 weeks (was 72 hours).

You can conduct your interviews by telephone, Skype and Zoom.

If you have no symptoms and are not otherwise high risk we will see you in person.

What it means to you:

  • Already in court – delays likely.
  • Urgent matters not yet in court – delays likely.
  • Recently separated – appointments for advice available by phone, skype or zoom, or in person.

Urgency.

Your matter is urgent to you.  You need to put your best facts forward in the most effective way to get your matter treated as urgent above the competing claims of other litigants.  As specialist family lawyers we have experience in knowing how to define urgency in the eyes of the court.

Urgency generally depends on these factors:

  • Children’s matters are more urgent than property matters.
  • Risk to children is urgent.  Most of our client’s cases don’t have physical risk to children but unfortunately there are enough cases to take up considerable resources.
  • Allegations of physical and psychological harm, drug abuse by parents, change of schools, overseas travel are examples of urgent matters.
  • Allegations of domestic violence increase urgency.
  • Where a parent has any time with a child, but argues for more, that is less urgent than a child who has no time with a parent.
  • Agreed or easily proved facts are more important than he said, she said opinions in assessing priority.
  • Travel to overseas locations are urgent.  But these cases will be easier to decide now.
  • Preserving the assets is urgent.  Deciding who gets what will not be urgent.  Deciding who gets what can be decided without judges unless there are serious issues of facts and credibility.

Tactics and experience

You must anticipate that tactics will need to shift somewhat.  We always look to negotiate first and litigate last.  Until March 2020 you could rely on us assessing the strength of the case and negotiate knowing that you could seek justice in the court promptly.  That is not the case now.  More focus on out of court results is needed.

The economy

Asset prices have changed downward – shares certainly, real estate possibly.  Rejecting a reasonably decent offer may have terrible consequences in a negative market.  Then, sometime, a rebound occurs.

The focus on family law tax provisions to avoid capital gains on asset splits may switch focus to acquiring capital losses to offset other gains.
Often a business owner will claim the value of their business suddenly dropped at separation.  Maybe now it’s true.  Maybe?
A downswing in the economy usually affects solicitors in commercial law and family lawyers just get busier.  Some of our lawyers remember the recession we had to have (1990) and most remember the GFC (2008).  Back then solicitors from commercial law, without many client’s, dabbled in Family law.  It wasn’t pretty.  Be cautious.

On the bright side, now under utilised experienced family law barristers, unable to attend the adjourned court hearings, will be available for mediation.  You need to know who’s worth your legal budget.

You can conduct your interviews by telephone, Skype and Zoom.
If you have no symptoms and are not otherwise high risk we will see you in person.

                    Divorce Lawyer | Family Law Solicitors
Phone: (03) 9793 7888
Fax: (03) 9793 7889
2/57 Robinson St
Dandenong, VIC, 3175