(07) 4772 3644

Family Law

Sandra Clive, one of our Principals, leads our family law division, CBC Family Lawyers.

Unlike the vast majority of family lawyers in other firms, who practice exclusively in family law in Townsville, Sandra has almost twenty years of experience practising in all areas of the law. Sandra is therefore able to consider all issues, no matter what area of law, that are relevant in a family dispute, and plan the best strategy for each matter. This unique ability, together with Sandra’s immense passion for her clients’ cause, has enabled Sandra to consistently achieve fantastic outcomes for the firm’s clients, even in the most complex matters involving family trusts, companies, partnerships and other elaborate business structures.

Sandra personally case manages all of CBC’s family law files to ensure all clients receive the benefit of her experience and talent. In addition, unlike most family lawyers, who brief barristers at significant cost to the client, Sandra and other members of CBC’s Townsville team, personally conduct all conferences, court appearances and some trials, providing considerable cost savings to CBC’s clients. Further, with the intimate knowledge of the file that can only come from working on it on a daily basis, by personally attending all conferences and court appearances, and conducting some trials, CBC’s experienced team achieves much better outcomes for their clients than firms that brief a barrister who has limited time to read a selection of relevant documents, often at the last minute, prior to attending important conferences and court appearances.

CBC’s experienced, compassionate family law team can solve all of your family law problems, including:

Residence and Contact
with Children

Binding financial agreements

CBC can also assist you to prevent timely and costly,
both in monetary and emotional expense, family law proceedings by drafting a binding financial agreement (pre-nuptial agreement).


City to country, solve your legal problems today call (07) 4772 3644

7 Family Law Facts You Need To Know


It doesn’t matter whose name is on the title of the property, in a family law property settlement, each of the parties’ assets and liabilities form a part of the property pool and will be taken into account when negotiating the terms of a property settlement.


The amount of child support a person must pay will depend on how much time they spend with the children however, even if you don’t spend any time with the children you will still be responsible for child support payments.


The Family Law Act de nes a de facto relationship as one where the parties are not legally married, they are not related to each other and they are living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. Therefore, even though you have only been in a relationship for a short time, you may have to negotiate a property settlement.


Even if you don’t have many assets, you may wish to negotiate a property settlement so that any debts or liabilities of the relationship are dealt with. Just because a debt may be in your name solely, this does not mean that you have to be solely responsible for it.


Superannuation is considered an asset of the relationship and will be included as a part of the property pool when parties are negotiating a property settlement. Sometimes, superannuation can be the parties’ largest asset. Keep in mind however, this does not enable you to access it any earlier. Superannuation laws are still applicable i.e. accessible after retirement age.


Any agreement that the parties reach in relation to children or property is not legally binding until it is put into order form and sealed by the court. Even if you enter into a parenting plan at mediation, this is not legally binding and either party can change their mind at any time. For peace of mind and security, you should enter into Consent Orders to ensure that they are legally binding.


The court has a duty to make orders that are in the best interests of the children. The court considers that it is in the children’s best interest for them to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Unless there are concerns for the welfare of the children or if it is not practicable, the children may spend equal time, or significant and substantial time with both parents.

Family Law articles from the blog:

Being the Silly Season, life’s going to be full of parties, alcohol and general craziness for the next month. We thought we’d put together a little Q & A session with one of our solicitors about drinking and driving.  Q: What is drink driving or Driving Under the Influence (DUI)? A: Drink driving is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Every drop of alcohol that you consume increases your Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC). This is what is tested when you have a breath or blood test. Q: Why is drinking alcohol and driving a problem? Alcohol reduces your ability[...]
Life is so uncertain, so eat dessert first and make a Will! The benefit of your retaining a Will is that you can predetermine what will happen to your dependants and your assets upon your death. It is highly recommended that every adult have a functional Will. As circumstances change, you should update your Will to best reflect your current intention for the division of assets and care of dependants. What happens if you have a a Will and you’ve separated from your partner? If you are separated from your partner but are not yet divorced, your Will remains unaffected[...]
  We have agreed on what’s going to happen we don’t need lawyers, or do we? After separation, any agreement that parties reach, in relation to children or property, is not legally binding . Until it is put into the form of Consent Orders and sealed by the court. Even if you enter into a parenting plan at mediation, this is not legally binding and either party can change their mind at any time. For peace of mind and security, engage a lawyer to assist. Lawyers can help with the process of assessing, writing and finalising your Consent Orders to ensure[...]
 LEAVE IT WITH US No legal problem is too tricky for husband-and-wife law firm owners Michael and Sandra Clive. After Michael started working at a firm where Sandra was Managing Partner, Sandra and Michael didn’t know they would end up partners in practice and in life but with their shared values, goals and interests, it’s no surprise that they are such a successful duo. “My mates tease me that “I ‘married the boss’ when they hear I used to work for Sandra” Michael laughs. “In 2009, we bought highly respected law firm Crosby Brosnan and Creen, which I operated while[...]
5 Tips for a Pain-Less Separation   1. Remember your children You’re angry, you’re hurt but you’re still a parent. Whatever the reasons for your divorce or seperation, your children are not the cause. Be a role model and show your children that they are going to be okay. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children. If the separation is managed well the children may even learn how to make good choices, build resilience and deal with difficult situations. 2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help Whether it’s finances that have you in a[...]

More and more grandparents are coming forward as the “forgotten victims” of parental relationship breakdowns. In some cases they are being deprived of a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren as a result of a divorce.

Grandparents do not have an automatic right to see or care for their Grandchildren.  They do however, have a right to apply to the court for a parenting order if they want access to or custody of their grandchildren. The Family Law Act (“the Act”) recognises that children have the right to maintain regular communication with those who are considered important to their welfare, care, and development. The Act specifically refers to grandparents as being people with whom the children should maintain contact.

If the parents are unwilling to grant the grandparents visitation time, grandparents can invite the children’s parents to meet with a child psychologist or to participate in mediation before making an application to the Family Court of Australia. The court will grant an order based on the best interests of the children. In reality, if a grandparent wants to spend time with their grandchildren, the court is likely to order limited time with the grandparents.

In circumstances where parents are unwilling or are unable to care for the children, it may become necessary or desirable for grandparents to apply for access to or custody of their grandchildren. The court will need to be satisfied that the parents cannot meet the needs of the children. Where there is evidence of abuse, neglect or substance abuse the court is more likely to grant an order in favour of the grandparents. The order can either give the grandparent full custody of the children or shared custody with the parent.

In deciding whether it is in the best interests of the child to be placed into the grandparent’s care, the court will refer to a number of different factors such as:

  • The need to protect the child’s psychological or physical safety;
  • The benefit of the child having a relationship with their parents and grandparents that is meaningful;
  • The kind of relationship the child has with the parents and grandparents;
  • Whether the child is financially supported;
  • The likely effect of change on the child;
  • Whether there is evidence of any family violence; and
  • Any views of the child if they are old enough and mature enough to convey relevant views.

The courts are supportive of grandparents who can show that they are acting in the best interests of their grandchildren. The important thing is for grandparents not to give up. Always attempt to maintain communication and make sure your grandchildren know your door is always open.

For More Information contact Sandra Clive or Paul Davis at CBC Lawyers on 07 4772 3644 or cbc@cbclawyers.com.au

When one parent isn’t on board with a child’s Passport Application. With airfares to popular family destinations such as Fiji, Bali and Japan costing less than a flight to Brisbane (thanks Jetstar!) we can get a little impulsive. It is not surprising that the Mums and Dads of Australia are looking overseas for somewhere to relax, after the stress of a relationship breakdown. But what if your child doesn’t have a Passport? Unless there is a Court Order from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Family Court of Australia, granting one parent sole parental responsibility of the child or children, then[...]
Purchasing a new home is a major life move! Everyone who has been through it at least once will tell you that home buying and selling is an intricate process, and one that involves quite a bit of thoughtful navigating to ensure that everything is done correctly and that you are satisfied with the deal when all is said and done.
  Social media within family law can be seen as beneficial to separated families. It creates a passage of communication by allowing the instant exchange of messages and photos. However, when used irresponsibly, it can present problems in your family law proceeding.