Neville Friedman, Partner in law firm Friedman, Lurie, Singh & D’Angelo was interviewed by Peter Bell at radio station 6PR. A transcript of the interview is below, where Neville answered some important questions about family law, including:

The cost of divorce

Grandparents rights after divorce

Children’s passport issues

Child maintenance

Consent forms for divorce proceedings

Who is Friedman Lurie Singh & D’Angelo?

We are an experienced and trusted firm of lawyers based in Perth with five offices across the metro area.

We have specialists in several areas of law including family law, personal injury law, criminal law, commercial and civil law.

Call us on 08-9254-0000 or complete the form on this page to submit your enquiry online. We respond to most online requests in one business day or less.


The cost of divorce

Peter: We’re with Neville Friedman from Friedman, Lurie, Singh & D’Angelo. Let’s get back to the calls. Colin in Perth.

Colin: Yeah, good afternoon Neville and Pete. Can you give me actual cost of the legal side of divorce and what is involved when all the finances have all been sorted out and paid, it’s just the actual paperwork of getting it put through?

Neville: Colin, obviously you guys can do, as I’ve said so often on the show before, people can do these things themselves so that’s one option for you. A lot of people don’t because that’s just not where they’re at, it’s not on their page. And I think the cost is between about 1,500 and 2,000 dollars and that takes into account all of the paper work that needs to be done, on the assumption that you’ve got what’s called a consent order so that if you and your spouse have agreed that this is what you want to do and you’re able to agree that, then it makes things cheaper, for obvious reasons because you’re not litigating about it. And you really shouldn’t exceed, I wouldn’t imagine 2,000 dollars on the exercise. So that’s no problem at all.

Colin: Thanks very much, Nev.

Neville: Great Peter.

Grandparents rights after divorce

Peter: There you go Colin. To Joe in Perth, hi Joe.

Joe: Hi guys, great show, my question is, my son has been divorced about three or four years and I’ve got a twelve year old grandson and every time I go home, he’s got all the papers like he can pick up his son every fortnight, he eventually doesn’t do it but I, she certainly asked for me to go and pick him up. I used to go pick him up in Pinjarra, that’s where they live, and bring him back. But now, today I’ll ask him again and pick it up, she’s always got excuses all about arrangements.  Now because she’s got an issue with my son, I don’t want to know about it, you know, all I just want to know, is there a way I can get my grandson legally or whatever?

Neville: Joe there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have access to your grandson but if you’re unable to negotiate something I suggest speak to a practitioner once again who deals with this sort of thing and they might…Really what you want to try and do first is to negotiate a position which is good for everybody and particularly for the grandson. Now, and so you don’t want to get involved in an adversarial situation too early. What you could also do is phone the family court because they have got some people there who might be able to assist you in dealing with this sort of matter and if you really run into trouble at the end of the day then you’re going to have to go and get some legal advice.

Joe: We’ve tried everything, you know, we even had to sign a passport for her to go into Bali and she was nice about it, now they’re back she changed that attitude again, so.

Neville: They do that, go and talk to somebody who can help you with it and give you your options, okay?

Joe: You would have a phone number I could ring to please?

Neville: Well you could certainly find us, we’re in the phone book, 92540000.

Joe: Okay, thanks very much.

Neville: It’s a great pleasure.

Peter: No worries at all, good luck with that Joe. Let’s go to Ellenbrook, Vic, hi Vic.

Children’s passport issues

Vic: Hi guys

Neville: What’s happening Vic?

Vic: I’ve just got, planning a trip in September and I need to get a passport for my son organized and my ex-wife hasn’t signed the consent part of the passport and I’m still like waiting, so what’s the next step so I can take, for that to happen? She doesn’t want….

Neville: Vic, how old’s your son?

Vic: Fifteen.

Neville Friedman: Fifteen, I reckon you better put your spouse to time on that otherwise you’re going to, might run out of time getting a passport and I think that if you can’t get her consent, again unfortunately, I don’t think that there’s any mechanism to force her to sign it. You’re going to have to come and talk to somebody who can help you with that problem also. Ultimately, you might need an application to the family court to deal with getting that signature either from your spouse or getting the court to authorize somebody to sign on her behalf and then have the migration people accept that signature, that substitute signature.

Vic: Yeah, all right, okay. No worries then.

Neville: Good luck.

Peter: Good on ya Vic, good luck with that, it seems to be a common issue doesn’t it, where one or other of the parents want to take the child overseas, of course the other partner’s then terrified they’re not going to come back.

Neville: Some of it though, unfortunately Peter is also just spite and malice.

Peter: Yes, yes.

Neville: And there is no proper justification, I mean it doesn’t sound like this previous caller, he doesn’t sound like a gentleman to me who’s…With that accent he’s living in Australia, he’s been here all his life, he’s not not going to come back. And unless there’s something wrong with the child, the fifteen year old kid, why wouldn’t you let him go on holiday with a parent, other than malice? So she’s probably looking to gain some advantage out of withholding the signature and that’s not in the interest of the child.

Child maintenance

Peter: Neville back to my example of a couple who have a child then they break up. Child’s very young so you’ve got to work out access to child for both father and mother, and we were talking about what the child maintenance would be, this statutory, if you haven’t gone to a court and got an order there’s a statutory amount on the child support act?

Neville: The child support agency can be notified and they will collect the information in regard to the incomes of the people and then they will impose a payment regime which can by the way be amended by an application to the family court if there is a proper reason for doing so. We’ve had some issues where the imposition of those amounts have been a bit inappropriate, so you’ve got to go back and justify either an increase or a reduction.

Consent forms for divorce proceedings

Peter: Okay, Alan in Cannington. Good Day Alan.

Alan: Good day Peter. My question to the gentleman with you, to Neville is in regard to my daughter, she’s separated at the moment. In regard to consent form, what’s the procedure in getting a consent form?

Neville: Alan, I presume when you say that, they’re married?

Alan: They are married, yes.

Neville: Now they’ve separated. Okay, well, you know you’ve got to be separated for 12 months before you can apply for a divorce, and then…

Alan: I realize that yes.

Neville: Okay, that’s okay. And then there are some other processes which the, procedures which have come into place which force you to have some consultations to try and solve these things before getting a divorce. But once you’ve gone through that process, all you need to do is get the relevant consent forms and really you want the parties to agree because that’s the name consent. Provided you can get them to complete those forms, somebody can lodge them down, one of the parties can lodge them down at the family court and in theory provided everything has been properly attended to, that process will take its natural course and in due course the divorce will come through.

Alan: I see, we’ve all ready seen the solicitor. They’re going to marriage guidance things, but in the course of conversation with the solicitor, I was there, he said about this consent form that you’ll need to do that within the 12 months. And I said, what charge is for that? And he said, well you can do that yourself, but he said, if I do it, it would be approximately 5000 dollars.

Neville: I have to be very careful here in making a comment about another practitioner’s cost because my problem is I don’t have any idea of the nature and extent of the issues, but we had a caller a few minutes ago and I answered the same question and I came to a figure of about 2000 dollars I think. So, the great danger in making this sort of broad brush approach is, you understand. That sounds to me to be…

Alan: …excessive because within five minutes we’re there, he said it could be 2-3 thousand dollars.

Neville: I think that that’s a…let’s call it an over-estimation. And I think that if you have any concerns about that then I can only give you the same telephone number I gave the other gentleman which is 92540000 and I’ll sort it out for you.

Peter: Thank you Alan, you might want to look at perhaps getting a second opinion. If you think it’s excessive then maybe go and get a second opinion. Neville, we thank you for your time this afternoon.

Neville: It’s a great pleasure, thanks guys, thanks everybody.

Peter: That’s Neville Friedman from Friedman, Lurie, Singh & D’Angelo, thanks to everyone who called up, sensitive matters we wish you all the best with those.