Seeking advice in relation to family law issues is usually accompanied by a reasonable level of stress and uncertainty.

Merthyr Law work to educate clients about the legal system as it applies to family law issues, informing them of their obligations and helping them to understand the options, processes and the difficulties, in a caring and practical manner.

Merthyr Law believe that being proactive in dealing with current or future family law issues results in far better outcomes than being reactive. The value of having agreements in place, especially financial agreements, should never be underestimated. They are good insurance against future costs, litigation and uncertainty. As with estate planning, having documented agreements and structures in place to deal with family law issues if they arise, means they can be dealt with effectively and efficiently.

When relationship breakdown does occur, negotiation, mediation and dispute resolution mechanisms can assist parties to reach agreements regarding care of children and division of property, money and belongings. This is where Merthyr Law can assist. It is our aim that agreements be reached without the intervention of a court.

READ OUR LATEST ARTICLE: Family Law – A Proactive Approach HERE


If someone you know is looking for clarification on their legal position we’re here to help.

Peter will help provide clarity around your options and if required, outline a plan including the costs involved in taking the next step.

To arrange a 30 minute appointment with Peter, please contact reception on 3029 1600 to arrange a time.


  • Without the expertise of Peter Pavusa I would not have settled my family law matter. Peter was approachable, determined and treated me like a person as well as a client. Peter is an experienced family lawyer who was not afraid to hold the line on my behalf, which really took the pressure off me. I would highly recommend Peter to anyone looking for an outcome focussed family lawyer who gets results.    

    Kelly Cleary
  • A piece of advice from a very good friend, “make sure you get a very good lawyer!”.   Best and first decision I made was to engage Peter Pavusa.  He told me he takes on his client’s position as if it was his own and that is exactly what I experienced.   Peter is a professional family lawyer, whose reputation amongst judges and mediators was very evident.  His application of the law and strategic approach to negotiations made the difference in achieving a just result in a very challenging and frustrating family law matter.  Despite this difficult experience for me, it was a pleasure watching Peter do his work, especially in court and in negotiations. 

    Ian Nichols
  • Peter has been absolutely outstanding in my legal battle regarding time with my children. At the beginning of this I didn't foresee an end in sight nor did I see a favourable outcome. Peter was very reassuring throughout the whole ordeal and had a wonderful confidence that made me feel like there was a chance of being apart of my kids lives. He is truly a valuable asset to your organisation and had he not been my legal counsel, I do not think I would have the result I have today. Thank you Peter.


Our family law team

Family Law FAQ’s

Capital gains tax in property settlements

When a property settlement is formalised by way of a financial agreement or a court order there are stamp duty exemptions applicable to the transfer of matrimonial assets. Careful consideration should be given to assets which attract capital gains tax. An asset is any property or legal or equitable right including the goodwill of a business, interest in a partnership and relates to capital gain upon disposal of assets acquired on or after 20 September 1985.

Assets exempt from capital gains tax include bank accounts, life insurance policies, superannuation funds, the home, cars, motorcycles and personal assets.

Roll-over relief upon a marriage or de facto relationship breakdown is available when an asset is transferred under a property order or a financial agreement between spouses or from a trustee or company to a spouse.

However, the party receiving such a property in a property settlement will be responsible for that liability when that party eventually disposes of the asset with it attracting capital gains tax if the person transferring the property acquires it on or after 29 September 1985 with the calculation of capital gains tax based upon the transferors cost base at the time of transfer to the transferee plus incidental costs

Stamp duty exemptions in property settlements

The Family Law Act in Section 90 exempts from stamp duty transfers and other documents executed “for the purposes of, or accordance with a property order”. This relates to orders for married couples or for de facto partners.

Transfers and other documents signed pursuant to a financial agreement are also exempt from stamp duty. It is important particularly if the matter is resolved by way of an application for consent orders or financial agreement to ensure that the orders or terms of the financial agreement are carefully prepared to ensure that the stamp duty exemption is obtained on behalf of the client.

What child support do I pay if there is shared care?

Where a parent paying child support has “regular care”, the child which is defined in the Child Support Assessment Act as between 14% and 35% of care or between two and five nights a fortnight, child support assessments are reduced to acknowledge the direct financial contribution that the paying parent has towards the cost of raising the child during the time spent with the child.

Where parents have “shared care arrangement” which is defined by the Child Support Assessment Act as between 35% to 65% of care or between five and nine nights a fortnight, child support can be further adjusted and each parent may receive family assistance payments to help them supplement the costs of the children.

How does a court determine the living arrangements of children between the parents?

Section 60CA of the Family Law Act requires the court when deciding to make a parenting order to regard “the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration”.
Section 60B(1) of the Family Law Act lists the objects to assist in clarifying the assessment of the best interests of the children. They are:

(a) ensuring the children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives to the maximum extent consistent with the best interests of the child;

(b) protecting the child from physical or psychological harm, from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence;

(c) ensuring the child receives adequate and proper parenting to help them achieve their full potential;

(d) ensuring their parents fulfil their duties and meet their responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of their children.

The principles outlining those objects are set out in Section 60B(2) of the Family Law Act as follows:

(a) children have a right to know and be cared for by both their parents, regardless of whether their parents are married, separated, have never married or have never lived together;

(b) children have a right to spend time with on a regular basis and communicate on a regular basis with both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development including grandparents and other relatives;

(c) parents jointly share duties and responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of their children;

(d) parents should agree about the future parenting of their children; and

(e) children have a right to enjoy their culture including the right to enjoy their culture with other people who share that culture.

The determination by a court of the child’s best interests is dealt with by Section 60CC(1) of the Family Law Act which deals with the primary considerations namely:

(a) the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and

(b) the need to protect the child from physical and psychological harm from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.

In addition, Section 60CC(3) further lists 14 Additional considerations that the court must take into account including:

(a) any views expressed by the child;

(b) the nature of the relationship with the child with each of the child’s parents and any persons including grandparents and other relatives of the child.

What is an Accredited Specialist?

An Accredited Family Law Specialist is a solicitor who not only has extensive professional experience, but has also completed an advanced and rigorous study program in family law and has been accredited by the Queensland Law Society.

To qualify as an Accredited Specialist is a formal recognition of a high level of competence and knowledge in the chosen area of legal practice.

To qualify as an Accredited Specialist a solicitor must successfully complete a challenging program of advanced study and successfully complete both practical and written examinations in the specialist area.  The solicitor is required to have been in practice full time for a minimum of five years.  In addition, more than 25% of their work is required to be in the field of law in relation to which they seek to be accredited as a specialist.  To ensure the ongoing quality of expertise as a specialist is maintained, a solicitor must continue to complete a minimum amount of training each year.

A solicitor does not have to achieve Accredited Specialist status to provide advice to clients in family law matters.  However, accreditation provides recognition in the profession and assistance to prospective clients confirming a high level of experience, expertise and commitment in the practice of family law.  Our Accredited Family Law Specialist is Peter Pavusa.

Family Law news and publications

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