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EFL strives to assist couples reach an amicable settlement during a divorce, conscious uncoupling or legal separation.

Conscious Uncoupling

You would have needed to go to some effort to avoid the phrase this week, after being propagated throughout the world following the high-profile separation of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

But what does it mean? And, more importantly, how does it affect Australian relationships and families?

Ms Paltrow’s blog posting (respectfully co-signed by Mr Martin) which coined the term is being touted as one of the most eloquent, dignified and civil announcements within the often rancorous world of high profile celebrity separation. Indeed, “conscious uncoupling” refers to the process by which two persons in a domestic relationship do exactly that; they systematically wind down their relationship cognisant of each party’s wants, needs, and feelings. It cannot be stressed enough how important this is when there are children involved, as there are in the Paltrow Martin family.

Back home, this method of separation comes close to crystallising the crux of our Family Law Act, namely that the best interests of the child are of paramount consideration. In Australia, the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably (which is established by 12 months of separation). This substantially means that Australia has a ‘no fault’ divorce system, and greatly operates to reduce acrimony amongst separating couples and families at a difficult time.

“Conscious uncoupling” is also relevant when it comes to property settlement. Edwards Family Lawyers encourages dispute resolution processes such as mediation. At Edwards Family Lawyers we regard our role in the separation process as being to assist people to reach an amicable, quick and cost effective settlement of all issues. Edwards Family Lawyers aim is to avoid litigation which is costly both (financially and emotionally) and to reach a negotiated settlement.

Accredited Family Law Specialist

Members of our senior legal team are accredited Family Law Specialists. In the legal profession an Accredited Specialist is a practising solicitor who has demonstrated specialised competence in a particular area of law and has been conferred Specialist Accreditation by the Law Society under its Specialist Accreditation Scheme. Edwards Family Lawyers is a highly experienced specialist family law firm that has 3 accredited specialists working out of our offices in Sydney CBD and North Sydney.

Our Family Law Services

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Divorce & Separation

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Sydney

When married couples separate, there is only one ground for the grant of a Divorce Order, and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is established by the parties being separated for a minimum of 12 months prior to Divorce. In some circumstances, parties can be living under the same roof and still be able to establish this ground.

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Property Settlement

Expert property settlement lawyers

Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers can assist you and your spouse/partner to come to an agreement in relation to all financial matters and issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, including the division of all assets and liabilities, spouse maintenance payments, superannuation splitting orders and child support departure Orders.

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Negotiation & Resolution

Expert negotiation and resolution lawyers

Opportunities for negotiation and settlement exist not only before proceedings are commenced, but also after proceedings have been commenced and right up until the time that the Court finally hears and determines the matter. Parties can settle a matter at any time.

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Parenting & Children

Parenting and Children Family Lawyers

The best interests of the children is the paramount consideration when determining the most appropriate and suitable arrangements for the children after a separation. At Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers, we encourage our clients to participate in the counselling or mediation services available to assist them to reach an agreement with their spouse/former partner

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Mediation Services

Mediation Lawyers

Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers offer Mediation Services to assist parties to engage in effective dispute resolution. Our Principal, Frances Edwards, has extensive experience in negotiating settlements in both parenting and property matters, and is a National Accredited Mediator and member of LEADR and IAMA.

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De Facto

De Facto Lawyers

De Facto couples (including same sex couples) who separate after 1 March 2009 have the same rights as married couples. The rights and obligations of couples upon the breakdown of a Marriage or De Facto relationship are now all governed by the Family Law Act 1975. De Facto couples who separated prior to 1 March 2009 are still covered by the old State legislation


We are a leading family law firm in Sydney with over 30 years of award-winning experience in matters relating to complex family law matters. We are a full-service family law firm with a rich history of helping clients with complex property settlements, divorce law, divorce negotiations, child custody and mediation services. Our law firm has a strong focus on providing expert specialist advice relating to Family Law following the breakdown of your marriage or de facto relationship.

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We acknowledge the Cammeraygal and Gadigal people being the traditional owners of the land on which we work and their elders past and present.