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 Family Law Client Care Drafting Essentials: Advice Letters, BFAs and Child Support Agreements – a live lunchtime online conference

Online Conferences,Family Law,Family Law Client Care Drafting Essentials: Advice Letters, BFAs and Child Support Agreements – a live lunchtime online conference
Thursday 21st October 2021
Vic, NSW, ACT, Tas: 12 noon to 2.45pm
QLD: 11am to 1.45pm
SA/NT: 11.30am to 2.15pm
WA: 9.00am to 11.45am
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Hear from the experts at this online lunchtime conference. You can watch it on your computer or on your portable electronic device from anywhere.

The conference will be based on our highly successful video webinar technology: there'll be a chairperson, presentations and you'll have an opportunity to ask questions via online chat.

One registration can be shared by colleagues within the same firm utilising the same login.


Session 1: In the Beginning…. Drafting Letters of Advice in Family Law

The letter of advice that follows an appointment with a new client (as well as subsequent meetings) is an essential and important element in the family law process. Not only is it the primary document for advising the client, but it also provides protection to a lawyer when a client takes the view they have not been adequately advised. This session will look at how to draft a compliant and comprehensive letter of advice, including:

  • Obligations of legal practitioners under the Family Law Act 1975 to their clients
  • Structure of the letter and plain English drafting: creating a template
  • Separating facts and assumptions – being succinct and relevant in recording background facts
  • The jurisdiction and the law: what the client needs to know
  • Drafting tips when advising the client on:
  • Separation
  • Parenting
  • Child support
  • Financial and property claims
  • Making proper disclosures and affidavits
  • Family violence protection options
  • Injunctions and other interim arrangements
  • Fee advice – legal fees, filing fees and fee reduction
  • Attachments to the letter of advice

Session 2: Drafting Binding Financial Agreements that Withstand the Test of Time

The Family Law Act 1975 allows couples to enter into financial agreements before, during and following the end of their marriage or de facto relationship concerning division of assets in the event of a separation. However, there is always a potential risk that the financial agreement may be set aside, including where it has failed to meet the legislative requirements or its terms are ambiguous or incomplete. This session provides a practical guide to drafting agreements that are able to withstand both the challenges of a relationship breakdown and the legal scrutiny of the courts, including:

  • Reviewing the legislative requirements for making a financial agreement
  • Drafting appropriate letters of advice
  • The importance of complete financial disclosure from your client
  • Structuring the financial agreement and drafting in clear, unambiguous terms
  • What’s in and what’s out: determining content – property, financial issues, liabilities, proposed division, spousal maintenance claims, children, and pets
  • Incorporating additional complexities: family trusts, family businesses and investments, blended families, taxation implications and superannuation funds
  • Recent cases on financial agreement interpretation

Session 3:  Drafting and Enforcing Child Support Agreements

Parties are increasingly choosing to enter into child support agreements to allow more flexibility and control in how their child’s expenses will be met between them. However, getting the right child support agreement in place while navigating the procedural challenges can be difficult, particularly in light of recent reforms. This session sets out:

  • Choosing the right type of child support agreement
  • What to include in the agreement – a practical guide
  • Estimating income and expenses for child support agreement purposes 
  • Understanding the new reforms - when is a Child Support Agreement cancelled or suspended?
  • What constitutes a substantial change?
  • When is an eligible carer no longer eligible?
  • What are the implications of the reforms on each of the parents?
  • Apportioning during the suspension period

Carly Middleton, Partner, Barkus Doolan Family Lawyers, Sydney (Chair)

Barry Berger, Director, Dignity.Legal, Accredited Family Law Specialist, Melbourne

James Steel, Principal, Barry Nilsson, Brisbane

Tarah Tosh, Director, Michael Lynch Family Lawyers, Brisbane

  • It was just like being at a well run conference but in many ways better. 
  • This option is of great assistance to country practitioners.
  • The live online conference format worked well and made the speakers more engaging than a recording.
  • Our team used the boardroom.  We could talk and discuss the presentation without feeling we were imposing on others and you could submit a question, which we did.  All from the comfort of our own office.
  • The conference was well organised and the email links very useful.

Delegates registered to attend the LIVE event will receive a CPD certificate for attendance.  Lawyers can claim up to 2.5 CPD units/points (substantive law).


If you register and pay by 8th October 2021 you will pay only $495 – a saving of $55 off the full price conference registration fee of $550.

If you need assistance or have an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our Event Coordinator, Hayley Williams–Cameron on (03) 8601 7730 or email: [email protected]

© Television Education Network Pty Ltd 2021

Product Code: OFLOCT21
 Price:   $495.00 (Inclusive of GST)