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Children Legal Services


Disputes regarding child custody create an extremely stressful time for all parents and children involved. 

When a marriage or relationship deteriorates, it is especially confusing and stressful for the children involved. 

Factors such as the children’s age, personality, and the relationship/interactions they have with their parents all play a part in how they will react.

It is in the best interests of the children to have a loving relationship with both parents, however, putting arrangements in place to achieve this can be the most difficult component of settling a dispute.

At BWJ Law, we provide expert counselling in all areas of Queensland family law.

Our child custody solicitors offer expert legal guidance and give advice with the knowledge that child custody matters are especially difficult to address.

Contact us today to speak with one of our family lawyers based in Capalaba.

Frequently Asked Questions

Within the Family Law Act (Cth) it can be seen that equal shared parental responsibility between both parents should be expected for children involved in a child custody dispute. This means that each parent is presumed to have an equal say in the long-term decisions regarding their children, these decisions include but are not limited to:
  • Religion.
  • Schooling.
  • Health.

Although equal shared parental responsibility is assumed under the Family Law Act, it does not always become a reality. One of the parents involved within a dispute may be opposed to the idea of co-parenting and therefore seek to exercise equal parental responsibility for the children independently. This is why it is important to seek legal advice from a professional to ensure that the best interests and outcome for the children are kept a priority. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances that disapprove of equal shared parental responsibility between both parties, then our dedicated solicitors are here to fight for your rights.

Prioritizing the children’s best interests determines how much time each parent will spend with them.

However, in most cases it is usually of a great benefit to the children involved to spend as much time as possible with both parents.

Quality time spent with both parents is necessary for the children to enjoy their company and to receive their support, love, and care.

If you and your ex-partner have come to terms on an agreement that oversees the time each party will be spending with the children, along with in what way the time and days are divided, a formal Parenting Agreement or an application to the Court for a Parenting Order should be seriously considered.

Therefore, it is crucial to seek expert legal advice from an experiences child custody lawyer to assist with taking the necessary steps in putting an Agreement or Order in place, so that your rights are fully property if any issues present themselves.

For more information contact our office.

If you are currently experiencing a dispute in relation to the arrangements that have been agreed upon, you should seek legal advice to resolve the dispute and matter as soon as possible.

At BWJ Law our team of solicitors have extensive experience advising on and representing clients that are involved in a child custody matter.

Prior to submitting an application with the Court requesting an Order in relation to a child custody matter, the Family Law Act 1975 requires the parties to firstly attend mediation and secondly obtain a certificate from a registered Family Dispute Practitioner.

Our solicitors at BWJ Law will make sure that you are informed and prepared of the process of mediation, however, there are certain circumstances where a certificate is not necessary, these include urgency and violence.

If you believe that you or a loved one are in the midst of a matter of urgency, or experiencing violence, you should reach out to any relevant authorities and contact us immediately on 07 3390 2344.

A child support agreement being in place is important as it ensures that both parties will have a mutual understanding of the financial commitments that will be involved.

At BWJ Law we provide Fixed Fee Services that include negotiating and drafting a fair child support agreement for you.

If you are financially struggling with a child support agreement that is already in place, you should seek legal advice.

Our family law solicitors may be able to assist you to avoid any penalties.

Furthermore, if you lose your job and receive an income-tested benefit your assessment will reduce to a minimal amount.

Prior to departure, a written agreement or Court Order will be required for either party to travel or move interstate/overseas with the children.

If either party fails to provide this, it may result in criminal charges against them and a Court Order for the return of the children.

You should seek legal advice as soon as possible if your ex-partner is planning on travelling/moving with your children.

One of our experienced family solicitors will be there to assist you.  

Child custody arrangements and property/asset division can be formalised through an Application for Consent Orders. If you have amicably reached an informal agreement with your ex-spouse, an Application for Consent Orders is an effective way to formalise what has been agreed upon out-of-court and it will bring a sense of finality to your matter. However, this Application may be inevitably rejected by a Judge or Registrar for a multitude of reasons that include:
  • If the terms used within it are legally incorrect.
  • If the Orders proposed are not in the best interests of the children.
  • If the agreement is not fair and equitable in circumstances.
Therefore, it is always recommended that a professional family lawyer drafts your Consent Orders so that it is prepared correctly with your rights and entitlements protected. One of our expert solicitors based in Capalaba can assist you with drafting Consent Orders that combine the best interests of every party involved.

Get in touch with a separation lawyer

Seeking legal advice during divorce or separation is crucial. Our skilled lawyers provide guidance on your rights, the separation process, and key issues like property division and child custody.

At BWJ Law, your best interests are our priority. You’re not alone; our family law experts are here to support you.

Contact us for dedicated help.

Where to Find Us?

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas

Legal Bookkeeping & Accounting

Meet Lisa, our seasoned professional who joined our team in August 2022, boasting an impressive background of over two decades in accounting. With a solid foundation in IT and a Bachelor of Science under her belt, Lisa’s journey evolved as she not only managed her own accounting firm but also earned postgraduate degrees in both accounting and commercial law.

In her pivotal role, Lisa is instrumental in maintaining the firm’s compliance and ensuring seamless operations. Her wealth of experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team, contributing to our success and client satisfaction.

Beyond the numbers, Lisa finds balance in her life through activities like Pilates and walks with her beloved dogs. Her dedication, expertise, and passion make Lisa an invaluable asset to our team, driving us towards excellence in every aspect of our work.

Amy Hayslep

Amy Hayslep


Amy joined our team in December 2022 as a receptionist, where she plays a vital role in managing our firm’s administrative support and daily operations. 

Her commitment to excellence and efficiency has greatly contributed to the smooth running of our office. 

Amy is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business with a focus on Marketing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a testament to her dedication to professional growth and understanding of business dynamics. 

Amy’s aspiration to integrate her marketing insights into her current role demonstrates her forward-thinking approach and commitment to continuous improvement. Outside of work, Amy enjoys Pilates, baking, and gardening.

Jon Staby

Jon Staby


Jon was born in Windhoek, Namibia and moved with his family to Brisbane in 2005. Jon is currently studying his Bachelor of Laws and aims to complete it by the end of 2024. 

Jon has been currently working as a Paralegal since April 2023 and has a keen interest in all family law areas.  

Jon believes in the law to empathetically and expertly help clients to reach the best outcomes for their unique circumstances. 

In his free time, Jon’s hobbies include painting, playing basketball with friends, and watching television shows with his pet cat Luna.  

Serena May

Serena May

LLB (Hons) BBus

Serena was admitted to the profession in 2022 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business from QUT. 

Serena has previous experience as a Barrister’s Assistant in family law as well as working in a mid-tier commercial law firm in property law, wills and estates, employment law and construction disputes. This experience has provided her with the opportunity to learn from an array of senior legal practitioners before choosing to specialise in family law.

Serena is passionate about ensuring her clients feel well informed throughout their matter. Serena acknowledges every personal circumstance is unique and no other person knows exactly what it is like to walk in your shoes. 

Serena recognises that clients are often experiencing immense stress and require compassionate and efficient communication from start to finish to empower them to move on to the next chapter of their life.

On her weekends Serena enjoys heading to the coast for a surf and spending time with her poodle pup, Miss April May.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Practice Leader – Founder

Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from QUT in 2012, and was admitted as a lawyer in 2013. 

He also has a Bachelor of Science from UQ which he was awarded in 2007 (before deciding that a career in law would be more interesting than science).

Michael has practiced exclusively in the areas of Family Law, Child Safety (Care and Protection), and Domestic Violence since mid-2014. 

Michael has experience as a Separate Representative for children in Child Safety cases and has appeared on behalf of hundreds of people in Family Law and Domestic Violence cases in Queensland and the ACT.

Michael’s experience means he has a particularly keen insight into how to best avoid Court and he has an excellent record of settling cases quickly and without unnecessary conflict and cost. 

That said, he also knows how to best prepare and conduct litigation if Court becomes unavoidable, and he will expertly guide you through even the most complex and delicate case.

Michael takes a genuine interest in his clients and will make sure that you are properly advised in a way that is easy to understand, without all the unnecessary jargon that so many lawyers love to use. You can trust Michael to be direct, flexible, and empathetic. 

When he is not at work, Michael loves being in the outdoors, whether that’s fishing from his kayak or working in the garden. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

Matthew Watt

Matthew Watt

Practice Manager – Founder

As one of the founders of BWJ Law, Matt is an indispensable member of the executive team. 

He plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the firm, focusing on implementing operational strategies and realizing the organization’s vision. 

This ensures that all employees are equipped with the necessary resources to perform at their best, delivering unparalleled service to clients.

An active member of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and an associate member of the QLD Law Society, Matt consistently stays updated with the latest in legal practice management. 

He recognizes the significance of continuous professional growth, ensuring that he offers the best support to legal practitioners. 

Moreover, he adeptly manages a diverse range of corporate and strategic responsibilities inherent to the role of a practice manager.