Our Publications

We give you the information you need, so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.


Written by Harry Papadopoulos
July 2021

You want a Divorce – what do you mean?

People often say that they want a divorce but may not know what that really means.  Do they want to no longer be legally married to a person (in which case they need to apply for a divorce) or have they separated and want to divide up the couple’s assets, so that each can go their own way (in which case they really want a property settlement).



If you no longer want to be legally married to someone (your spouse), you need to apply for a divorce.  You cannot apply for a divorce unless you have been separated for at least 12 months.

There are special laws for couples who have not been married for at least 2 years, for couples who have separated but have lived under the same roof, for couples who have children and so on.  You need proper advice to know where you stand, when you can apply for a divorce and what you need to do.


Property Settlement

Whether or not you want a divorce, you can apply for a property settlement as soon as you and your spouse have separated.  You can also apply for a property settlement if you and your de facto partner have separated.

Some people, once they separate, prefer to divide their assets and liabilities themselves, without seeing a lawyer, whether to save on legal costs or for other reasons.  If this happens and your property division is not properly documented, you cannot protect yourself from your spouse or partner coming back later (sometimes years later) wanting more or wanting to formalise a different property settlement.  We can help you properly document a property settlement to protect you from future claims, whether whilst you are alive or after you have passed away.


Child Support, Parenting Arrangements and other Consequences of Separation

There are many more considerations when 2 people separate including tax considerations.

Contact us to see how we can assist you.





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5 Top Tips for buying your first home

Written by Anson Cheang
June 2021

You can give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve saved enough hard-earned money to purchase your first home.

So, what’s the next step?

Do your due diligence.

Usually a contract to purchase property says that the buyer must make and rely on their own enquiries – so buyer beware!

You may not be able to get out of the contract or claim against the seller if issues are discovered after contracts are signed.

Here are our 5 top tips for buying your first home. These will help you navigate the current market conditions and competitiveness, reducing your risk of getting caught out.


1. Consider ordering a building or strata report

For a free-standing house, a building and pest inspection report is recommended.   You could also consider ordering a survey and a building certificate, if there is none in the contract.

For an apartment (unit) in a building, a strata record inspection report is recommended. Depending on the age and condition of the apartment building, you may also want to order a building and pest inspection report.


2. Consider making other property enquiries 

Other certificates are available from various government and public authorities to see if the property is affected by government proposals, for example whether the road may be widened.

Depending on your concern, sometimes you can wait to order these certificates after contracts are signed.

You could also call the property’s local council to see what information the council is willing to give you about the local area.


3. Inspect the property in person

This will help you to be certain of what you’re purchasing.

Consider inspecting the property and the local area on different days and different times of days.

Test appliances and items included with the property to ensure that they are in working order.   If you discover any issues that you want the seller to repair, ensure this is agreed by the seller before signing the contract.

Of course, if you are buying a property which is yet to be built, “off-the-plan” , this will not be possible, but we can advise you of things to look out for.


4. Have your finances in order

Before committing to purchase, you should make sure you have your finances in order. That includes enough money to pay for the price, stamp duty, legal fees and other miscellaneous fees, such as bank fees.

Always allow extra money as a buffer to cover council and water rates and, if strata, levy adjustments to be made on settlement.  Settlement is the date the property becomes yours and can be several weeks after contracts are signed.

If you need to borrow money to purchase, you should ensure that you have received written loan approval for a sufficient amount for you to complete the purchase. This means you will have your deposit (payable when contracts are signed) ready to go, and the rest will be more smooth sailing.


5. Have a lawyer look over the contract

No matter how much you want to secure the property or how much you feel you are being pushed to purchase it, it is never wise to sign a contract without receiving legal advice.

A lawyer or conveyancer will pick up on issues that you may not have noticed.


Contact CMM Quay Legal and we can guide you through the process, saving you time, money and unnecessary stress.

This article is aimed at purchasing residential properties in NSW and provides general advice which may not be applicable to your specific circumstances.   The level of due diligence and what due diligence investigations to undertake, is dependent on the property you are looking to purchase, your risk appetite and other relevant circumstances.  Always obtain proper legal advice.




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What is Probate [and do I need it]?

Written by Celine Bacha
April 2021

When a person dies, they often leave behind assets such as property, bank accounts or shares. A legal representative is usually required to make an application for probate in order to deal with those assets which make up the ‘deceased’s estate’. The assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate are disclosed to the Court in the relevant State as part of the application for probate.


What is probate?

In NSW, a grant of probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court of NSW confirming that the Will of the deceased person is valid and that the legal representative may deal with the estate in accordance with the deceased’s Will.


When is probate needed?

An application for probate will usually be required in circumstances where there is:

Real estate (solely-owned by the deceased or where the deceased owned a specific share of it);

Solely-owned bank accounts which hold a substantial value, say over $15,000;

Shares; or

where there is a nursing home bond to be refunded.


Who applies for probate?

If the deceased left a Will, the person named as ‘executor’ would apply for probate. Once probate is granted, that person becomes the legal representative of the deceased’s estate.


What if there isn’t a Will?

If the deceased did not have a Will but left assets/liabilities to be dealt with, a document similar to a grant of probate would need to be applied for. A person who was close to the deceased (eg. family or a friend) would make the application.


What if the deceased left assets and liabilities and probate is not applied for?

If a grant of probate is not obtained when it is required, the asset/liability will remain dormant and unable to be dealt with until a grant of probate is obtained.


If you are in a position where you may need to make an application for probate, give us a call. We will help you determine your obligations precisely, delicately and easily.

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Trademarks Newsletter

Trademarks Newsletter

Your intellectual property is valuable. Can you afford not to protect it?

Our trade mark service is different. The quality of service and level of experience provided by lawyers can vary considerably. To help you compare skills, service and price, we enclose a checklist sheet for comparison quotes. We trust you will find this useful.

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Power of Attorney and Guardianship Newsletter

Power of Attorney and Guardianship Newsletter

Reduce your stress and reduce the stress of your important people.

Have you ever called an insurer to ask a question, only to be told that as you are not the policyholder, they cannot speak with you? The same happens with telephone companies, banks and most commercial service providers. Imagine if the account holder is in hospital or “out of range” and cannot make things happen: What then?

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Conveyancing Newsletter

Conveyancing Newsletter

A property is a large investment. Can you afford to get it wrong?

Our conveyancing service is different. Our clients tell us that we treat them so well, they can’t believe we have time for other clients. To help you compare skills, service and price, we enclose for you a checklist sheet for comparison quotes. We trust you will find this useful. Remember We go out of our way to make sure your transaction progresses smoothly, so that you can put your mind to the many other things you need to do. Our service,
experience and skills are without compromise.

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CMM Quay Legal Group

CMM Quay Legal Group