Peter Szabo  Family Law

Peter is an acknowledged leader among Family Lawyers. He has been at the cutting edge in the development of Family Law. He was involved in the famous case of Ascot Investments and Harper. This 1980 High Court decision remains definitive of third party rights in the Family Court. His main focus now on the interaction between Family Law, asset protection and succession planning. Peter is author of the Family Law Practice Manual. His qualifications and experience are extensive and include:

  • Accredited Family  Law Specialist;
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers –
  • A trained mediator; and
  • A trained collaborative lawyer

The  fusion  of  de  facto and  same  sex  couples  under   the Family Law umbrella likewise  highlights the need for families, particularly those  involved in family businesses  to consider the ramifications of these developments. Failure  to do so can result  in unwanted consequences on  family breakdown. Not to mention the emotional distress and legal costs  involved.

Financial  Agreements (often called  Prenuptial Agreements) can be constructively minimise those complications. In recent decisions of various  State Supreme Courts  testamentary intentions expressed in such  an agreement has been  taken into  consideration in determining whether to allow  a claim on an estate. A properly constructed agreement with reasonable terms  can  achieve  this  result.  Willmakers can  to this  extent add   a  defence to  a  claim   by   a  widow/widower.  This  is becoming a very  important issue with Greying Australia and the increasing incidence of Blended Families.

Other publications by Peter Szabo

  • The Family Court Practice Manual (since1985), published by the Leo Cussen Institute of Victoria and now  in its 6th  edition.
  • The Family Law Practice Manual – published by Documents Online
  • Family  Law Financial  Settlements – Law Book  Company
  • Tax Issues in Family Law – the difference between Hacking and Carving. Published on this site.
  • The Family Breakdown chapter in the CCH Master Financial  Planning  Guide
  • Numerous papers annually for presentation

to lawyers,  financial planners and accountants nationally, on all aspects  of Family  Law.

Other contributions to the legal profession 

  • Family  Law Instructor at the Leo Cussen Institute since 1978.
  • Founding Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Accreditation Board for Family  Law Specialists in Victoria, the first specialist program in Australia.
  • Current chair of the Accredited Specialists Continuing Education Committee

A self confessed computer nerd, he has presented Nationally on   office  automation  systems.   Peter has been described  as  one   of   the Pilgrim Fathers  of technology in the Legal Profession. Now a Life Member, he was President of the Apple Users of Melbourne computer club from 1990 to 1992. He continued lecturing monthly on technology until 2005.

Peter can be contacted at  Szabo  Family Law  13/200 Queen Street Melbourne 3000  Telephone: 03 8648 6590 or by email at


Picking the right location for your business.

  Some businesses rely heavily on their location for success. It can be the difference between thriving and succeeding and struggling to make ends meet. Recognise the red flags before committing to the wrong property. For the sake of this article I will use the...

Why Buy a Commercial Property?

Most wealthy individuals all have investments in commercial property. Serious investors collect commercial properties. ‘Retail’ or ‘mum and dad’ investors collect residential properties. Fewer investors own commercial property, but these investors make far more than...

Lending Money to a Family Member?

I am lending money to a family member. Do I need a mortgage? Today’s article was prompted by a question from the general public. A lady called the office and said: ‘I am lending money to my son to buy a house. I am considering downloading your mortgage precedent –...

Prenups… Mandatory for Second Relationships

Wills and Estate lawyers carefully ensure that Wills, Powers of Attorney and the like are in place in case of death. But rarely is anything put in place in case the parties separate, which happens to over 50% of relationships. Fortunately, the only document required...

Bank of Mum & Dad v Family Court

Young couples wanting to get into the property market are having a hard time of it. Interest rates have skyrocketed, as has the value of property. Enter the Bank of Mum and Dad. This source of finance is now more readily available. More so as the Baby Boomers age,...

Why Vendor Finance is a Bad Idea..

A client recently told me she had learned about vendor financing in a business seminar. One of those seminars was spruiked by slogans such as ‘build a business empire with no money down’.In my experience vendor finance almost always backfires. Here’s why. Purchasers...

How’s this for Sneaky!!

How’s this for sneaky…   I recently advised a client looking to purchase a particular business. On reading through the Contract of Sale I perused the Lease attached to the Contract. The Lease expired in a year’s time, but it had two options to extend for two more...

A New Legal Product for Your Firm’s Clients

THE SOLE-OFFICER COMPANY POWER OF ATTORNEYHere is a new legal product!And you can instantly add it to your range of legal services. It’s suited for both new and existing clients.   Every sole-director company needs an attorney - and our suite of templates gives...