Family Law

Adelta Legal has a highly experienced team of family lawyers to assist you in every aspect of family law. We put you, the client first and offer timely, competent, and efficient family law services.

At Adelta Legal we offer you a full service of family law tools to assist in whatever your matter requires, including:

Our aim is to work with you to tailor a plan to navigate your separation or divorce that best suits your matter and your individual situation.

We have a team of experienced family lawyers, family mediators, collaborative practitioners, and arbitrators.

We see the court process as a last resort. We are cost conscious and aim to resolve matters amicably without resort to lengthy and delayed court hearings.

Matters involving serious domestic violence, wastage from gambling and addictions or complex property matters may need to be dealt with on an urgent and contested basis. International children’s matters and child abduction need urgent litigation and we are skilled to assist with this.

We have a policy of one family lawyer assigned to each client’s matter and do most preliminary arguments, conferences, and mediations “in house” and only brief barristers after careful consideration if your matter warrants this extra support.

The time of the breakdown of a relationship and the family is one of the most traumatic and stressful times of a person’s life.

On request we work closely with a team of counsellors, mental health specialists and financial advisers to ensure your negotiation during this difficult time considers your mental health, family violence issues, and the grief cycle.

We also know at separation one partner has little knowledge of the finances. We will support and assist you to gain this knowledge. The timing of when and how you engage in the legal process is important.

Our fees are competitive with other family lawyers in South Australia. We are always happy to have our lawyers discuss our fees in a preliminary discussion at no cost. We have accredited family law specialists and senior family lawyers together with other family lawyers who charge at different rates.

We are open to discussing fees and payment plans at all stages of your matter and provide clients with regular accounts and updates on projected fees going forward.

We offer the full range of family law services including:


For more information on children matters click here and for information regarding surrogacy and adoption click here.


For more information on property settlement matters services click here.

We also offer:

Urgent matters

If your matter is urgent, involving serious domestic violence, wastage from gambling and addictions, together with international children’s matters and child abduction all of which may need urgent litigation and we are skilled to assist with this.

Please ring for a short phone consultation for us to determine whether we can assist you on a no obligation basis.

We have offices in the city and at Tea Tree Gully for the convenience of clients.   In addition, for the elderly or infirm, visits can be made to clients at home or in hospital.

Call us on 08 8415 5000 or send an email to make an appointment.

Key people for Family Law:

Ian Charman

Accredited Family Law Specialist

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Accredited Family Law Specialist


Ian was admitted to practice in 1987 and brings a wealth of experience to Adelta Legal. He joined Adelta Legal in October 2018 after several different practices in the Adelaide city and at Gawler. Ian spent 18 years practising in his own practice before merging with Adelta Legal to expand the Family Law Section. He is one of a few Accredited Specialists in Family Law practising in South Australia. He is also a qualified Independent Children’s Lawyer and regularly appointed to represent the best interests of children in complex family law matters.

Ian is a skilled and persuasive advocate appearing regularly in the Federal Circuit and Family Courts.

In the past, Ian has been a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee. He has also written  and presented papers for the further legal education of other lawyers in the area of Family Law. He has been a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and been a member of a discussion panel to the National Conference of Independent Children’s Lawyers.

Ian’s approach to the practice of family law is to provide appropriate advice to his clients as soon as possible to try to ensure the best result as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Ian practices in matters involving disputes between parents and care givers over children, property settlements and spousal maintenance.

Ian’s experience and expertise enables him to quickly get to the core of most disputes and to avoid being bogged down in a paper war. He tries at all times to keep the focus upon the client’s bottom line and to maintain a sensible, common sense approach to the practice of the law.

Contact Ian Charman

Tom Hawkes


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Tom was admitted to practice in 1975. Tom joined the firm when Lempriere Abbott McLeod merged with Adelta Legal in 2021.

He practices primarily in the areas of family and de facto law, with a particular focus on the resolution of property and financial disputes.

He has considerable experience in the preparation of pre-nuptial and other relationship agreements.  Tom also attends to the preparation of wills and powers of attorney and acts in contested estate and guardianship matters.

Tom recognises the benefit of a strong customer/client focus and as a recognised leader in his field receives numerous referrals from within the profession.

Tom has a wide range of experience in:

  • family law
  • divorce
  • de facto matters
  • property
  • maintenance
  • children
  • child support
  • pre-nuptial and financial agreements
  • Hague Convention
  • wills
  • deceased estates.

Tom is a member of the Law Society of South Australia and Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

Contact Tom Hawkes

Catherine Hokin

Senior Associate

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Senior Associate

LL.B, BA (Jur), BA (Hons)

Catherine has more than 25 years of experience practising in family law and civil litigation.

Catherine was admitted in 1995 having gained a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) with Honours in Politics and a Law Degree with Honours at the Adelaide University.

Catherine joined the firm when Lempriere Abbott McLeod merged with Adelta Legal in 2021.

Along with expertise in all areas of family law, Catherine has substantial experience in general civil litigation including property matters and professional negligence.

Catherine is committed to providing support and a high standard of professional service to clients in the following areas:

  • family law
  • property settlement
  • divorce
  • de facto matters
  • financial agreements
  • spousal maintenance
  • child support
  • surrogacy
  • adoption.

Catherine is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Association of Collaborative Professionals.

Contact Catherine Hokin

Catherine Leis

Senior Associate

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Senior Associate

B.A., LL.B. (Hons)

Catherine has over 20 years of experience and expertise in all aspects of family law.  She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Adelaide University.

Catherine provides  pragmatic and empathetic advice to individuals during their relationship, after a separation and if they are having difficulties with parenting arrangements.

Being raised on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia Catherine understands the specific challenges faced by those in rural and regional areas.  She has assisted many metropolitan, rural and agricultural clients to navigate the complexities of family law especially where there is intergenerational business or farming enterprises including companies, trusts and self managed superannuation funds.

Catherine can provide specialised assistance in the following areas:

  • divorce
  • parenting matters
  • pre-relationship and pre-marriage financial agreements
  • de facto and matrimonial property with complex property pools, farms and family businesses
  • spousal maintenance
  • child support and adult child maintenance
  • children’s and parenting matters including relocation
  • mediation

Being Adelaide metropolitan based since 2012, Catherine has raised two children who have experienced both city and country living like her.  They are all avid travellers and campers.

When she can, Catherine likes to get away with friends and family to explore the wide brown land, South Australia’s wineries, restaurants and especially the gin distilleries.

Catherine is a qualified mediator having successfully completed the AIFLAM mediation program in October 2023.

She is a member of Family Law Section; Law Society of SA; and AIFLAM and she is on the Practice & Ethics Committee of Law Society

Contact Catherine Leis