Kristie Smith

Director

Kristie Smith is the Legal Practice Director of Meillon & Bright Legal; family lawyers in Western Australia and New South Wales. Kristie has worked exclusively in family law since 2009 and currently provides services primarily to clients in Sydney and Perth.

Kristie commenced her family law career working for the Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia, in Canberra. She then started her private practice experience in one of Canberra’s leading family law firms working with clients in both private and public sector, gaining experience in government (and defence) entitlements, superannuation, and pensions.

A move to Perth in 2012, saw her continue private practice at one of Perth’s largest family law firms. During this time, Kristie worked closely with Special Counsel and gained extensive experience in litigation. Through this experience in complex parenting and property matters which were active in the Court, Kristie gained the expertise to now spend regular time as Counsel in both the Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and Family Court of Western Australia.

Kristie practises in all areas of family law and is well-versed in advising clients across diverse issues in family law matters. She has expertise in complicated property matters involving complex structures such as several corporate entities and trusts, tax issues and self-managed superannuation funds. Kristie has a particular interest in farming matters and the complexity of multi-generational ownership.

Kristie is also experienced in complex parenting matters. Through her experience as an Independent Children’s Lawyer, She regularly appears in Court to act for vulnerable children at risk.

Kristie has appeared regularly in relocation matters, intense familial conflict, and more discrete parenting matters such as change of name, travel with children and school issues. Kristie’s focus in parenting matters is protecting children from conflict (where possible) and centring the conduct of the matter on the outcomes for the child.

Kristie is respected for her pragmatic approach, focused on resolving the key issues in dispute and providing immediate value to her clients.

Kristie is a member of the Legal Aid panel. She also has professional memberships with:

  • Family Law Section (Law Council of Australia);
  • Law Society of NSW;
  • Law Society of Western Australia; and
  • Family Law Practitioner’s Association of Western Australia.

Kristie is recognised in the Doyles Guide as a Leading Family and Divorce Lawyer and a Leading Parenting, Custody and Children’s Matter Lawyer.

Recent blogs by Kristie

The effect of family violence orders on parenting orders

The effect of family violence orders on parenting orders

With parenting disputes that end up in Court, the Court will take into consideration any family violence orders to ensure it makes safe, reasonable, and effective parenting orders. In this article, we explore family law matters where family violence orders intersect with parenting orders.
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Parental rights with artificial insemination and sperm donation

Parental rights of sperm donors

In Australia, there is a common misunderstanding that sperm donors will automatically not hold any parental rights to a child born using artificial conception. While this may be the case in some circumstances, in other situations, a sperm donor may be ruled the legal father of a child born through his donation.
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Major changes to the Family Law Act from October 2023

Major changes to the Family Law Act from October 2023

On 19 October 2023, amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 passed through the Federal Parliament with ease. The Federal Government believes that these changes will ensure that the family law system is “accessible, safer, simpler to use, and delivers justice and fairness”.
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What is child inclusive family dispute resolution?

What is child inclusive family dispute resolution?

Child-inclusive Family Dispute Resolution is a tailored form of mediation used in family law parenting disputes. Child-inclusive FDR aims to find the child’s voice through a process of developmental consultation and therapeutic conversation with a person called a “child consultant”.
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