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  • Writer's pictureEvan Sarinas

Secrets for a Seamless Initial Family Law Consult

Updated: Apr 25


Seeking early legal advice is crucial following a relationship/family breakdown and can ensure you have peace of mind and realistic expectations during a time that can be very emotional, unsettling and stressful.

 

In this article, we have collated a list of the key issues, question and essential documents that will be relevant for your initial family law consultation, to help you mentally prepare for the appointment and get maximum get maximum benefit and value from the appointment.


Table of Contents  

 


 

The Importance of Full and Frank Disclosure


Family law is inherently sensitive in nature, and full and honest disclosure to your lawyer is essential for accurate advice and fulfilling your mandatory disclosure obligations through the legal process.

 

All legal consultations and advices are strictly confidential, so don't be embarrassed or worried about sharing sensitive personal and financial information with your lawyer. full and frank disclosure will result in more personalised and accurate legal advice for your unique situation.


What to Consider Before the Appointment

 

Firstly, prepare a list of questions for your lawyer about your circumstances and your concerns.  These can include questions about:

 

  • The process and dispute resolution options available;

  • Parenting arrangement options;

  • Potential outcomes for the case;

  • Estimated time frames; and

  • Estimated legal fees.

 

Secondly, think about your needs and goals for the family law process:

 

  • What outcome are you seeking and why?

  • What are you worried about?

  • What is most important for our children?

 

What to Bring to The Appointment


Gather and bring copies of relevant documents for your lawyer to review during the appointment, such as:

 

  • Your marriage certificate;

  • Mortgage statements;

  • Market appraisals for any properties;

  • Trust deeds;

  • Investment portfolios;

  • Your payslips for the last 3 months;

  • Tax records for the last 3 years;

  • Bank statements and credit card statements for the last 12 months; and

  • Superannuation statements

 

Be ready to provide up-to-date information about:

 

  • Your expenses

  • Your living arrangements, including any shared care arrangements for your children;

  • Your employment history;

  • Your children’s schools, education needs and any medical needs.

 

Have relevant dates handy:

 

  • The date your relationship commenced;

  • The date you were married (if applicable);

  • The date you began living together;

  • The dates of birth of your children;

  • The date of separation; and

  • The date that either party moved out of the family home.

 

Turn your mind to the property pool of the relationship, both assets and liabilities. This can include:

 

  • Property;

  • Vehicles and boats;

  • Superannuation;

  • Trust shares;

  • Cryptocurrency;

  • Insurance policies;

  • Companies;

  • Furniture;

  • Personal items such as jewellery;

  • Mortgages;

  • Debts, including student loans, personal loans and credit card debts; and

  • Loans.

 

It can be very helpful to arrange your expenses and liabilities in a table form, separated into sections for your spouse and your former spouse.


Consider what your current and future financial needs are:

 

  • Your budget

  • Your expenses

  • Any medical conditions

  • Investigate your borrowing capacity in case of refinancing or purchasing a new home

 

If there are allegations of domestic/family violence, please bring:

 

  • Copies of any AVOs/DVOs/Court Orders;

  • Photographs of any injuries;

  • Details of any medical providers or other providers who are aware of the violence/injuries.


Conclusion


Whilst this isn't a comprehensive list, the above should be helpful with knowing what to expect and what to bring for your first family law appointment. We provide our clients with specific tailored advice for their unique circumstances, together with a detailed Separation Checklist to help keep overwhelm and stress at bay.


Choosing the right family lawyer in Townsville is an important decision that can impact the outcome of your case. 


Following these steps will facilitate a constructive, accurate, in-depth and personalised discussion about your family law rights, obligations and entitlements, helping you to move forward feeling educated and empowered about your family law journey.

With the right lawyer by your side, you can pursue your family law separation and property settlement with confidence and reassurance.


Contact us today for your obligation-free initial claim consultation.


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