How can I prepare for an initial family law consultation?

The breakdown of a relationship can be one of the most challenging times in anyone’s life and identifying the necessary steps to provide suitable arrangements for your future can be a daunting prospect.  Understanding your rights and obligations is essential to best prepare for those next steps.

Preparing for an initial family law consultation with a lawyer is essential to make the most of your meeting.  Here are some key steps you can take:

Understand Your Goals:

Before your consultation, consider your priorities and objectives, the outcomes you will be seeking, and the priorities and objectives of your former partner or spouse.  This will help your lawyer tailor advice to your needs.

Gather Relevant Documents:

  • For property matters: Collect documents related to your financial position (e.g., bank statements, tax returns, property values, motor vehicle values, and superannuation entitlements).  Where documentary evidence of values is unavailable, it is still beneficial to consider what you would estimate the value of your assets and liabilities to be.
  • For parenting matters: Outline your current parenting arrangements and any concerns.  In many circumstances, it is beneficial to prepare a brief chronology of events and to list risk factors, such as drug or alcohol abuse, violent or controlling behaviours, unmanaged mental health, and parental capacity concerns.  It is beneficial to bring copies of any documents concerning the safety and well-being of children (e.g., Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, Court Attendance Notices, hospital discharge summaries, etc.).
  • For divorce applications: Bring a copy of your marriage certificate and note the date of separation.  If you have lived separated under one roof, consider noting details of your living arrangements and the nature of your relationship to give to your lawyer.

Prepare a List of Questions:

To obtain the greatest benefit from your initial consultation, it is recommended that you create a list of questions to address during the consultation.  Examples of commonly asked questions include prospects of success, costs, timelines, alternatives to court and legal procedures.

Please note that all consultations with your lawyer are confidential, it is essential to be honest and fully transparent. Your lawyer will provide advice based on the information you provide, so it is essential to accurately provide all the information you have available.

If you are considering separation, it is important to speak to a family lawyer first.  We have experienced solicitors in Newcastle and the Central Coast area that can help you through your family law matter.

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation for $220.  Simply Contact one of our friendly staff members to make an appointment.