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Tips for Your First Appointment with a Family Lawyer

Family Law
26 Jun 2024
By Christine Mayes
Tips for Your First Appointment with a Family Lawyer

Seeing a lawyer for the first time can be daunting, especially in the often difficult times following a family breakdown. There are no particular actions you need to take before speaking to a lawyer, and taking the first step of having an appointment is enough.

However, if you would like to get the most out of your initial consultation with a family lawyer, here are some tips we’ve prepared to help you do that: 

  1. Bring all court documents and letters you have received from the other party’s lawyer with you. If there are a lot of documents or if they are long, it may assist to send them to your lawyer ahead of your first appointment. 
  1. If you want advice about what happens to the property of your relationship, make a list of the major assets and debts owned by you and your former partner, and look up the values of any property you are unsure of. Your lawyer will need this information to give you advice. 
  1. If there is a family home or other real estate that you wish to retain, speak to a mortgage broker about your ability to refinance the loan into your sole name, and how much you might be able to pay out the other side if required.
  2. Prepare a timeline of the major events in your relationship. If you are seeing a family lawyer about a property matter, this might mean when you bought and sold houses or shares and for how much. If you are seeking parenting advice, this might mean when care arrangements have changed or when incidents of domestic violence or other risk issues occurred.
  3. Come to the appointment with a list of questions that you have for your lawyer. This will make sure you don’t forget anything that you think is important. In most cases, it will be easiest for the lawyer to direct the appointment and go through the advice they need to give you, and then address any questions that have not been answered already at the end.

If you would like more information on anything in this blog, please contact Christine Mayes in our Family Law Team on 4417 4417.