Your first meeting with a family lawyer
Come prepared to learn. We will provide you with a lot of information. Bring a notepad or a support person if you think they will help you remember.
Try to be ready to tell us your story, what you want and don’t want, and how you’d like to move forward. However, also know that it is ok to not be sure. It is often a difficult time and that is where we can help you find some clarity.
Bring relevant documents
Bring existing documentation relating to your situation that may assist us to understand your circumstances.
The following are examples of what may assist us:
- Letters from your ex-partner or their solicitor;
- Court documents;
- AVOs or ADVOs;
- Financial documents such as bank, mortgage and superannuation statements, tax returns, share certificates, and documents relating to trusts or businesses your family is involved in;
- Diary entries or timelines or when the children have spent time with each parent (if your circumstance involves children);
- Your marriage certificate (if you have been married) or your divorce certificate if you have divorced; and
- Any other documents that you consider may be relevant to your matter. The more information the better!
Bring a list of questions
People are often overwhelmed with information and emotions during our first meeting that they forget the questions they had in mind to ask us. It’s a good idea to compile a list of specific questions that you want answered. Some questions you might like to ask are:
- What are the steps in reaching an amicable resolution?
- What should I do if ‘X’ or ‘Y’ happens?
- Will I have to sell my house?
- What is your experience in this area?
- What will happen with our kids? What happens if my partner doesn’t return our kids to me?
- What is a timeframe for resolution?
- What costs are involved?
- What options are available to me?
Have an open mind
Often the options we suggest to you may be different to the ideas you may have considered. Have an open mind and try and consider all of the various resolution pathways that we propose.
However, also remember, all solicitors must act on our client’s instructions. Our job is to advise you about your options and the effect of different courses of action. Your job is to tell us what path you wish to take.
Try not to be overwhelmed. Lean on us
We may not be able to solve all of your problems in the first meeting, but we will get you on the right track and provide you with a clear path towards resolving your matter as amicably and quickly as possible.
What do you think?