You have separated and now decided to seek a family lawyer to help assist you finalise either parenting or property matters (or both). It may seem daunting to meet with a lawyer and discuss your situation, which is not uncommon.
The famous author H.P. Lovecraft once said, "The oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown." To shed light on this unknown process and help you overcome this, below are some common questions you can expect to be asked for the first time meeting your lawyer.
1. “Important Dates”
Your family lawyer would require important dates, including the date you commenced the relationship, the date of the marriage (if applicable), and the date of separation.
2. "Do you have children?"
If there are children concerned, you will also need to provide their names, ages, and their current living arrangement.
3. "What are your assets?"
Your lawyer will need all information regarding your current assets and liabilities held by both sides, individually or jointly. You will discuss with your lawyer your existing assets and liabilities, including their values, how they were acquired, the legal ownership, and the dates when they were acquired. Information when these were acquired, whether before, during, or after the date of marriage or cohabitation, would also be helpful.
4. "Do you have any superannuation balances?"
Your family lawyer will also inquire about your superannuation or retirement pension benefit funds or insurance policies. Your lawyer may also ask if there are any entities such as companies, trusts, or partnerships and if you have any self-managed superannuation funds.
5. "What are the financial contributions of either party?"
Your family lawyer will ask if any financial contributions are made on behalf of either party, i.e., inheritances, compensation payouts, redundancies, large financial gifts, or loans.
6. "Other factors that may impact either party's future needs?"
To advise you adequately, your family lawyer will also inquire whether any relevant factors may impact either party's future needs, such as the ability to obtain gainful employment.
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Family lawyers must be provided with all the necessary information so they can assess your situation within the framework of family law. This would ensure that your family lawyer can offer you the most suitable option or options for your situation. Preparing for your first meeting with your lawyer will help maximize your lawyer's time and yours.
Our objective is to provide you with high-quality legal advice, and to do this, providing us with the above information is necessary, if applicable. If you require family law advice, contact the team at Coonan & Coonan Legal on 1300 001 298 or book an appointment on our website www.coonanandcoonanlegal.com.au