It is the beginning of a new year and as a general rule at Collective Family Law, receives lots of enquiries from people wanting to come for a first appointment, so that we can resolve their family law matters.

Often with the pressure of Christmas and the new year, it all becomes too much and if relationships are fragile, added holiday pressure brings all the issues to the forefront.

It can be really scary contemplating having to retain a lawyer as you move through the separation and divorce process. Be assured that it is quite normal for people to get first appointment jitters, especially if it is very early days as far as the separation is concerned.

You are much better off to be advised of what your legal position is, than not. If you have a feeling that you need to see a lawyer now that you are separated then you probably do, so don’t hesitate in making that first appointment. Don’t hesitate as often coming in for your initial family law appointment, will give you clarity on how you move forward.

Doing a little bit of preparation is the best thing you can do to ensure you get the most from your first appointment with your family lawyer.

Bring to the appointment as much of the following information as possible.  In all cases:

  • Your full name, contact details, and date of birth
  • The full name, contact details, and date of birth of the other party
  • The full names and dates of birth of all the children who are involved in your family law matter
  • Copies of any Court documents or letters from other lawyers that you may have received about your family law matter.
  • A list of all the assets and liabilities that you have, either together or individually, including real estate, vehicles, superannuation, bank accounts, company shares, and trusts.

Sometimes it is not easy to get hold of all this information, if you have trouble don’t worry just bring along what you can. We will still be in a position to give you legal advice regarding your family law matter.

What to Expect

At your first appointment, you can expect that your lawyer will ask you a lot of questions in order to get the information they need in order to be able to give you the right advice. Some of the questions will feel very personal to you, however, it is important that your legal adviser knows this information, in order to give you advice regarding expected outcomes in your family law matter.

Before the appointment ends, you should be clear with your family law lawyer about:

  • what further information he or she needs from you;
  • what the next step is (if anything);
  • you should’ve discussed costs with your lawyer.

The most important thing after the first appointment is that you feel comfortable with your family law solicitor and that you know where you stand legally so that you can move on with confidence and clarity.

At Collective Family Law, we offer a free initial consultation to remove the pressure of fees. It is more important to us that you are armed with legal advice that you can trust so that you are able to move forward with your life at what is most often a difficult time.