Preparing for Your First Family Law Appointment
Good morning. My name is Bruce Provan. I’m the Managing Director of Page Provan. We are a law firm specialising in family law and fertility law in Central Brisbane. I want to talk to you today about what to expect at your initial consultation with a family lawyer.
Obviously you’ll make the appointment first and probably be sent out some information. But when you arrive, it’s a process of us getting information from you about your circumstances and maybe what’s caused the separation and the situation that you find yourself in.
So the things we talk about when we have the initial consultation is firstly the children, because that’s most important and whether there’s arrangements in place for the children, whether you’re satisfied with those arrangements and if you’re not satisfied with those arrangements, the options open to you to work through and try to sort out better arrangements, whether that is going through family dispute resolution or whether it may involve having to go to court to come up with some satisfactory arrangements.
Once we’ve talked about that, we then move on to the financial issues and working through to try and find out from you what property you and your former spouse or partner have to divide up between the two of you. We go through a balance sheet with you to identify what assets, superannuation and liabilities there are and then we talk about all the factors that can impact upon a property settlement.
So, to give you an example: what were the initial contributions, what did each you have at the start of the relationship, what did each of you contribute during the relationship and post-separation? We also talk about the other factors, we call them the future needs, factors such as the age, earning capacity of each of you, your health and who has the primary care of the children and then try to give you an idea about what your property settlement entitlement might be.
As part of that discussion, we also talk about financial support and in particular whether you may require financial support and whether you may have an entitlement to spouse maintenance, whether in children you may have an entitlement to child support and we can discuss how that worked out and what you can do about that.
We also talk about the divorce itself, which is the simplest part of the process and often the last step. And we also talk about arrangements such as having a will and an enduring power of attorney. There could be many other things that we talked about during the process of the consultation and everyone’s circumstances are different, but that just gives you an idea about the sorts of matters that we would discuss and then the final step is to let you know what steps you can take next. In other words, what are the options available to you at that stage. Whether you want to proceed straight away to try to get things wrapped up or whether you prefer to just wait, see how things pan out before taking the next step.
We also talk about costs and what each step might cost you, what the process each step might cost and how we charge, what we charge, et cetera.
So I hope that’s of assistance to you, and we’ll give you some idea about what to expect prior to the initial consultation.
If you are separating or considering separating, please contact us at Page Provan and we would be more than willing to assist you.