Initial appointment with a family lawyer – everything you need to know


Initial appointment with a family lawyer – everything you need to know

If you are reading this article then chances are you have booked an initial appointment (or are thinking of booking an initial consultation) with a family lawyer. The initial appointment is your opportunity to tell your story and obtain some preliminary advice about your rights and entitlements.

To get the most out of your initial appointment it is important to come prepared. Providing your solicitor with the necessary information can not only save on costs, but it can potentially reduce the time that your matter takes to be resolved.

Before the consultation

Communication between lawyers and clients is confidential. You should ensure that the other party has no access to your mobile phone and/or emails by changing codes and passwords.

Family law matters can be stressful and emotional. It may helpful for you to write a list of questions you have for your family lawyer, so that you don’t forget anything during the appointment.

If you have any documents that are relevant to your family law matter, you should bring them with you. This can really help progress your matter.. The documents your lawyer will require depends on what your family law problem is and the issues in your case.

Some common documents are:

  1. Previous Family Court Orders;
  2. Parenting plans;
  3. Domestic Violence Orders (Protection Orders);
  4. A list of your current assets, liabilities, and superannuation with estimated values;
  5. Any relevant emails or text messages;
  6. Letters received from the other party’s solicitor; and
  7. Any other relevant document.

If you do not have all of any of these documents, don’t worry, you can get them to your lawyer later. You should not let this stop you from coming in for an appointment and getting advice as soon as possible. The earlier you can get legal advice, the better. People often come in for an initial appointment when they are only contemplating separating from their partner.

During the consultation

Your family law solicitor is going to ask you a lot of questions and provide with a lot of information based on your family law matter. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. It’s okay to take notes during the appointment to remind yourself what advice they gave you and what you need to do following the appointment.

At Cairns Family Law Group, we send our client’s away with a to do list, giving them a path to progress their family law dispute towards resolution.

Your solicitor will also talk to you about legal fees. It is important that you have an upfront conversation with your lawyer about legal fees. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the lawyer charges.

After the consultation

If you would like to engage your lawyer after the initial appointment they will send you a cost agreement and let you know what further information or documents they require in order to move forward with you matter. You should try and provide this as soon as possible.

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