What to expect at your first Family Law appointment

Scheduling an appointment to discuss a family law matter can be daunting, at an already tense time. To help lift some of the mystery and provide some peace of mind, we’ve put together a guide of what to expect at your first appointment.

What to bring?

It’s important to bring with you two forms of photo identification (preferably your driver licence and passport) but if you don’t have a passport your birth certificate, medicare card and if applicable your marriage certificate. When you first arrive at our office you will be asked to fill in a client information sheet and provide your photo identification. We do this so that we have your contact information on file and have fulfilled our legal obligation to verify your identity.

What questions will you be asked?

The questions you will be asked will depend on the type of matter you are coming in to discuss. For example for advice regarding divorce or property settlement, you will be asked details like:

  • the dates that the relationship commenced and ended
  • whether you are married or defacto
  • details of any assets owned such as real estate, bank accounts, superannuation and cars
  • details of any liabilities such as a mortgage credit card debt or personal loan
  • what kind of contributions each party made before, during and after the relationship
  • the future needs of each party (factoring in age health and earning capacity etc.)

If you are visiting regarding a parenting matter you might be asked details such as:

  • the ages of your children
  • whether there are any current parenting arrangements in place
  • the views of the child

Regarding any family law matter you might be asked about whether you have a current Will and Binding Death Benefit nomination in your super.

What should I do before the appointment?

It’s a good idea to write down any questions you want to ask, or any areas that are causing you particular concern or anxiety. Talking with an experienced family law professional can help to ease some of the worry and clarify the path forward.

If you have any concerns about domestic violence, you should also bring this to the attention of your family law professional, as they will be able to provide tailored advice in these circumstances.

What advice can I expect in my initial appointment?

The advice you will be given will be tailored to your personal circumstances and will depend on your unique situation. At your initial appointment you can expect advice regarding your options moving forward, advice on any costs and time limits that might be relevant to you.

To discuss your appointment or to make an appointment to discuss your family law matter, please contact us.

*The legal information in this post is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon

Walker PenderWhat to expect at your first Family Law appointment