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First Meeting with Family Lawyer - Advice?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Anna D, 10 April 2014.

  1. Anna D

    Anna D Member

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    My husband is divorcing ( divorce) me after I discovered that he's been having an affair for the past 3 years. He has caught me completely off guard. I then got a rather aggressive letter from my husband's family lawyer! We have 3 children. My friend who is a corporate lawyer has referred me to a good family lawyer and I have my first meeting next week. I've started getting ready with some questions. What should I be doing to make the most of this family lawyer at my first meeting and throughout the process?
     
  2. rebeccag

    rebeccag Well-Known Member

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    Have a good talk with your family lawyer. You could ask them about their costs, how long it will likely take to get a resolution, what your legal rights and responsibilities are, and the options available to resolve your matter.
    After speaking with them, reflect on whether:
    (a) you feel comfortable with them and that they really understand you.
    (b) you feel that you've been fully informed of your legal rights.
    (c) their advice and approach sits well with you.
    (d) they are experienced in family law and can represent you to get the best outcome.
    (e) you're comfortable with the cost structure and it is transparent.


    A good family lawyer will tick all those boxes and guide you through what will be an intense emotional time with great skill.
    The Family Law Courts website may also be useful for you.
     
  3. Sue B

    Sue B Member

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    Its good that you seem to have already chosen your family lawyer and you're getting advice as soon as possible. Get the family lawyer to help you understand your legal position in relation to parenting matters with the children, property settlement, financial support and estate planning. Just prepare a whole list of questions/concerns to ask about on your first meeting - they should be happy to answer any of your questions (there's no silly question). Also ask about the best and worst case outcomes. Bring the letter from your husband's family lawyer and any other helpful information (like financial information, list of assets, etc).
     
  4. Deborah M

    Deborah M Member

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    It sounds like there's a sense of urgency as your husband has already seen a lawyer and got a letter to you. Given your husband's aggressive and fast approach, it doesn't seem like you'd be able to resolve all the aspects of your separation by negotiating directly with him. So your family lawyer should give you advice about the strategy for negotiating with your husband and his family lawyer, and the pro's and cons going forward.
     
  5. Mark F

    Mark F Member

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    Speak with your family lawyer about options for reaching a settlement out of court, such as mediation and conciliation. You can just get your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf, especially if your husband is being unpleasant or you're not comfortable dealing with him anymore. If you're not able to resolve your matter out of court, then you can speak with your family lawyer about the advantages and disadvantages of issuing proceedings in the courts. Make sure your family lawyer continues to advise you fully about processes and your settlement options during court proceedings.
     
  6. Sam S

    Sam S Member

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    Recommendations are important in family law so its good for you to speak to everyone whose opinion you value with experience in what you are about to go through. Most people who have used a family lawyer will be happy to share what their experience was like.



    Ask lots of questions like:

    - Was the lawyer an expert in family law (ie, knew their stuff)?

    - Did the family lawyer listen and give good legal advice as well as advise about the process?

    - Did they talk about costs and stay true and transparent with their costs?

    - Did they work to get a resolution as quickly as possible (or drag the case through the courts)?



    As you can see from previous answers, you've got a number of family lawyers to choose from in Melbourne.
     

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