Why you should get legal advice early

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Family law matters are tough. The personal and emotional nature of these types of matters can make them extremely difficult and overwhelming to make your way through.

It’s common to not know where to begin when your family relationship breaks down. It’s also common for people to want to dive right into sorting every matter out as soon as possible.

While being proactive is great when it comes to resolving family law matters, it’s important that you understand all of your options, which is why it’s even more important to seek legal advice as early as possible.

In the below video, we discuss the benefits of early legal advice, including how seeking legal advice after you’ve already made decisions can actually elongate the resolution process.

If you are unable to watch the video below, we’ve also included a transcript so you can read that any time.

Watch the video below

Step One - What to do as soon as you separate
(earlier if you see it coming!)

Play Video

Video Transcript

So, I’ve committed to a video a week, this week I am going to talk about what are the first things you should do if you make the decision to separate or you’re faced with being told that your partner wants to separate.

I always tell people don’t delay in getting legal advice a lot of people are very scared about going and seeing a lawyer because they just fear the fees. In my experience, you will find that you will spend a lot less on lawyers if you go early. And I’m not saying that you need to involve the lawyers from the very beginning what I’m saying is that you need to find out where you stand. And then you know your options and you’re in a better position to negotiate directly with your ex if your relationship is capable of doing that.

So, quite often I’m faced with someone that separated say 12 months ago, alls really amicable, they come and tell me that they have reached an agreement with their ex, I have a look at the agreement and I point out all of the problems with it.

I point out whether it’s practical, workable, and I also point out well what would the court and the law would say is an appropriate settlement in your matter. And either the person I’m advising or the other side suddenly decides that hang on, that agreement is not something that I should be agreeing to. And it causes a lot more animosity where one person has gone along for say 12 months even longer, thinking that they have this agreement in place that they are quitre happy with and they’ve acted upon it and suddenly it’s all turned upside down. It actually damages the relationship even further if you delay in getting the legal advice.

Also this affects not just property but parenting as well. People have inaccurate assumptions about what should happen. There is obviously a body of thought that equal time between the parents is appropriate. The research doesn’t actually support this in all cases. Obviously, in many cases it is completely acceptable and appropriate but especially with younger children where one parent has been the primary carer equal time is not necessarily in their best interests.

There are also different options with respect to equal time, it doesn’t have to be a week on week off arrangement. And with younger children in particular, that’s not something that they can really cope with.

So, come on find out what your options are then go away and negotiate and see if you can reach an agreement between the two of you. And come back and we can finalise it. But just make sure that you know where you stand before you start negotiating.

Good luck people.
[End of Transcript]

Do you need family law advice in Australia?

If you have any questions about your family law matter, whether it’s a property settlement, parenting arrangement, or you’re in need of a family lawyer, our services are available Australia-wide as well as locally to those in the Newcastle and Maitland areas.

Get in touch with us by calling us on 02 4023 5553 or booking a consultation online here.

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Rli Samantha@2x
Samantha Miller

Samantha has been a lawyer since 2001 having followed in the steps of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. No one can say she didn’t know what she was getting into!

Initially admitted in 2001 as a solicitor in NSW and Australia, Samantha moved to the UK where she was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2002. After working in several different areas of the law in large London firms, she determined that family law was her calling and hasn’t looked back.


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