Getting the most out of your first appointment with a family lawyer

Getting the most out of your first appointment with a family lawyer

For some clients seeing a lawyer for the first time can be a daunting experience and you may be nervous or anxious (not just because of the appointment but because of what’s happening in your life). 

To help you ease your nerves or relieve your anxiety and help you get the most out of your appointment with your family lawyer, here are some tips:

  • Bring along:
    • any letters, emails and other documents you may have received from your former spouse or their lawyer, in particular if you have been served with any Court documents bring those or email them to your lawyer in advance of the appointment (we may not look at them until the appointment but we will have them on hand);
    • any agreement reached at mediation, for example a heads of agreement or draft parenting plan or even the mediators notes of what the agreement is;
    • previous Court orders or existing or previous parenting plan or protection orders (DVO’s);
  • Think about what you questions you want answered during your appointment, write these down and bring them with you;
  • Consider what you want the future to look like and what are your goals for the future;
  • It is usually useful to write down a summary of significant events and important dates, such as when you started to live together, date of marriage, date of separation, date of births (former spouse, children, yourself).
  • Make a list of significant assets and debts you and your former spouse have, that is, what you own and what you owe.  You don’t need to have an exact value at this stage, an estimate of what they are worth is fine.  If you don’t know what your former spouse has that’s okay, it can be discussed during your appointment;
  • Details about the arrangements for the children.  Current and past.
  • During your appointment take notes.  You will likely receive a lot of information and recalling it later can be difficult.  Don’t worry your lawyer will be taking notes too!
  • Considering bringing a support person.  They can be another set of ears and can provide emotional support you before, during and after the appointment.  This person should be a person you are comfortable speaking about personal details in front of. 
  • Don’t forget to ask your questions!

I hope these tips are helpful for you.  Carmel at CLT Family Law, is an expert family lawyer with many qualifications and lots of experience, but she is also down to earth and empathetic and easy to talk to. So whether you want to discuss property matters, child custody matters or just what are your next steps after separation are, she

If you are looking to book that first appointment, CLT Family Law offer a fixed fee initial consultation with Carmel for $330.  To ensure we cover all the important matters, we don’t limit this to 30 or 60 minutes, most often these appointments will be 90 minutes.

Appointments available this week. 

Weekend and after hours appointments available also (video conference or phone only).