What happens at an Initial Consultation with a Family Lawyer?
We understand that getting in contact with a lawyer is often a big step, so for that reason, we offer all new clients a one hour fixed fee consultation.
There is no obligation to come on as a client, and sometimes this is all you need to decide what to do next.
What about Financial Matters?
For financial matters, we try and put together a basic assets and liabilities schedule and discuss relevant information about factors that will affect what we consider to be an appropriate or equitable division of assets between parties.
It is important to keep in mind that the advice provided during these interviews is general in nature as often we have very limited documentation to establish the specific details of your situation which can influence your overall position.
That being said; even if there is information missing, an initial interview can be a valuable opportunity to work out what you need to get your hands on. We can provide our clients with practical ideas for sourcing or agreeing on the value of items.
As an example, if the value of a property can’t be agreed, then we will often suggest that the parties obtain several appraisals with the aim of agreeing on a median value. If this isn’t the best approach, then we can point people in the direction of licensed valuers who can provide a clear property valuation.
What about Parenting Matters?
We spend a lot of time listening to our clients to gather as much relevant information as possible, so we can provide the best initial guidance.
For parenting matters, this will most likely include providing a history of living and spend time arrangements, the history of relationships between the children and each parent, and any specific factors that require consideration such as disabilities or care requirements.
Family Violence is also an important factor to discuss in parenting matters. Protecting children from psychological and physical harm is one of the primary considerations the court considers when they make a parenting order.
There are also other societal issues that can cause risk to children, such as alcohol and drug-taking behaviour. When providing advice about parenting disputes, if there is family violence, drugs or alcohol abuse involved we will often provide advice about the best way to protect the children from risk of harm.
There are tried and tested ways of dealing with risk factors and implementing arrangements that can resolve many disputes, so we try and give our new clients the tools to create practical solutions so that children can spend time with each parent safely whilst enjoying the benefit of a meaningful relationship with each parent.
What happens at the end of the initial consultation?
We give our client’s a clear and detailed explanation of what is involved if they need further legal advice or representation.
Often this will involve us sending the potential client a Retainer Agreement. This document provides a clear understanding of the relationship between Dimond Family Lawyers and the client, including specific information regarding how we charge, what we can charge for, and how we keep clients informed about their legal costs.
If you need legal assistance for family law related matters, call Dimond Family Lawyers today on 08 9443 1111 for a free 15-minute telephone consultation.