What To Expect When You Hire Family and Divorce Lawyers In Sydney
When you and your spouse are planning on separating with one another, the legal implications of the separation should not cause you unnecessary stress. At Chatswood Family Lawyers, our Family and Divorce Lawyers understand that the ideal situation is for you to cleanly sever the legal and financial ties between you and your spouse and to create a safe and manageable environment for your children to grow.
Our Family and Divorce Lawyers recognise that taking the initiative to retain a legal representative may be a serious and daunting step in proceeding with your separation so in order to alleviate some of the uncertainties of the process, here are some of the common things that you should expect to occur when you retain our Family and Divorce Lawyers:
1. Have an overall plan for your case
When retaining an experienced family lawyer, they should have a general idea at the initial appointment of the most strategic and effective procedures to take in order to progress your case to settlement.
When advancing through your matter, your family lawyer should not simply be responding to your spouse’s demands without advocating for your interests but instead, they should be taking an active approach to your case. For example, if both you and your spouse agree to mediating on a financial settlement on a specific date, then your family lawyer should start immediately requesting relevant financial documents from your spouse and providing your documents to your spouse in order to learn what assets there are to divide up.
2. They will not be able to provide you with a definitive answer to your dispute
Without saying that family law matters are not black and white. Whilst your family lawyer should negotiate the best possible outcome for you and your children, there will always be outside factors which are beyond their control. For example, if your case is brought before a judge in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, the way in which each judge applies his or her discretion will affect the outcome of the case. In certain circumstances, an experienced family lawyer will have encountered some of the judges and understand their predispositions on certain matters and can use that knowledge to advise you on whether it is more appropriate for you to settle or to proceed to the next step to allow the judge to decide.
Accordingly, rather than making empty promises, a good Family and Divorce Lawyer should be proactive in obtaining a fulsome picture of the parties’ situation to guide you on the most ideal path to protect your rights and interests.
The family law process
No matter whether your matter proceeds to settlement amicably (which is the majority of the cases in family law) or is to be presented before a judge at final hearing, there are numerous documents which must be prepared in order to present your interests to the other side, a mediator or a judge. For example, if you and your former spouse agree on attending mediation before a professional mediator, your solicitor may need to prepare a position paper which sets out your initial contributions in the relationship, the financial contributions you made during separation, any non-financial contributions, contributions to parenting and what your future needs are.
Those are only some of the subjects which may be highlighted in your position paper and your solicitor will know which areas to pinpoint in order to gain leverage in your case. The same concept applies when your matter proceeds to final hearing as your solicitor will need to attend to drawing your affidavit, witness affidavits, financial statements and other relevant documents which the Court either requires or would assist in your case.
No matter whether you believe that your situation is simple or complex, obtaining legal advice early can potentially save you money and time in the long run. Our goal as Family and Divorce Lawyers is to help minimise the hostility between you and your former spouse as we believe amicable separations will always be more economically and psychologically beneficial to you and your children in the long run.