The idea of speaking to (and paying for) a family lawyer can be terrifying. For a lot of people, the only time they have ever hired a lawyer was to buy or sell a home. However, when it comes to Family Law, speaking to a lawyer at the right time can save you time, money, and angst.
So, when should you speak to a family lawyer? There is never a wrong time to seek legal advice, but below are some of the most beneficial times to speak a family lawyer.
If you are thinking of separating
This is an opportunity to gather information, consider your options and become aware of what may happen if you do separate.
If you have separated
This is likely to be a time of great change, it is important that you have the information you need to make these changes so that long term things go as smoothly as possible.
If you have reached an agreement for your property, parenting or child support matters with your ex
This is the ideal outcome for all separated couples. Formalising this agreement is important, there are financial benefits (such as tax savings and the ability to move superannuation) plus having the agreement formalised provides certainty and security for everyone involved. It is important that any agreement reached is documented in a way that is enforceable and in accordance with the law.
If things are becoming difficult with your ex, especially regarding children
This is everyone’s worst nightmare. Seeking legal advice at this time will help you explore avenues to resolve the issues with your ex and find the best outcome for everyone, especially the children.
If there has been (or is going to be) a drastic change that will impact the children
In Family Law, the primary focus is the best interests of the children. Separated families often find themselves in situations where long term care arrangements need to change, for example if a parent is looking at moving or the children are older, and the previous arrangements are no longer suitable. It is important to get legal advice so that you can you know your legal rights and can consider the effect of these changes on you, your family, and your child support.
Any other time that you are worried or anxious
Separating from a partner and the family law process can be very stressful. Getting legal advice can help alleviate some of that stress by addressing any concerns you have and creating a plan so that you get the best possible outcome.