Meeting a family lawyer about your separation can be a significant stressor. Here are some tips that can help:
- Bring as much financial documentation as possible: The more information you can gather about your finances, the better. Some important details to consider are:
- How much income you and your partner earn
- What are you and your partners assets and liabilities including any businesses or professional practices which you or your partner have an interest
- Do you have rate notices, cars guide valuations, bank account and loan statements
- A list of all your current liabilities
- Documentation of any assets acquired prior or during the relationship, by gift, or by inheritance
- Provide a chronological set of your taxation returns, taxation notices of assessment, PAYG statements, savings, cheque and investment account statements, and credit card statements for at least the previous 3 years or whatever shorter period you are able to find. Your family lawyer can get an initial overview of your financial situation and tell you what missing information is needed for a more complete assessment. Then, at the next appointment, you can bring the requested documentation.
- Be prepared to provide detail the history of your marriage. You will need to provide the work history of you and your partner; details of who was primarily responsible for the care of your children; what type of lifestyle you maintained; what your typical expenses were; whether either of you or your children have any health issues or special needs. More information is always better than less. Your family lawyer can tell if something is not relevant, but if you have not shared the information, your family lawyer may be unaware of a valuable piece of information that could help you.
- Emotional suffering does not equal more money. Many relationships that break down have been painful for one or both partners. Seeing a family lawyer for legal help is also an opportunity to share your story and feelings. It is important to understand that emotional suffering does not always translate into financial advantage. The fact that you feel betrayed your partner may cause you tremendous pain but it does not mean that you are going to get more in the property settlement.
When you are going through separation you want a family lawyer who can make the process as easy as possible for you and give you realistic expectations as to what to expect as an outcome. Call Swan Family Lawyers on 8221 7020 discuss your concerns and arrange a meeting with an experienced Family Lawyer.