How do you know when it’s time to contact a family lawyer? Sometimes taking the first step is the hardest. Sometimes you’re unexpectedly thrust into a family lawyer’s office, because of something your partner has said or done.
Here are 8 signs that mean it’s time to see a family lawyer:
1. You’re thinking about separating.
Even before you’ve reached a final decision about whether to separate, it is worth chatting with a family lawyer about the road ahead, so you have an idea of how things will look if you do decide to end your relationship. We can speak with you discretely and completely confidentially.
2. Your partner has told you they want to separate.
Whether you saw it coming, or you’ve been completely blindsided – family law advice about child custody and property settlement sooner rather than later will help you regain some control and understand the decisions that come next.
3. You’re experiencing family violence and need to find a safe way out.
Your realisation that you’ve been experiencing family violence is a huge, and daunting step. Figuring out how to get yourself out safely, and then to stay out of the relationship for good, takes planning and the right supports in place. We give you understanding and clarity to lessen your fears and help make your escape permanent. We also work collaboratively with Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS).
4. You’ve suddenly been cut off from seeing your kids.
Your children have a right to a relationship with both of their parents, to the extent that is in their best interests. Early and accurate advice is critical when you’re being refused access to your children.
5. You’re feeling pressured to agree to things
Separating couples can often go some way to working through separation issues without lawyers (such as splitting property, custody arrangements and child support). Regularly one or both of them feels doubt about what they’re signing up for or even pressure to agree. Get informed about your rights and entitlements before you sign off. This will give you peace of mind and may save you from a decision you regret.
6. You’ve received a letter from a lawyer
So your ex has lawyered up and you’ve now got a letter from their lawyer asking you to do X by Y timeframe. Don’t fire back a reactive response. Take the time to chat to a lawyer about if you reply and what to say.
7. You’ve had enough of trying to DIY divorce.
Separation is an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes things start out amicable but deteriorate. Living with ongoing conflict with your ex can be taxing, especially when you’re also trying to parent, work and put your life back together. Outsourcing some of the legwork to a lawyer can shield you from the acrimony and conflict, freeing you up to concentrate on more important things.
8. You’re about to get married or move in with someone
If you have assets you want to protect from the possibility of divorce or separation, or perhaps you’d rather avoid the heartache of a messy break-up, deciding with your partner at the start of your relationship how things will be dealt with if your relationship ends is a smart move. Financial Agreements, sometimes known as a ‘prenup’ or ‘postnup’ can make the separation process more certain and less conflictual.