I am thinking of separating. Should I seek advice from a family lawyer?
If separation is on your mind and you would like to find out what your legal rights are with regards to financial matters as well as where you stand with regards to children’s matters, it is important that you receive sound legal advice about all your options.
Usually, an initial consultation with a family lawyer should be able to provide you with valuable information as well as answers to all your queries to enable to you make informed decisions in your own time.
Can my ex-partner and I use the same lawyer if we have reached an agreement on property and children’s issues?
No, we can only act for one party of the marriage or of the de facto relationship even if you have reached an agreement on all issues with your ex-partner. If you instruct us to act on your behalf, we will provide you with advice on the proposed agreement, we will prepare the necessary documents reflecting your agreement and we will then send them to your ex-spouse requesting that they seek independent legal advice.
In some cases, it is compulsory for your ex-spouse to receive independent legal advice in order for your agreement to become legally binding. We can discuss with you if the requirement for independent legal advice is necessary in your circumstances.
What do I need to bring with me to the first consultation with a family lawyer?
As soon as you contact us, we usually send to you a questionnaire to complete and return to us before your first consultation. The purpose of the questionnaire is to provide us with some background information in relation to the history of your relationship as well as details of yours and your partner’s property and liabilities. If you are also seeking advice on children’s issues, we also ask you to complete the questionnaire which refers to children’s issues.
We may also ask you to bring various financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, trust deeds, superannuation statements (if you have them) at the first consultation. If court proceedings have already been commenced by your ex-partner, we will also ask you to bring all court documents as well as any correspondence that you have received from your spouse or their solicitor.
However, if your case is urgent and you do not have the time to complete the questionnaire, we can organise an appointment to see you urgently and discuss your legal options with you.
How experienced are your lawyers in family law?
Anthi Balafas, who is the head of our family law department is an expert in this field, recofnised as an Accredited Specialist in family law with over 17 years of experience. Her specialist accreditation means that she has passed a series of rigorous and meticulous assessments and examinations which prove her in-depth knowledge and expertise in family law.
Anthi has gained experience in all aspects of family law including complex property settlements involving companies, trusts, businesses, and self-managed superannuation funds. She has dealt with various complex parenting cases involving serious abuse and violence allegations as well as international relocations. She has considerable experience in spousal maintenance and child support issues as well as de facto relationship (including same-sex couples) property claims. Anthi has been involved in numerous family law cases which involved overseas assets with complex jurisdictional questions as well as parenting cases with an international element to them. Anthi approaches her clients’ matters with compassion and discretion and strives to bring her clients’ matters to a speedy resolution.
How much do you charge for your legal services?
We charge based on the amount of time that we need to spend on your matter in order to bring it to its resolution. If you wish to find out our hourly rates please contact us on (02) 9299 4912.