Separation can be overwhelming and confusing. Many clients ask, “What is the next step after the initial appointment with the solicitor? What happens now?”
Separation is unique to each client. You may leave the initial appointment with a clear idea of your next steps. For example, you may wish to arrange mediation between you and your former partner to negotiate your family law matters, which may include parenting and property issues.
In other circumstances, you may prefer to instruct your solicitor to commence negotiations on your behalf. We can write to your former partner and express your wish to resolve the Family Law issues as quickly and cost effectively as possible. We identify the issues in dispute and seek to resolve them. This may include obtaining property and business valuations, seeking agreement to sell joint assets or, in the case of parenting matters, obtaining the opinion of an independent expert through what is referred to as a ‘Family Report’.
The length of negotiation will vary for each client depending on many factors, including:
- In property matters, the complexity of the property pool. This may involve self-managed superannuation funds, Family Trusts, company structures and unknown/hidden assets;
- The participation and co-operation of the other party, or lack thereof;
- Whether or not the other party has legal representation;
- The number of issues in dispute.
Generally, matters which involve many issues take longer to resolve. For example, a case which includes parenting, property, child support and spousal maintenance issues will take longer to negotiate than a straight-forward property matter.
Our firm’s goal is to negotiate a settlement for you without the need to proceed to Court. We strive to keep our clients informed at every step throughout the process. Your family lawyer will give you all of the options and discuss which way forward best suits your needs. We have a dedicated team of family lawyers who are available to help you through this difficult process. We are upfront about the fees we will charge you and will keep you updated about fees as your matter progresses.