Seeing a family lawyer for the first time?

Making the decision to see a family lawyer is not an easy decision to make and this is commonly the first of a number of decisions to follow. You are probably considering lots of different things and navigating the family law system can be very stressful and overwhelming.

Meeting with a family lawyer can be a very personal and sensitive process. As family lawyers, we understand that speaking with someone who you have never met before about your relationship can be a very difficult.

We consider it is important that our clients become informed and knowledgeable about their entitlements in a family law matter, this includes different options for resolving their matter and the pros and cons of taking a matter to Court. Once a client is informed, only then can they make a decision about what the client wishes to get out of the dispute and what he/she can live with as an outcome.

We are committed to resolving matters as best possible. But sometimes there is a need to bring the other party “kicking and screaming” to the negotiating table. We are experienced in negotiating settlements, ideally, early, and amicably by applying a right balance in negotiating of the “carrot and the stick”.

You can be assured that when you meet with us, we are there to assist you and guide you through the family law system. This article has some things for you to consider about meeting with us for the first time.

It is okay to be nervous

We understand that the process can be overwhelming but we are here to assist you.

You may wish to think about whether you would feel more comfortable meeting with us face to face or from the comfort of your home or familiar environment via video conference or telephone. We offer a variety of different options for meeting with us and we are happy to cater our appointment to suit your needs.

You should also consider if you would like to bring a support person with you to the appointment. If you would like to bring a support person with you, we ask that you please let us know prior to the appointment.

If you can, take some time to think about your goals

Before coming to see us, we ask that you think and reflect on what is important to you and what your goals are.

Some things you may wish to consider:

  • What are you wanting to achieve from this appointment?
  • How can we best assist you?
  • Where do you want to be in one year, five years and ten years’ time?
  • What is the most important thing for you with the children (if relevant to you)?
  • What is the most important thing for you with the property (if relevant to you)?

It is helpful if we know what you would like to achieve so that we can tailor our approach to best assist you.

It is okay to ask questions – we encourage them!

You may wish to consider preparing a list of questions or key issues/matters you would like to discuss.

We will discuss a number of matters with you during your appointment but if there are particular questions or concerns that you have, we ask that you please let us know so that we can discuss this with you during our meeting.

Some things you can do to prepare for your appointment:

  • Send/provide any important documents such as Court documents, Court Orders or correspondence to you prior to your appointment, or bring them with you to your appointment.
  • Check with us prior to your meeting if there is anything else that you need to do or bring with you to the appointment.
  • If you do have some questions or particular matters to discuss, it can be helpful to provide/ send those through to us prior to the appointment.

Some other helpful tips:

  • You should start to compile information early, particularly financial documents, statements and records.
  • You may wish to consider opening a separate email account for your family law matters that we can use to communicate with you – this means that all of your family law emails are separate from all of your other emails and in one place and easily accessible.
  • You may wish to take notes during our meeting with you.

The Elringtons Family Law Team has experienced family law solicitors who are available to speak with you about your family law matter and guide you through the family law process. We offer a fixed fee, no strings attached, initial consultation.

If you or a loved one would like legal advice in relation to your family law matter, please contact us to arrange an initial consultation with one of our solicitors. 

You can find more information in other articles at our website:

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This article does not constitute legal advice and Elringtons is not responsible for any reliance upon its contents. It is important that you seek legal advice to your unique situation.