TGB Partner Dina Paspaliaris outlines the key reason why you really DO need a lawyer for your divorce.
The short answer is yes, you do need a divorce lawyer. And while some may say “a divorce lawyer is always going to say that” there are some key reasons why, writes TGB Partner Dina Paspaliaris.
When parties separate it is a highly emotional period and while some parting couples may be on civil terms it is always in the best interest of both sides to obtain independent legal advice, in order to protect and understand their legal rights under the Family Law Act (1975).
If you have children, a divorce lawyer will explain the custody issues and outline your rights. If you have assets or own property, a divorce lawyer will help you understand your legal entitlements and obligations, and will assist with the management of all of your assets including superannuation.
The best time to see a lawyer is as soon as you know you are separating from your partner. “Knowledge is power” and the more you know about your legal rights prior to separation the sooner you can prepare your personal and financial affairs.
It also gives you the opportunity to enter settlement discussions with your partner with respect to children and division of assets, and find out where you legally stand. The more you understand your rights under the Family Law Act, the better positioned you will be for negotiating your terms of settlement.
In preparing to see a divorce lawyer, you should consider the following:
1. Think about what time and living arrangements you want for your children and have a clear idea as to how far you are willing to negotiate on those times;
2. List all of your assets and liabilities, however small you may think they are, including all bank accounts, superannuation funds, trust entities, shares, property and furniture and household effects;
3. Take along to your appointment the documents you have that support and provide the evidence of the assets that you and your partner own;
4. Prepare a list of questions in advance of your appointment and use it as a check list during your meeting.
The more organised you are for your first appointment with your divorce lawyer, the more beneficial your interview will be.
For further information or assistance with your legal matter contact your nearest TGB office.