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How to Prepare for the First Meeting with your Family Lawyer

How to Prepare for the First Meeting with your Family Lawyer

Wednesday 16th of December 2020
By: Gary Yan, Partner, Coote Family Lawyers

I couldn't be more grateful.

How do I get the most from the first meeting with my family lawyer

Once you have taken the step of making an appointment with a family lawyer about a separation, being prepared with the necessary information will enable your lawyer to give you meaningful advice about your case and formulate the best strategy in progressing your matter.

Here are the Top 10 things to think about and to prepare ahead of the meeting:

1.  If there are children involved, it may be helpful to consider:

(a) the roles you and your partner adopted during the relationship in terms of the care of the children;

(b) how you see the parenting arrangements should work moving forward, including the logistics of the children living in two separate households following separation;

(c) child support issues, including the payment of school fees and other expenses such as health insurance.

 2. A list of the current assets you and your partner own, either jointly or solely, and their estimate values, e.g. properties, shares, other investments,                  businesses.

 3. A list of the current liabilities of the relationship, including current balances of any mortgages on the home or investment properties.

 4. Any tax issues, including any CGT that may be payable if investment properties are to be sold.

 5. If there is a Family Trust involved, obtain information about its structure, i.e. name of the trust, who is the Trustee and Appointor, what assets the Trust holds, who are the beneficiaries, obtain a copy of the Trust Deed and most recent financial statements.

 6. Your current up to date superannuation balances.  If there’s a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), collate information such as the name of the SMSF, who is the Trustee, what assets the SMSF holds, obtain a copy of the Trust Deed and most recent financial statements.

 7. Information about your current earnings and any issues which might affect you or your partner’s earnings in the future.

 8. In terms of the history of the relationship, the respective asset position of you and your partner at the commencement of the relationship.

 9. Any additional financial contributions during the relationship, such as gifts or inheritances received by either of you and any significant gifts or loans that have been advanced by either of your family members.

10. Any other issues which might be important to you – e.g. chattels of a sentimental value, family pets etc.


Our team of specialist family lawyers will guide you through the information that they need from you. However, turning your mind to the above would help you get the most out of that meeting with your lawyer.


For more information please call (03) 9804 0035 to speak with one of our team of top family lawyers.

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