The 8 keys in a Family Lawyers Checklist
If you are considering separation, or have just separated, I have summarised, in no particular order, the 8 most important things you can do to ensure the best outcome when it comes to division of your assets and liabilities with your former partner..
Below is a summary, but take the time to read the full checklist and explanations here.
1. Understand the Emotional Journey
Often in relationships, one party has “checked out” emotionally months, or sometimes years, before the other party even realises that there is a problem. Separated Partners can feel very emotionally isolated.
We encourage our clients to lean on their natural support systems in these times for strength and encouragement.
2. Communicate with your former Partner
Use your best endeavours to maintain respectful and positive communications with your former partner about the financial issues.
3. Come up with a draft proposal
Don’t be afraid to come up with some preliminary proposal with your former partner. You can’t commit yourself by any such discussion as it is unenforceable until you’ve gone through it with your lawyer and it is approved by the Court.
Prepare a list of all the assets and liabilities (including superannuation) held by you and your former partner at the time you commenced living together. Include their values at that time.
Prepare a balance sheet listing all the major assets and liabilities (including superannuation) currently owned by you and your former partner, and include your estimate of the value of each item.
5. Don’t Take Legal Advice from your Former Partner
Usually, your former partner will not be giving you advice with your best interests in mind. Notwithstanding how obvious that may seem, It is surprising how many people I see who are worried by what their former partner has told them about their entitlements.
6. Take Legal Advice from an experienced Family Court lawyer
A good Family lawyer will guide you through the complexities of what, for most people, is a novel and unknown journey. That Family lawyer can explain the process and your entitlements.
7. Alternate Dispute Resolution
Consider other methods of resolving the dispute such as mediation, arbitration or informal settlement discussions through Family lawyers.
Understand that resolutions are only ever reached where two people compromise their respective claims So be prepared to compromise.
You may also like to attend one of our free Family Law Information sessions to learn more and ask about your situation. You can find information and register for an upcoming Family Law Information sessions on our events page.