At the moment, Western Australians are experiencing significant changes to the way we operate on a day-to-day basis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the ‘new normal’ practices, your first appointment with your family lawyer may be via telephone or video call. Regardless of the format of your first appointment, it will likely come at a very emotional and stressful time of your life. It is normal to feel anxious and unsure about what to discuss and what to expect from the future.
We understand that for most it is important to be able to connect and see each other’s faces when working through high stress and emotional issues. Therefore, when we are unable to meet in person, we will always ensure we can support you via video to keep the connection as personable as possible.
Throughout our practice, we have helped hundreds of people through the emotional family law process, and we have learned that there are a few key things you can do to prepare in advance of your meeting, to get the most out of your initial appointment.
1. Get started online with key information
Our firm has a comprehensive online questionnaire designed to collate the key information of your matter in one place before you meet with your family lawyer.
This process is completely free of charge, secure, and can be completed in the comfort of your home. You do not have to be concerned about trying to guess what information your lawyer may need or rushing to provide key details and you do not have to pay for your lawyer’s time while you are just collecting your thoughts.
In return, your lawyer will be able to maximise the time they have with you during your initial appointment and focus on hearing your concerns, providing you with detailed and specific advice and information tailored to your needs.
To get started on line click here.
2. Think about your goals
Before your appointment with your family lawyer, it is important to take some time to think about your overall goals. To define your goals, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my current situation and what would I like to change about it?
- What is the two or three most important things to me (and my children)?
- What am I most worried about?
- What is my immediate needs? And what will I need in the future?
It is helpful to be able to communicate your goals to your family lawyer at the start of your meeting. This allows your lawyer o work with you to prioritise what is most important to you and to develop a strategy aligned with your goals.
3. Create a list of questions
During your initial appointment, your family lawyer will cover certain things as part of the discussion. But, it is always a good idea for you to think of different issues before your appointment and to just jot down questions that come up. This may be something important that you feel your lawyer needs to know about or it may be something you are worried about and need clarification on.
Your lawyer will cover a lot of information in your meeting, so bring your list with you to make sure you do not forget about anything on it.
Here are some commonly asked questions to help get you started.