Preparing for your first meeting with your family lawyer

To make sure your initial appointment with your family lawyer is constructive, productive, and worthwhile and that you get the most value out of it, we ask that you do three things beforehand.

1. Complete the questionnaire we send you

We will send you a questionnaire before your appointment that will allow you to provide us with the key facts and information we need about your situation. It takes roughly 30 minutes to complete and covers key areas, including:

  • Assets you and your partner own, either jointly or solely, including properties, shares, superannuation, savings, trusts, businesses and other investments.
  • Debts and liabilities, including loans, mortgages, credit cards, tax debts, etc.
  • Income, including wages and earnings from investments.
  • Children, including dates of birth, health, education and any factors relating to their safety and wellbeing.
  • Existing orders and/or documents, including Court Orders, Family Violence Orders, written agreements, financial agreements and parenting plans.

It’s ok if you don’t have all the details and information at hand, but the more you can provide us with ahead of the meeting, the better.

2. Reflect and consider

We also encourage you to think about and consider things relating to your relationship and financial situation, including:


  • The roles you and your partner have played in caring for them throughout your relationship.
  • How you think parenting arrangements could or should work moving forward.
  • Child support considerations, including costs like school fees, extracurricular activities and health insurance.


How you and your partner have contributed to the relationship, including:

  • Assets and/or liabilities you or your partner had at the start of the relationship.
  • Financial contributions, including income, earnings, inheritances and any other significant contributions.
  • Non-financial contributions, like caring for children, housework and life admin.

The future

Your and your partner’s future:

  • Earning capacity.
  • Ability to care for the children.
  • Health and/or medical needs.

3. Write a list

It helps to come to your first meeting with a list of things you want to discuss with your family lawyer. This could include:

  • Any questions you have or specific areas you would like to discuss.
  • Information, events or situations that have occurred that we should be aware of – this could relate to anything but includes family violence, financial misappropriation, mental or physical health considerations, police reports or other significant matters.

At the meeting

Don’t be nervous. All our family lawyers are warm, friendly, welcoming and will make you feel comfortable and at ease from the outset.

To begin with, they will ask you to tell them about where you are at and what’s going on to identify any urgent issues or priorities that need to be addressed. These could include safety concerns, time limitations, the risk of the other party dissipating assets, or caveats on property.

From there, they will discuss the different ways your matter can be approached based on your situation.

Finally, with a good understanding of where you are at and your priorities, they will be able to provide you with an indication of what the costs may be. This will likely be a range, as the nature of family law matters means that it is impossible to predict how the other party may respond or how the matter may progress. They will also talk you through things you can do, like sourcing documents, to help minimise your legal fees.