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What Your Geelong Family Lawyer Needs to Know at Your Initial Meeting

What Your Geelong Family Lawyer Needs to Know at Your Initial Meeting

Property Division Issues Do Not Need to End Up in Court

The division of assets after a separation or divorce is one of the most contentious areas of Family Law practice.  It can be highly stressful for the parties involved, but hiring an experienced and compassionate family lawyer to provide you with robust representation in Geelong will go a long way to smooth the process.


Good news for residents of Geelong, Belmont, Newtown, Highton, Whittington, Corio, Waurn Ponds, Grovedale, Lara, Moorabool, Norlane, Marshall, Newcomb, Torquay and Queenscliff - help is as close as the phone.  With property division matters, a family law lawyer can assist you by going to court with Family Law Court and Federal Circuit Court Property Proceedings.  Court proceedings are generally a last resort with an effective lawyer.  Most family law matters are solved by Mediation, either during court proceedings or prior to them.  The different methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) include Arbitration, Collaborative Law, Early Neutral Evaluation and Mediation which is most common in Family Law situations.


There are a variety of binding financial agreements that can be negotiated, including pre-nuptial agreements, financial agreements during marriage and agreements made after a marriage or de facto relationship has broken down.  A family lawyer can also make an Application for Consent Orders for a private property settlement intended to avoid court litigation.


The Initial Assessment - at Your Convenience

As mentioned previously, beginning the process with your Geelong family law lawyers is as easy as picking up the phone.  In addition, many lawyers now offer innovative ways to tailor the process to your work and family schedule, to help reduce stress.  Technology can help facilitate communication such as video conferencing to reduce overall operating costs (and thus fees.)  In addition, lawyers are flexible about coming to a client’s home or office, as well as meeting after hours and on weekends.  Geelong family lawyers can also utilize meeting rooms in various locations.


The chief goal of the initial consultation is to identify the parameters of the situation.  The lawyer need a clear understanding of the timeline of the relationship and its breakdown.  A client should also come to the initial consultation with information identifying the assets of both parties at the time of the relationships’ commencement, as well as, at the time of separation. In addition, it’s important to be clear as to how assets have changed since separation.


Although this article is addressing issues of property, it is clearly going to be helpful to your case for the lawyer to understand any custody issues or special needs for dependents.


The Fee Structure Should Also Reflect Your Needs

Cost is always a concern.  At the initial consultation, your lawyer will provide you with a range of options and outline the steps that will be necessary to achieve your goals.  With a clear understanding of your case, the family law lawyer should be able to discuss which of the two fee structures is most beneficial to the process you’re entering – a flat fee or hourly rate.  The bottom line is that the services and billing will be tailored to your needs.

Protect your Interests

Don’t get fooled into thinking a separation or divorce can be handled without legal assistance. Family lawyers in Geelong and other communities in Victoria are experienced and specialize in laws specific to the state. Even if the relationship came to an amicable end, you will want to protect your best interests by working with a legal team who specializes in areas of family law. There may be factors that you didn’t even consider to be important. There are many online sites that claim "quick and easy divorce,” but ending a relationship of such a magnitude is never quick or easy. Take the time to make sure both you and your ex settle fairly and if there are children involved, their best interest is served.

If you are ending a de facto relationship, the court will settle financial matters between two ex-partners provided they are applying to the court within two years of the relationship’s end. If you wait longer than two years, you will have to apply to the court for permission to hear your case. There are parameters that you must prove to the court for them to hear your case. Working with a legal team experienced in settling financial matters between de facto partners can prepare you for these specificities and work to ensure what you contributed financially to the relationship is protected.



There are clearly many factors to consider in any Property Division of Assets, especially at the outset of an action.  A compassionate and innovative family lawyer in Geelong is your best first step.

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