What to expect from an initial consultation at Craddock Murray Neumann

Date: Aug 22, 2010
Document Type: Article

Craddock Murray Neumann has two Accredited Specialists in its family law section, each with over 20 years experience in family law practise. 

We understand that it is often a very big step for people whose relationship has broken down to take that first step and approach a lawyer for advice. We consider the role of a family lawyer to be more than just explaining what the law actually says. Case management and management of the client’s needs, sadly seems to be underrated.  However we take it very seriously.

Commonly an initial consultation takes somewhere between 1 hour and 1.5 hours, depending upon the issues a new client wishes to deal with.

In parenting cases, we generally discuss what the law says about parenting arrangements, but place more emphasis on procedural requirements to resolve parenting matters, given the legal requirements to seek to resolve parenting issues through alternative dispute resolution.   We will then consider historically what parenting arrangements have been prior to any separation, and look towards implementing a plan for the long term parenting arrangements. Before the long term parenting arrangements are arrived at, interim arrangements may need to be implemented depending upon the needs of the parties and other factors. Importantly, we conduct an assessment of what process is best suited to resolve the parenting issues in each individual case. 

If a client has recently separated and seeks to implement child support arrangements, we advise on the options that are available. This includes a child support assessment, or alternatively a Child Support Agreement. If a client is attracted to a Child Support Agreement, then a plan is determined as to what kind of proposal is to be made.

When dealing with a financial settlement we deal with the following:-

1.          Explain the legal technical methodology applied to determine your entitlements in a financial settlement; 
2.          Obtain from the client details concerning what net assets exist and of the history of the financial and non-financial contributions during the course of the marriage. In addition we obtain information about the respective circumstances of each party.
3.          We then conduct an assessment of the likely outcome in a financial settlement, based upon the information provided. 
4.          Where possible we seek to give an idea of what the post financial settlement landscape will look like in terms of how the net assets are most likely to be allocated. When doing this, we take into account practicable issues such as the financial capacities of each party, and what it is they actually seek.
5.          Finally we discuss the various processes available to achieve a financial settlement, and means of formalising it. 

After an initial consultation, if it is not a one off advice, we may confirm in writing to the client their instructions, our advice, and the plan recommended to deal with their matter if requested to do so.

For assistance with Family Law matters, phone Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Craddock Murray Neumann, on (02) 82684000. We have Family Lawyers who are certified by the Law Society of New South Wales as Accredited Specialists in Family Law. 

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