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The Process

There are many factors that can influence the process you will go through as you move through your separation and divorce. But we understand that you would like to know the approximate steps and milestones. Below we share an overview of our process and all the steps from separation, negotiation, divorce and settlement.

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Enquiry - Free Phone Chat

First we book in a free phone chat that usually lasts 30 minutes. In this chat we answer any initial queries, and confirm that you have a legal problem we can assist with. It gives you a chance to make sure we're the right lawyers for you - that you feel comfortable with our style.

After this chat we send a short confirmation email covering the key parts of what we discussed.

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Initial Consultation

When you've chosen us as your family lawyer, we set up an initial consultation that runs for approximately 90 minutes. In this meeting we review your situation in detail and provide advice on the best next steps. We follow up this meeting with a written summary of advice, including some potential settlement ideas for you to consider.

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Retainer

This stage is when you engage us to act on your matter, with the aim of reaching and formalising an agreement with your ex-partner.

If you and your ex-partner have come to an agreement, then our retainer will be to review the agreement for you to ensure it protects you well and then make it legally binding.

In other cases, our retainer is to start to work through negotiation, mediation, or legal action to reach an agreement.

In either case we will need to work through some disclosure, which means collecting documents and all of the information needed to come to a fair and binding agreement.

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Scenario 1: Agreement

You and your ex-partner have shared all of the relevant information and come to an agreement between yourselves, either around financial settlement, parenting agreement or both.

It is strongly recommended that you both have a family lawyer review your agreement and prepare the relevant documents to make it legally binding.

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Scenario 2: Attempt Negotiations

We support you in your negotiations with your ex-partner, providing legal advice and assisting to ensure the outcome is fair and equitable. This is likely to involve the exchange of some preliminary documents, called disclosure. Once an agreement is reached, we prepare the documentation and submit it to the Federal Circuit and Family Court, so it is legally binding.

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Scenario 3: Dispute Resolution

If, during the negotiations, an agreement cannot be reached, we go into the dispute resolution process. The first step is to complete a more thorough exchange of documents, called disclosure. This is done to prepare thoroughly for Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) which couples must undertake first, before going to Court in parenting or financial matters.

If an agreement cannot be reached in mediation, then we will act on your behalf to either participate in Arbitration (another dispute resolution option) or to commence Court proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Taking the first step can be challenging, particularly if you are not sure if you even need legal advice or assistance. We’re happy to help you get clear about those things.

We offer a free 30-minute phone consultation, during which we ask key questions, share information and recommend a strategy as you move forward.

Free 'Getting Started With Your Separation' Ebook

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