October 2014 | Les StubbsTash Nolan

1. Seek advice early

Seeking advice from a specialist family lawyer at an early stage will assist you to ensure that you do not make decisions, such as about your children, your living arrangements, and your finances, without fully understanding the possible legal and related consequences of doing so.

2. Establish a support group

After a separation, you may need support not only legally, but emotionally and financially. This may be assistance from a lawyer, a counsellor or psychologist, an accountant or financial planner, and lawyers that deal with estate planning and structuring.

3.Secure access to funds

Consider how you will have access to funds to meet your day to day living costs. This is very important if you rely on access to joint accounts and have no other income.

4. Secure your assets

Seek early advice from a specialist family lawyer as to the steps that may be taken to secure your assets. It is important to consider whether to take possession of certain assets during separation, especially those assets you wish to continue using, such as furniture and vehicles, and those assets that might be sold by your spouse, including jewellery, precious gems and stones, other collectibles, cash and other items of sentimental value to you, as it may be more difficult to have these items returned to you at a later stage.

5. Familiarise yourself with your finances and obtain copies of financial and other important documents

Prepare an outline of your financial circumstances, a brief chronology and client details from prior to your appointment to make the most cost effective use of time when you meet with your family lawyer for the first time.

6. Take measure to protect your personal and confidential information

These days our important information is stored in our personal computers, on the internet and other electronic devices and it can be accessed and used without consent, by former spouses after separation. It is important to take measures to protect your personal and confidential information – and the legal advice that you receive.

Written by Les Stubbs
Director – Family Law
(02) 9023 9111

Les is a qualified mediator as well as an accredited family law specialist and has over 30 years experience in family law.  For specialist family law advice please contact Les Stubbs on 9231 2466 or email lstubbs@hflawyers.com.au.

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