Angela Tondelstrand, Principal Lawyer of STOLaw, part of the Slater and Gordon Group at North Lakes, explains the importance of engaging a lawyer when separating and that not all matters will end up in court if all appropriate avenues and steps are been taken.
Q1. Why is it important to engage a lawyer in the early stages of separation? So that you can be aware of your rights and responsibilities upon separation, the likely effect of changes in circumstances, and can take steps to protect your rights if there is a risk that time and changing circumstances can have a negative effect.
Q2. How can a lawyer assist someone going through a separation? By advising a party of their options, tailored to the circumstances of the client, whilst also informing of the various opportunities, risks and costs that those options pose. The lawyer would then follow the client’s instructions to navigate a resolution, usually by negotiation with the other party.
Q3. What is the most important factor/s to consider when separating? Obtaining timely advice from a specialist legal advisor who is not afraid to tell you what you need to know, and not necessarily what you want to hear.
Q4. There is a common misconception that seeing a lawyer will mean you will have to go to court. Is that correct? Absolutely not! In my experience most matters do not require a court process to resolve, and except in limited circumstances, lawyers should attempt negotiations if reasonably and practically possible, to avoid unnecessary waste of a client’s time and money.