Why getting advice early from a family lawyer matters
July 26, 2016
One of the most common mistakes people make when they separate is to not get specialist family law advice early. This might occur for a number of reasons – they think they do not need advice, they hope they will get back together with their former spouse or partner, they are concerned about how much it will cost, or they might get advice, just not from the right place.
Most couples want to reach an amicable settlement, and avoid seeing a large portion of their property lost to legal fees. A significant proportion of the matters that end up in Court though, do so as a result of one or both parties’ actions (or inactions) in the weeks or months immediately following separation.
Steps taken in this period can materially damage a party’s case, and can set both of them on a track to an expensive and protracted litigation. In these situations, it is often not possible to “unscramble the egg”. Common examples arise when:
- A heated argument results in a Violent Restraining Order (‘VRO’) against one or both of the parties;
- One party remains in the house when they perhaps should have left, or moves out when they perhaps should have stayed;
- A party unreasonably restricts the other’s access to funds, or removes large sums of money from a bank, credit card or loan account;
- One party has exclusive control of the business;
- A party restricts the children’s access to the other party when they should not, or fails to allow access when they should; or
- The parties’ friends and/or family become involved in the dispute.
If you are going through a separation, get in touch with a specialist family lawyer as soon as possible. An initial meeting alone will point you in the right direction and avoid making costly mistakes.