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Get Legal Advice Early

4 November 2013

If you have been to any of our public seminars, you would have heard many reasons – real life examples – why it is important not to delay getting Family Law advice.

Working out children’s care arrangements is just one example.

Being aware of how the law applies to your situation does not mean that a legal process has to start, it is all about being informed. By being informed, you will be calmer and less anxious about what is happening around you and what you should – or shouldn’t – be doing.

Whatever you do – don’t rely on the experience or suggestions of friends or family!

It may seem like a daunting experience making your first appointment to see a lawyer, but the prospect of what could happen if legal advice is not sought when parenting arrangements are falling apart – or communication becomes difficult – is far more daunting!

An example:

A recent case before the Court highlights the need for getting Family Law advice early. The Mother and Father did not seek legal advice early and the situation soon got out of control. By obtaining legal advice initially, the parents could have saved costs and avoided a complicated and disruptive situation, not only for themselves but for their 3 children.

In this recent case, the Mother – who was the primary carer of the children – wanted to relocate from South Australia to Queensland. The Father was opposed to the children moving and therefore took over as the primary carer.

Unfortunately, at the time the parents did not see the need to seek any Court Orders to resolve the issues that arose from the Mother’s wish to move to Queensland. Consequently, neither the Father nor the Mother had considered the long term arrangements for the children and how this would impact on them.

The Facts:

  • The Father and Mother were married for 8 years and had 3 children, 8, 7 and 5 years of age.
  • The Father worked as a manager in the retail industry during the marriage.
  • The Mother continued to live in the family home in South Australia, while the Father had moved out.
  • The Mother met a man who lived in Queensland on the internet and formed a “serious friendship” with him. She decided that she wanted to live in Queensland.
  • She moved to Queensland the next year and it was agreed the 3 children would live with the Father and spend time with the Mother on school holidays.
  • The Father cared for the children while working full-time. The Mother’s sister and mother moved closer to help care for the children.
  • After a month living in Queensland, the Mother returned to South Australia to spend time with the children in the mid-year school holiday break.
  • When the Mother returned to Queensland, she became engaged to her partner.
  • Towards the end of the year the parties agreed that the Mother would pick the children up from the Adelaide airport so they could spent time with her in Queensland during the school holidays.
  • The Father claimed that the children were to be returned to him in Adelaide on 13 October 2009.
  • The Father claimed that 5 days before the children were to be returned to him, the Mother told him that the children would not be returned.
  • The Mother said that she asked the Father if he would agree to the children staying longer and he refused. She then indicated to the Father that if he wanted the children back before 20 October he would have to come to Queensland to collect them.
  • The Father took time off work and drove to Queensland to collect the children. Due to other issues that had arisen, the Mother would only allow the Father to take the 8 year old child back with him to South Australia.
  • Following their meeting, the Mother made a complaint to the police, alleging that the Father had forcibly pushed her.
  • The 8 year old child returned to school in South Australia, while the Mother enrolled the other child in a Queensland school.
  • At the Interim Hearing the Court found it inappropriate for the children to be separated from each other in different states. The Mother was Ordered to deliver the children to the Father.
  • At the end of the year the Mother had ended her relationship with her partner and had moved back to South Australia.
  • The Father wanted the children to continue to live predominantly with him and spend time with the Mother on alternate weekends during the school term and for half of the school holidays.
  • The Mother, wanted the children to live between the parents on a shared care basis, with the children moving between the households on a week about basis.

Court Found:

  • Each of the children had a “meaningful relationship” with both parents.
  • The Father’s incident of forcefully pushing the Mother was found to be the only incident of that nature that existed.
  • Both parents had been the children’s primary care provider for long periods of time in the past.

Court Order:

  • The children live with each of their parents on an equal time basis.
  • During the school term the children change households on Monday. Each parent to have “time with” the children for half of the school holidays.

It is important that legal advice is sought early regarding parenting arrangements, especially since circumstances between the parents can change.

Getting legal advice sooner, rather than later, can also make things a lot clearer by providing a plan for you for the future and that will not only reduce dispute between you and your former spouse, but keep the best interests of the children at the forefront.

For a fixed cost no obligation initial appointment to discuss your specific situation, call us on Ph. 3221 4300

2019-04-23T14:45:25+10:00

Client Testimonials

Your team’s communication with me was exceptional, I knew exactly what was happening.
A.A., Eatons Hill
The professionalism and reliability delivered by Amy Honan was fantastic. I had an urgent matter around my property sale and Amy offered to provide assistance over a weekend if I required it – that’s above and beyond!
E.F., Nundah
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C.W., Brookfield
I really liked the personable service by Michael, the simple plain language he adopts and his patience.
A.O., Kedron
Amy, thanks very much to you and your team. Throughout my dealings with MLFL I have been continually impressed with your level of professionalism and, in particular, your understanding of circumstances and the articulate way you conduct yourself. I was completely satisfied with today’s outcome and without your experience and expertise in family law I doubt that the result would have been achieved.
M.R., West End
I always felt that the service provided by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers was of a high standard. Each time, after appointments I came away feeling secure. Keep doing what you are and maintain the ‘family feel’ that permeates your services.
C.W., Brookfield
Amy’s work was extremely professional but above all she has a manner and wisdom in dealing with people under stress. I will be recommending your firm to anyone that requires assistance.
K.H., Augustine Heights
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers always gave me competent and knowledgeable advice. I was consistently kept up to date. The meetings and phone calls were kept business-like, yet caring and thoughtful of my emotional state at the time. Thank you.
J.S., Holland Park
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K.B., Carina
I liked my solicitor keeping things as simple as possible.
S.M., Clayfield
My lawyer acted with professionalism in all her dealings with me and with the lawyer on the other side. I was always kept in the loop. I liked her approach. Thanks.
D.S., Coorparoo
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers have really listened to me. I felt confident my case was handled well. The law has changed recently, and I did not feel that a previous law practice I spoke to was suitably up-to-date.
P.B., Carindale
Michael is a good listener. My documentation maintained the high moral ground.
S.S., Hamilton
Thank you for providing me with a professional yet empathetic approach to gain the best outcome for me. My solicitor was excellent in explaining the processes and in representing me in Court. You have great customer service!
T.V., Everton Park
I appreciate you being upfront with fee estimates. You also have a fantastic website and the seminars REALLY helped to get me focussed.
T.C., Tarragindi
You guys provide extraordinary service.
A.O., North Brisbane
I was impressed by my solicitor’s attention to detail and her concern for me, and that the process was explained to me and that I understood it at all times.
B.W., Chapel Hill
The staff at Michael Lynch Family Lawyers were great. Everyone was fantastic, professional, understanding, caring and always communicated with me. I knew I was in good hands.
A.A., Eatons Hill
I appreciate my lawyer’s professional approach and her being on top of my situation.
N.S., Mt Gravatt
Amy, thank you. You have been diligent, accurate and pro-active for the entire duration of my matter. I appreciate it.
R.P., Cleveland
Michael knew what he was talking about.
R.M., Warwick
I really appreciated the happiness of your secretarial staff.
G.C., Clayfield
Thank you, you placed my needs first, you were aware of the need to reach a final result and not get caught up in the personal issues of the other party.
S.L., Moranbah
I like your friendly service and the ability to speak to my solicitor directly.
R.G., Wishart
Your team is professional, warm, friendly and real.
N.R., Crows Nest
I was also always confident that I was getting the very best advice.
T.S., Flinders
May I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you and your staff for the excellent professional services I received. In a word, priceless.
D.H., Hendra
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers are easy to deal with and their systems are good.
D.T., Ferny Grove
I was very impressed with the first initial interview. Everything was well explained and the advice was honest about what I should expect.
C.M., Morningside
Your staff is knowledgeable, professional and very calm.
A.C., Helensvale
My family lawyer was very helpful in assisting me to combat a very ugly situation without stooping to the low levels that the other solicitor attempted to take us.
M.J., Manly
If I need a family lawyer in the future I’ll be heading to Michael Lynch Family Lawyers again.
C.W., Brookfield
I’m very glad Michael is my lawyer and not the other side’s solicitor.
S.S., Hamilton
Thank you, you kept me sane in a difficult situation and gave me the encouragement and the confidence to keep going. You made me feel extremely comfortable.
A.M., Chambers Flat
At Michael Lynch Family Lawyers I got professional and no nonsense advice, costs were within quoted amounts and my matter was resolved quickly – well done!
L.R., Ascot
Many thanks for your assistance – life is now great – I’m moving on.
J.K., Mansfield
My solicitor provided a personalised service, prompt and quick responses and cost information prior to my commitment.
G.C., Southport
I like that my lawyer treated me like a friend and kept jargon to a minimum. She was easy to contact and kept me informed.
L.R., Samford
Thank you for your ongoing conciliatory approach in this matter and as always I appreciate your level headed advice. I certainly feel that I ended up with the right Solicitor.
S.C., Nundah
A personalised and professional service. Information has been clear and provided timely to assist my decision-making.
S.S., Hamilton
Lovely to deal with and provides a balanced view in what are very difficult circumstances.
A.C., Morningside
Thank you for the outstanding legal advice you have provided and professionalism in which you conduct yourself. I am truly thankful that it was you who represented me.
M.T., Stafford
Michael is very personable and very good at covering the material and explaining the strategy.
J.O., Hawthorne
Michael was the most knowledgeable of all lawyers I spoke to when looking for a lawyer. He showed professionalism.
R.R., Brighton
Thank you for being very personable, professional and always providing me with the most appropriate advice in my times of difficulty. The other party’s lawyers were extremely aggressive, while Michael Lynch Family Lawyers remained calm and professional.
S.D., Parkinson
Amy, thank you for all that you have done during this matter. You impressed me with your professionalism from our initial meeting, and you have proven beyond doubt, to have had the skills and knowledge required. You are a credit to the company, and I would highly recommend you to anyone in a similar situation.
R.P., Cleveland
Thank you for the great newsletter. Your article on “Coping with Christmas” is brilliant – clear, caring and helpful. Thanks again!
C.T., Bribie Island

I have appreciated the way that you and the staff at your firm have handled my situation. I would especially like to mention the professional and caring way my lawyer conducted my case, I am deeply grateful and extremely happy with the results. I will be referring others to your service.

J.H., Wellington Point

Thank you for helping me through this difficult time. You have been caring, compassionate and efficient. Some of my divorcing friends have not been so fortunate. In my mind you are the best family lawyer in Brisbane. If anyone I know needs a good family lawyer, I will tell them to speak to you. Thanks again.

B.T., Clayfield
I was guided through a really difficult time with expertise of Michael Lynch Family Lawyers. I am more than happy with the outcome of mediation.
J.H., Windaroo
Michael, thank you again for your presence here yesterday. We really appreciated the clarity and accessibility of your presentation. It is a rare thing to find somebody who not only has expertise, but also has a skill in communicating it.
J.S., Brisbane

I just wanted to get in touch to say thanks for helping me get through my custody and settlement. Thanks again to you and your staff. You have had a significant positive impact in my kids’ lives!

B.S., Brisbane

Thank you Debra and Helen for all the work you did for me, you both made the process manageable and brought sense to the chaos.

R.B., Toowong

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C.M., Brisbane