Frequently Asked Family Law Questions
Below we provide brief answers to some of the frequently asked family law questions that we receive. We take this opportunity to point out that if you are seeking answers to these questions then it is more than likely that you should take assistance and we recommend that you seek advice from a experienced family lawyer without further delay.
Do I need a lawyer?
Strictly speaking you do not “need” a lawyer. It is a fundamental principle that you have a right to represent yourself in court proceedings and draft your own legal documents. However, that said, it is always highly recommended that you obtain legal advice to ensure that you do not take any actions that negatively affect your rights. As the saying goes prevention is better than the cure.
How much will it cost?
Your costs will of course depending on the work that you want us to perform. Lawyers have an obligation to provide each client with an estimate of the total cost likely to be incurred for undertaking any work. At Beacon Law we are completely transparent in relation to our costs. We encourage you to send us an e-mail to obtain an estimate of your likely costs.
Can I get a second opinion or change lawyers?
There are many law firms competing for your business. The quality of service provided by these law firms varies significantly from firm to firm and from lawyer to lawyer. If you are not 100% satisfied with the service that you are receiving from your lawyer then you should not feel bad about getting a second opinion, as there is no obligation on you to continue to use the same law firm.
Do I need a Will?
That is a simple one: YES. It is surprising how many clients do not have a valid Will. The other issue the clients often have is of course that a significant period of time has elapsed since their Will was prepared. Circumstances have changed and their Will is likely to be invalid. If you think it is time to get or update your Will then e-mail us for an estimate.
How much child support is payable?
Child support is different from child maintenance and spousal maintenance. The basic formula used to calculate the basic rate of child support payable is relatively complex. The Child Support Agency provides a calculator that you may use to calculate the rate of child support payable. You can access the child support calculator by clicking on the link “Calculate Your Child Support” on our Links page. The basic formula however may not be appropriate in your case. The basic formula may not work in some cases because the payer has unreasonably reduced their income earning capacity. Also, your case may satisfy one or more of a number of grounds of departure from the basic rate of child support payable. The basic rate of child support does not for example take account of private school fees, medical expenses or a reasonable standard of living in your circumstances. We recommend that you obtain advice from a family lawyer with experience in child support to calculate the child support payable in your case. See our description of our child support services by clicking here.
Do I have to go to court?
Going to court can be time consuming, stressful and expensive. The good news is that you do not have to go to court to resolve a family law dispute. We recommend that parties go to court as a last resort only. There are a range of alternative services available to parties such as family dispute resolution, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, mediation style conference and arbitrartion. We strongly recommend that you take advice before picking the appropriate service for your situation.