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Thread: Recommendations of a family lawyer?

  1. #1

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    Default Recommendations of a family lawyer?

    I was just wondering if anyone might have any recommendations on a family lawyer in Melbourne (or close by)? My DH has two boys (11 and 8) and he is currently in discussions with the children's mother about the elder boy coming to live with us next year when he starts high school.

    Everything seems pretty civil at the moment, but based on her prior history I would prefer to speak to someone who knows the law and can advise us so that we can do everything by the book. His Ex is also quite greedy when it comes to money (we pay her more than the amount of child support required by government standards, plus still go "halvies" of pretty much everything; school fees, uniforms, recreation activities etc...). I'm worried that if we don't change the "primary caregiver" status to us when he comes to live with us, that she will make him live with her again and cut our visitations just to get more child support (yep, unfortunately she's that sort of person).

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I don't even know where to start finding someone good...

    I just can't wait for him to come live with us, and hope my younger step son decides he would like to do the same some day


  2. #2
    pegasus Guest

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    Wish I could help, but I am in Sydney. Good luck though, I'm sure someone here on BB would know of a good one. Maybe there's a website with ratings or something. Try googling it. In the yellow pages though, a big ad seems to show they're successful, so perhaps write some names down from there and mention them on BB. Maybe that might help people suggest someone. Good luck with everything.

  3. #3

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    Hi there

    If you go to the Law Society of Victoria's website, they will list solicitors by specialist area eg. family law. You can get the first 30 minute appointment for free so you can get some free advice and see if you like the lawyer's approach and especially if they get to the point quickly in language you can understand (otherwise once they take on your case it will get expensive if they waffle on and you're paying by the minute).

    Infact I think I got two free appointments with two different lawyers (they were for different issues). From memory, I think there's a limit of three free appointments with three different lawyers.

    Oh, and make sure you ask what their rate is once the 30 minutes has expired.

  4. #4
    pegasus Guest

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    ok I do know that you can get legal aid for family law, but there is criteria. You need to look at the legal aid site to know what the criteria is for financial situation. Only one person in a lawsuit can have a court appointed legal aid lawyer. Sounds bad, but there's a way around that. Many lawyers take cases on for legal aid. Speak to the lawyers at your free appts and ask if they can do the case with legal aid. There are a few fees but not too much cost. So both parties can have legal aid if one or both have a private lawyer willing to do the case for legal aid. Have a look at the site and see if you're eligible. Good luck.

  5. #5

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    Its a good idea to seek a lawyers opinion. Do you think the ex realizes that she will lose money and may have to pay you child support? I'd be a little worried she might change her mind when she finds out....

    Good luck though xoxoxoxoxo

  6. #6

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    Krystie,

    DH and i have often spoken of this and DH ex, is also quite greedy... we always said that if DSS came and lived with us, we would leave the status as it was for a few months, let DSS settle in and then 'rememeber' that you hadnt changed it, this way it is very obvious that she wants him back just for the money, and also the child will have had enough time to settle in and be comfortable at the new school and living arragements.
    Its sounds awful, but it was the one way of getting around it.
    The other thing is that possibly you could look at mediation and have an agreement set out before he comes to you... this is a cheaper way of doing it and will look favourable for you guys if she then changes her mind.
    going to court is very final, and also costly, its the safest way in that you are protected, but sometimes can drag on... did you know that children at the age of 12 have the 'right' to choose which parent they live with (again you would probably have to go to cout for this if she is fighting it, but worthwile info)

    Good luck and i hope this helps

  7. #7

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    Hope you can get it sorted and come to an amicable agreement You sounded so excited about having him come and live with you and it's a shame that money is going to be a possible problem.

  8. #8
    SugarDust Guest

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    I hope you can sort this all out with out it going to court and costing you more money than what you have already paid!

    Keep us posted.

  9. #9

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    Thank you all for your help!

    Pegasus - I've found a site online that looks pretty fancy and modern so I'm thinking of calling them. I figure that like big ads in the yellowpages might mean they are sucessful, maybe big fancy webpages might mean the same

    Fionas - I'm also going to look into the website you suggested as well. I like the idea of anything free (lol!), but also really like the idea of getting to talk to someone and work out if I am comfortable and trust them before committing to spending lots of money with them.

    Lulu2 - Unfortunately the Ex is more than aware that her child support will go down. She works cash-in-hand so would never have to pay us child support, but the amount that we give her will half when she only has one of the boys living with her. She even had the balls to tell us that she relies on the child support to feed her and her new husband. I had to really bit my tongue not to yell at her that the child support is not there to feed them, it's for the children!! It's not our fault that they rely on the child support to pay the mortgage on the new house they bought...
    Oops, didn't mean to rant. I just get really frustrated at times

    Sammiejane - I actually really liked your idea about "forgetting" to change the child support until you could be sure that it's not just about the money. I wish the ex was stupid enough to fall for it, but she is way to smart when it comes to anything to do with losing money.
    I definitely want to have something all down on paper before he comes to live with us. It would break my heart if after he came to live with us she yanked him back to get more money.
    Oh, and the fact that kids at the age of 12 have the right to choose where they live is very very comforting. I think that's why the ex knows she can't fight this. It's been very obvious for years that DS1 wants to come live with us.

    Raven - I hope it all works out well too! I just can't wait for him to live with us. I think it is going to be soooo good for him! I'd love DS2 to come too, but he's very attached to his mum, and I wouldn't want to upset that. But for DS1, he has conflicts with his mum and it seems unstable for him while living with her. Most of the time she is a great mum, but I just know in my heart that he will do better with us

    Mellie - Thanks for the kind words!!!

    I wish I could say that the money is not an issue. If we had lots of it, I wouldn't care if we just kept giving her the same amount as we did now, even after DS1 comes to live with us. We already give her more than the government says we should, plus we pay for half of most things (sports, school fees, uniforms, books etc...). Unfortunately we haven't won the lottery yet (always forget the buy that winning ticket ) and we want to buy our own house at some stage, plus with us trying to conceive we will hopefully have a baby soon and we'll be down to one salary. Hopefully the lawyers will give us some good news though!

  10. #10

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    You can also try speaking to the CSA, they can give you a good indication of how the money side of things will pan out, espeically with the new system coming in July 1st, if there is a care change.

    Did you know that you can have some of what you pay 1/2 for credited as child support non agency payments?

  11. #11

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    Where are you again Krystie? PM me and I'll give you some names...

  12. #12

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    That would be fantastic if you could pm me some recommendations!

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