Here are the answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we receive
I don’t live in Christchurch, can you still help me?
Absolutely! We have worked with clients throughout NZ and around the world.
We have meeting rooms in Auckland and Christchurch but, with technology, we can meet anywhere.
Should I come to see you alone or bring my partner/husband/wife?
You’re welcome to do either, depending on what is most comfortable and convenient for you. We will tailor our approach to your needs.
Coming together often results in efficient and affordable progress as we can help you both land on the same page about how you wish to sort things out. However, we get that is not always possible so welcome you to also meet with us alone.
If coming alone, you are always welcome to bring a friend or family member for support and a second set of ears!
I don’t want things to get out of hand and blow up by seeing a lawyer. Is there a way to avoid that?
Absolutely there is! We pride ourselves on, as much as possible, working to keep the temperature down in any conflict our clients are facing. We strive to guide you towards a more respectful and amicable separation than you may have seen played out in other people’s separations (or on TV or films!). We don’t take any steps without your approval. We guide you through the different options you have, bearing in mind the reaction they may cause.
Do we each need to get legal advice if we have reached agreement about our property?
Yes. The law in New Zealand is that for a relationship property agreement to be valid and enforceable, you each need to have received independent legal advice about the agreement. To confirm that independent legal advice has been received, a certificate on the agreement is signed by each of your lawyers.
Do you accept Legal Aid cases?
Sometimes. We are approved to provide legal aid services and, from time to time, we are able to act for clients on Legal Aid.
Can you provide advice about a property agreement to both of us?
No. For a relationship property agreement, you each need to have independent advice which means Family Law Results can only advise one of you about the agreement.
Sometimes a couple who are separating will see us together and use one of our Resolution Ready services to reach agreement together. However, when it comes to completing the written property agreement, one or both will be referred to another lawyer for independent advice.
We only refer to other experienced family lawyers who are trained in collaborative practice because they work to help keep you both on the same page and to achieve an amicable separation.
Even if we have reached agreement about our property and finances, do we still need to provide financial disclosure?
Absolutely! Financial disclosure ensures that you make fully informed decisions about a property or financial settlement. When we provide advice about relationship property agreements, we have an obligation to obtain disclosure so that our advice to you is appropriate.
We understand that not everyone loves paperwork the way we do! That is why we have streamlined processes to help you with this.
Why do you offer fixed fees?
We offer fixed fees simply because we realise clients want certainty about what steps possibly lie ahead of them in their case and how much each step will cost.
After you first see us, we will provide you with an individualised Resolution Plan that sets out the likely steps required in your matter and the cost of each.
If you prefer to pay on a time spent basis, this can be arranged.
Do you appear in Court?
Sometimes. For adoption and surrogacy matters, appearing in Court is inevitable to get an adoption order made. Likewise, for paternity and relocation cases, the Court's assistance is often needed. Even in matters where agreements are reached, there may be times where Court orders must be obtained to give effect to those agreements.
If your matter cannot be resolved by agreement and where required, We can work with you and the Barrister to ensure you are well represented in Court.
When is the best time to come and see you?
We find that clients who see us early on when they first think they may be separating or have just separated end up avoiding a lot of wasted time and money. They manage to get a plan in place early and avoid the complexity in their legal issues that can come with leaving things for long. Having said that, it is never to late to see us! We have helped clients who have been separated for 20+ years finally tidy up their property issues. We also have helped clients reach agreements when they were almost at the courtroom doors with a hearing date coming up.
If I come to see you, am I obliged to use you as my lawyer?
Absolutely not. While most people who come to see us choose to engage us as their lawyer, we understand that choosing a lawyer is a vitally important consideration. Therefore, you are not obliged to engage us as your lawyer after our initial meeting.