Family law matters can be a stressful and emotional process. Some clients prefer to have a family member or close friend with them as a support person during appointments.
Although our solicitors prefer to speak with you one on one, and will only provide advice to you, we do allow a support person to attend with you if you feel it is necessary.
We offer the following guidelines if you are bringing a support person to your appointment, or have a person supporting you throughout your family law matter:
- Please advise us beforehand if a support person will be attending an appointment with you, including details of their name and relationship with you (e.g., family member, close friend, current partner).
- One support person is permitted to attend at a time. We do not have space in our meeting rooms for multiple support persons, nor do we have a waiting area for others to sit while you are in an appointment.
- At times when COVID-19 restrictions are in place, we may be unable to accommodate any support person.
- Your support person may take notes for you (although we will generally confirm all verbal advice in writing by email as well), assist with clarification of information provided to you by our solicitors, or simply be present for your comfort.
- Our solicitors will provide advice directly to you, and that is in your best interests, not the interests of your support person (e.g., a current partner).
Please be aware that the support person cannot:
- Be a child or person under the age of 18.
- Be the other party to your matter (e.g., your ex-partner that you are separating from).
- Give instructions to, or seek advice from, our solicitors directly, even if they are paying your legal bills for you.
- Act as an interpreter in another language.
- Play an active role in appointments or your ongoing matter, for example by answering questions or guiding negotiations, if you engage us to act for you.
- Be disruptive or abusive towards our staff. If this occurs, the appointment will end, and the support person will not be permitted to attend any further appointments with you.