How important is seeking early legal advice? Below is a hypothetical situation featuring a very well know couple, Homer and Marge.

“It’s finally over – Homer’s lawyer got the house and my lawyer got the two cars and Homer’s super fund”

 Homer and Marge loved each other – once.

They met and married young, and had three beautiful children together.

Last year, Homer’s drinking problem really got out of hand and he just wasn’t reliable anymore.

It became very messy very quickly.

Marge kicked Homer out of the house, and he retaliated by cutting her and the kids off financially, then Marge withheld the kids.

Neither of them sought legal advice.

The mortgage started falling behind. The kids’ school fees were late. Homer lost his job because he was drinking at work. Marge had to take out an AVO because he kept bashing on the front door, drunk at 2am and yelling out threats and obscenities.

The bank notifies Homer the mortgage is in default, but all the mail is still going to the house and Marge doesn’t pass the letter on to Homer.

Marge receives the final notice from the bank and finally decides to seek legal advice. Urgent family law proceedings need to be commenced because there is no time to negotiate before the bank forecloses. Both Marge and Homer instruct solicitors.

Early legal advice could have saved the parties, and the children, the headache of court proceedings, not to mention the legal fees.

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