Seven Tips for Selecting a Family Lawyer
Family law pertains to the legal aspects surrounding family relationship issues. It is advisable to choose a lawyer who specialises in this type of law. In Australia, legislation around family law matters is subject to much change, as governments make adjustments to child support regulations, superannuation, tax, and cohabitation agreements. Expertise in this area of law must be updated on a regular basis, if it is to serve the clients needs. The political climate surrounding family matters is, at times, controversial, as the community demands responsiveness, especially around issues pertaining to children and relationship breakdowns. Choosing the right family lawyer, for your particular set of circumstances, is paramount to achieving a good outcome. Here, then, are seven tips for selecting a family lawyer.
Get a Family Lawyer Recommended by a Trusted Source
Firstly, ask trusted friends and/or professionals for a recommendation, as to which family lawyer they would refer you to. These lawyers are specialists; and personal recommendations can count for much in these instances.
Consult Before You Commit
It is advisable to speak with potential advocates on the phone, prior to committing to an appointment with them. Ask questions; and don’t be shy in coming forward with any queries regarding the information provided. It is perfectly okay to shop around before you buy. You may, even, prefer another family lawyer at the same firm. It is vital that you can work with your advocate and clearly understand them.
Research Your Family Lawyer
Do a little digging online to see what you can come up with in relation to the prospective legal representative. How long have they been admitted and how long have they specialised in family law? Don’t be afraid to ask these questions over the phone or in person. It is advisable to select a lawyer who you feel comfortable with, as you will be spending important time with this person. A professional they may be, but the human factor, also, enters the equation in this more modern era.
Evaluate their Family Law Expertise
It is never easy to evaluate someone’s expertise in a field that you are unfamiliar with. Do some research yourself, so, that you can adjudge their competence and ask the right questions. Does your prospective family lawyer have a full and detailed knowledge of Court process, the top barristers, the best counsellors, business valuers, and do they have an intimate understanding of the judges? Expertise in the law involves both theoretical and practical knowledge, with the emphasis on the latter being more important. Relationships between legal professionals are paramount to the outcome of your case.
Litigator or Negotiator?
It is widely accepted that a family lawyer cannot be both an aggressive litigator and a collaborative negotiator; it is spots or stripes, not both. Find the right type of advocate for your specific requirements; it is horses for courses in this case. Choosing the appropriate divorce lawyer for your situation will go a long way to getting the desired outcome in this, often, challenging environment.
Finances, Taxation, & Trust Practices
Ensure that your lawyer is cognisant with client finances, tax issues, corporate and trust practices, as they pertain to the family law matters at hand. A good lawyer will grasp the implications of all these issues and recommend specialist accountancy assistance if required.
Budgetary Considerations: What Your Lawyer Charges
Lastly, but, definitely, not leastly, how much will your family lawyer cost? The budgetary considerations can never be entirely discounted (they rarely ever are), because if you run out of money before you conclude the matter, you are in trouble. Most family lawyers bill on an hourly basis; as, in the case of divorce proceedings, it is challenging to predict how long finalisation will actually take. Take the time to research and compare rates between family lawyers and their firms. Don’t be afraid to talk about money, because the bottom line is rarely out of view, when it comes to family law matters.
You can find a recommended lawyer by visiting the local Law Society. If living in New South Wales, Australia their website can be viewed here: https://www.lawsociety.com.au/