YOUR CHECK­LIST FOR FIND­ING THE RIGHT FAM­ILY LAWYER

Style Magazine - - Promotion - BY KARA BEST, LE­GAL PRAC­TICE DI­REC­TOR AND AC­CRED­ITED FAM­ILY LAW SPE­CIAL­IST, BEST WIL­SON BUCK­LEY FAM­ILY LAW

When re­la­tion­ships break down, our clients are of­ten seek­ing the as­sis­tance of a so­lic­i­tor for the first time (other than a con­veyance or a will).

For that rea­son, I ap­pre­ci­ate that it’s hard to know what to ex­pect and many of our clients have come to us af­ter be­ing dis­ap­pointed by a pre­vi­ous so­lic­i­tor.

To help in the search for the right per­son to pro­tect you and your fu­ture, I’ve iden­ti­fied what I think you should be de­mand­ing of your fam­ily law so­lic­i­tor.

EX­PER­TISE

The com­plex­ity of fam­ily law de­mands spe­cial­i­sa­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence.

COM­MU­NI­CA­TION

An ex­cep­tional ca­pac­ity to com­mu­ni­cate — mak­ing the com­plex more un­der­stand­able.

HON­ESTY

You need to know the good, the bad and the ugly up front.

EX­PEC­TA­TION

It is rea­son­able to want to know what to ex­pect and to hold your so­lic­i­tor to that ad­vice.

It’s im­por­tant that your so­lic­i­tor has the re­spect of the Court and col­leagues — it makes a ma­te­rial dif­fer­ence.

PRAG­MA­TISM

It is fu­tile to win the bat­tle, but lose the war.

In­cur­ring dis­pro­por­tion­ate le­gal fees to what you stand to achieve is a poor out­come.

RAP­PORT

A ca­pac­ity to build a gen­uine rap­port — you’re trust­ing your most in­ti­mate of de­tails and your fu­ture with this per­son af­ter all.

AVAIL­ABIL­ITY

Your fam­ily life doesn’t stop af­ter busi­ness hours, so a good so­lic­i­tor ap­pre­ci­ates that there will be af­ter-hours con­tact, and a need to re­spond ur­gently if re­quired.

VALUE

This is hard to mea­sure, but given the of­ten sig­nif­i­cant cost of le­gal ad­vice and rep­re­sen­ta­tion, it’s im­por­tant that you feel in con­trol of your le­gal fees and that you are achiev­ing a pos­i­tive out­come.

TOUGH LOVE

Be­ware the so­lic­i­tor that ac­tively in­ten­si­fies your feel­ings of anger.

A good lawyer will chal­lenge you to re­duce con­flict with your for­mer part­ner if pos­si­ble and will make you acutely aware of the long-term im­pli­ca­tions of main­tain­ing any neg­a­tive emo­tion for all of you.

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