Relationships are built on trust and respect, and this foundation is essential when choosing the right family lawyer for you. Not only will your chosen lawyer guide you through some of the most complex and emotional chapters of your life, but they will work to advocate for your rights and preferences. Your future, either as an individual or family unit, is often negotiated by your family lawyer on your behalf and so quality representation is fundamental.
Now that we have covered the importance of a trusted family lawyer, here are 5 tips to finding one to represent your family's needs.
1. Connect with a family lawyer
Each lawyer works in a dedicated field, often exclusively. Finding a family lawyer
is a great start as this will ensure that each professional working with you on your case, paperwork and every necessary step will be informed of the family law model. Your family lawyer will also give you access to relevant services and professionals, like youth advocates and even social workers to ensure you are well supported throughout the proceedings.
A family law lawyer will have experience in:
- Custody and parenting matters
- Wills and probates
- Mediation and settlements (property, financial)
- Intervention orders
- Divorce, expiration and spousal maintenance
2. Research your options
A smart looking website can be persuasive, but it is the information you find there and the lawyers in the firm that you should be researching. Word of mouth is very compelling when it comes to sensitive matters such as this, but if you do not have that you can always find reviews online and read about the partners and team members. All reputable legal professionals will extend a consultation before signing you on, which is a great opportunity for you to assess whether this family lawyer is right for you.
3. The right cost and value
Legal representation does not cost the same and so you are going to have to look at your finances to understand what your options are. Affordable does not mean poor quality, so do your due diligence in shortlisting your options and discussing what the financial commitment will be. Just as no two families are the same, neither are the cases and so be confident in asking what scenarios could extend the cost and what that would be. In saying that you don’t want to find the cheapest option, just the most affordable for your specific circumstances.
4. Trust is everything
Trust is something you cannot cut corners with - it is there or it is not. If you find authentic chemistry with your lawyer then don’t dismiss that as it’s a valuable attribute to have in your relationship. It might be hard to get a sense of your relationship with only an initial consultation, but you can be strategic with that time and see how they respond to your story and needs. You can also ask them why they got into law or their typical day in the job to see if that resonates with you. You also want to know that the advice you receive is tailored to you, both practical and realistic. Aspirational goals that are outside of your reach will not serve you in this journey and so place your trust in a family law firm that designs a strategy around you and your needs.
5. Consider flexibility
Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan and having your family lawyer understand and support that reality is going to really reduce any stress. If you are working towards divorce or custody arrangements, often timelines and adjacent services are needed to be factored in before moving forward. This might also be an important factor if there are more than a few stakeholders involved and committing to a time is harder to do. Find a lawyer that wants to work with you and your unique circumstances, and not a lawyer who is taking you on due to a perceived timeline.
At Oxford Partners, we are fortunate to have worked with families all over Australia to achieve their goals, either in or out of court. Talk to our family law experts today to learn how our representation can assist you in this chapter of your life and set you up for the next one. Contact us
today to set up a time for an initial consultation, and to get to know our family law team!