Most people hope to avoid the need for a family law lawyer. If you do find yourself in need of a good family law lawyer, what should you be looking for and what should you expect from your lawyer?
Choose a Family law firm that specialises in family law and are experts in their field. Do they have specialist accreditation? Does their reputation precede them? Seek referrals and recommendations from friends and colleagues. Do your research.
Your lawyer should first and foremost be Accessible. Your phone calls and emails should be answered or returned promptly and your lawyer should be relatively easy to access and to make an appointment with should the need arise. Technology has changed the way that lawyers communicate with clients and there is no reason why your lawyer should not be available to you.
Your lawyer has a responsibility to Maintain client/solicitor confidentiality, a protection which belongs to you as the client. All of the details of your case should be handled with the utmost confidentiality and respect for your privacy. Your lawyer should act ethically at all times. Your lawyer is subject to principles and values and conduct rules that guide them in their practice. They have a duty to you as their client as well as a duty to the court to conduct themselves at all times in a professional and discrete manner.
Your lawyer should keep you Informed and be an effective communicator in letting you know about respective court imposed deadlines, any foreseeable delays, setbacks and difficulties with your matter and providing you with sound advice on your legal prospects. You should also be kept regularly informed of your legal fees and given a detailed explanation and disclosure of your lawyers’ fees and accounts. Do not be afraid to discuss your fee structure with your lawyer at all times.
Above all your lawyer should know their Law. After your first appointment with your lawyer you should be feeling a level of comfort in their competency and that they will bring their knowledge and expertise of the family law and legislation to the fore on your matter. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with clear and concise advice as to the best way to resolve your divorce and family conflicts.
You should look for a lawyer that is progressing your matter in a timely manner. Litigation can be an expensive, time-consuming and stressful process. Your lawyer should be mindful of this and using their best abilities to help you achieve a result as soon as practicable after your separation.
If you have a specific family law topic you would like dealt with in this column please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any communications will be treated in confidence.