The Top Things to Consider When Choosing Your Family Lawyer.
In your whole life, you may need the services of a good divorce lawyer only once. If you are lucky, you may never go through separation and divorce.
Still, if you find yourself in that situation, here are a few things you need to consider so you can choose the best lawyer for you.
These tips help whether you are choosing a Brisbane Family Lawyer or a divorce lawyer in another state.
1. Check the Firm’s background – While you are choosing a lawyer your divorce, first make sure to check the background of your lawyer. Questions such as How long has the Family Lawyer has been practising? What is the Family Lawyer’s Education? What reputation does the lawyer have? A good reputation? Or not so good. And a reputation for what? Some lawyers have a reputation for going hard for the client. The key to whether that is a good or bad thing is proportionality. It’s not hard to simply follow up every little issue on a property case. Any one can do that. The benefit of a great lawyer is that they know which things are worth spending your money on. These things matter a lot.
2. What kind of law he or she or the law firm practices – Well, there are plenty of law firms who practice all sorts of general law, but if you have a divorce case, you should consider using a firm that specialises in Family Law. If you have a lawyer who is not a Family Lawyer on top of the changes to Family Law from time to time, then you may be quite disadvantaged.
3. Ask other lawyers or call the Queensland Law Society. – They will know someone who has a reputation as a sensible Family Lawyers who will run your case efficiently and effectively. For example sometimes an accountant or Criminal or tax lawyer will know who the best family lawyers are.
4.Then you should consult yourself. After you have had an initial phone conversation with a Brisbane Family Lawyer you should be able to answer these questions. ( By the way, beware of lawyers who are unavailable to talk to you or who will only chat if you pay for the call.)
a. Is this lawyer going to be able to help you with your family law problem or did they seem unsure?
b. Was the Family lawyer you spoke to polite and interested in your case? Does she or he have a plan?
c. Are you comfortable with the lawyer and the ethos of the Family Law Firm. Could you tell the lawyer everything?Is the lawyer a good ” fit” with you in communication style?
d. Do you feel that your lawyer would understand your priorities, and respond on time
e. Are you okay and comfortable with the fee structure? Can you afford the Family Lawyer? Were you able to discuss fee options up front with the lawyer.
f. Are you comfortable with the terms of the fee agreement and/or Family Law representation agreement?
We are often asked:-
I don’t want to waste money. I can’t afford huge legal fees but I need to use a lawyer. how can I get the best value for money and keep costs down?
A. Having a lawyer saves you from ending up stuck and caught up in the same sort of fights with your ex that led to the separation. Even worse, sometimes people without legal advice find themselves agreeing to things that are less than fair.
However costs are obviously an issue. There are ways to manageyour costs if your law firm is co-operative. Journey Family Lawyers offer a service called ” unbundling” . This means that we are prepared to assist you as you do it yourself)or you can take on some work on your own behalf while we do the tricky legal stuff.
You still have us as lawyers but we can step in and out of your case as you need us.
Perhaps an example will help you understand this concept.
Say you have been served with Court Documents. You need a lawyer to prepare some or all of the documents for you, but don’t don’t necessarily need us to do the photocopying, court filing or arrange service of the documents. Or you might want us to do all those things. You would definitely want a lawyer to go to court for you but may not want to be paying a lawyer to answer tons and tons of correspondence from your ex. So you could ask us to step out of your matter until the time to prepare for the next court date. This is a much better use of your funds.
Unbundling is a concept that has been around for a while in the U S. It is unpopular with most law firms because there is a lot of Ceasing to Act notices and corresponding Notices of Address for service to be filed and it can confuse the Courts and the other side’s lawyers.I even had one lawyer tell me I shouldn’t do it! But Journey Family Lawyers have been doing it for years. It works! And our clients get to use great lawyers no matter that their budget is limited.
If you think you are eligible for legal aid , please phone us and we can help you complete your application for legal aid get redirected here.
On these page we will list questions and answers that may be of help to you. We have made them up so to speak from a conglomerate of questions that we have been asked often over the years in our many years of combined experience in Family Law.But don’t be shy. Ring us or email us and ask us your question. Be reassured that we will never use your particular question on this page in any way.
A. The new shared parenting laws that came in in July 2006 do NOT mean that the child must live half time with each parent. However the recent case of Goode and Goode sets out how the Court must approach shared parenting. Go to the Children’s page on the toolbar to the left and it is all set out there, including a link to the entire judgement if you are feeling brave, and the relevant section of th Act.
A. At this time of year Children are sharing holidays between their parents. Remember to work together as best you can to minimise any stress the kids may feel at changeover times. As the children pile into your car and begin to excitedly tell you all of the things they did with the other parent, try not to react negatively.
Remember that each parent has a different style of parenting, That is Ok. Even if the other parent did something dumb and dangerous with the children, it is not OK to fly off the handle at the kids. It is not their fault. Hold your tongue if you can’t be enthusiastic about what they did and take it up with the other parent later when you have cooled down and where the kids can’t hear. Work on your reaction because that’s the only thing you can change.
A. Good idea! I think the Family Court web site is the best place to start, It even has a page for children! Go to the Family Court Web site
A: In our experience there are a number of ways that a client can keep their costs down. The main thing is to remember that your matter will be time costed, so the less time your lawyer has to spend the cheaper it is for you. At Brisbane Family Lawyers, we offer a number of options for our clients that enable them to keep their costs down. For instance, where a client has access to the internet, we encourage them to complete the simpler Family Court and Federal Magistrate’s Court forms themselves. This saves them money as all we have to do is print the form and file it. This means that they are only paying for our expertise where it is needed, such as drafting more complicated documents and letters and attending mediation or Court.
A: In our experience there are a number of ways that a client can keep their costs down. The main thing is to remember that your matter will be time costed, so the less time your lawyer has to spend the cheaper it is for you. At Brisbane Family Lawyers, we offer a number of options for our clients that enable them to keep their costs down. For instance, where a client has access to the internet, we encourage them to complete the simpler Family Court and Federal Magistrate’s Court forms themselves. This saves them money as all we have to do is print the form and file it. This means that they are only paying for our expertise where it is needed, such as drafting more complicated documents and letters and attending mediation or Court. Another way is to keep calls short and to the point, and have questions that you want to know the answer to, written out when you visit or email your queries to us. Our philosophy is that we are partners with our clients in negotiating.
A: ADULT CHILD MAINTENANCE The Child Support Agency handles the collection of maintenance for children up to the age of 18 years or until they finish Grade 12 whichever is the later. However, many people over the age of 18 continue onto University and continue to be supported by their parents during their tertiary education. The Family Court has power to order parents to contribute to the support of children over the age of 18 years if they are continuing in University Education. I often have enquiries from people about the responsibilities of parents in this regard. First off, it is a difficult question as to whether or not it is the child who has the right to claim maintenance or the parent with whom the child lives. Both parents should contribute to the child support but Family Court cases recently have developed strongly along the lines that a child should also develop some self sufficiency. The Court in a number of cases has made it clear that it is not reasonable.
A: Christmas Holidays are a time when many people have concerns about arranging contact with their children and the main resident parent. For the post part, I am happy to say, people are able to work out commonsense ways to share both the holidays and the actual Christmas period. Sometimes, however, people get into dispute over these issues. For people who have Court Orders, and who have already survived one Christmas holiday period, things will generally fall into place. For others, though, especially if it is the first Christmas since separation and there are no Court Orders, it seems difficult to know how to deal with everybody’s wishes. I am writing this column for people in that situation. The “biggy” is how to share Christmas Day. Some separated couples would rather avoid seeing each other on Christmas Day if at all possible. For them, an arrangement that sees the children with one of the parents on Christmas Eve and the other parent on
A: You would be amazed what mediation can do It is absolutely the way of the future. Of course if there is domestic violence where one of you is at risk of being bullied, or where there is an an imbalance of power. Otherwise, go with your feelings and get your lawyers to set up mediation ASAP.
A: There is a lot to be learned from the Child Support Agency website. There are downloadable forms to use if you need to. You can always telephone the child Support agency on the numbers on your Letters from them. and also on the web page. Don’t forget to always quote your case number when you call or write to them.
A: You need to contact child support and complete a form that asks them to consider changing the assessment. There are 9 grounds on which you can rely. Send the form to CSA and they will send it to your partner for response. The case officer will then arrange an appointment to see you both or talk to you on the phone and will make a decision. IF you are not happy with the decision, you may appeal to the Child Support agency. If you are still not happy, then and only then can you take the matter further. Check the form HERE on the CSA website.