Family Law matters are emotional, difficult times. It’s essential that you have the right family lawyer acting for you from the start. I always suggest to potential clients that they should call or meet with several lawyers before deciding who should have the privilege of acting for them (because it should be a privilege to guide someone through a life changing experience).

 

You need to feel at ease with your lawyer, be able to communicate well with them and receive advice that you understand.

 

Finding a family lawyer that says “yes” all the time or agrees with everything you want, particularly in family law, is a warning sign. A good family lawyer will be able to tell a client when they are being unreasonable and when their expectations are not a reality. It’s at this point that some clients feel like their lawyer isn’t “on their side” or advocating for them, but it’s the job of a good family lawyer to manage client expectations and explain how the law will decide certain matters.

 

If you are in the process of looking for a good family lawyer I suggest the following steps can help narrow the field and find someone who fits with you and can work with you to achieve finalisation of your family matter and allow you to move on with your life;

 

  1. Talk to people, friends, colleagues, your accountant, anyone! Ask them if they have used a family lawyer and how that experience was for them. Family law touches more peoples’ lives than any other area of the law, chances are many people in your social network have some great feedback they can offer on a family lawyer.

  2. Speak with the Law Institute of Victoria, they can help find a lawyer in your area.

  3. Speak with prospective lawyers over the phone, don’t be afraid to ask if you can be put through to a lawyer for a quick chat before committing to an appointment. Potentially you will be spending time and money with this person, so determining whether there is any rapport with them is a great initial step.

  4. Take your time, consider what each lawyer has to offer, how readily they engaged with you and what feedback other people have given about them.

  5. Trust your gut. Like with most things in life your initial reaction to someone is often the right one, if you feel like a good working relationship can be fostered then go for it.

 

Ultimately a good family lawyer is the one that you are happy with, find that lawyer and you can navigate through your separation with a real sense of confidence.