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How to get the most out of your Family Law Representation

Corey Gauci

Family Law Representation can be complicated enough without back and forth communication with your lawyer. You are entitled to high standards of legal advice and your solicitor must act in accordance with a range of legal duties to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. At the same time, a successful solicitor/client relationship requires cooperation on both sides.

To get the most out of your family lawyer, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Give full and clear instructions – It is important for a solicitor to know all details as soon as possible so he or she is not surprised, especially if a court case is involved.
  2. Be honest and lawful – It is unwise to lie to your solicitor or to expect your solicitor to uphold a mistruth, particularly if you are involved in a court case. Solicitors have a duty not to mislead the Court.
  3. Be prepared – Before you speak with or visit a solicitor, it is a good idea to write down a summary of your matter, including questions and the contact details of all persons involved.
  4. Follow instructions – So that your solicitor can serve you efficiently follow his or her instructions as quickly as possible. For instance, your solicitor may request more information or documentation. Use or ask for a checklist of what you need to provide along with a reasonable timeframe to provide your solicitor with those documents.
  5. Understand the fees and costs – Solicitors are required by law to tell you about their fees and other expenses before they start working for you. Ask questions at the beginning so conflict does not arise about fees down the track.
  6. Ask questions – The law is complex with lots of unfamiliar words and processes. If you are confused or have any questions, ask your solicitor for an explanation as soon as possible.
  7. Keep in contact – Legal issues can take a long time to resolve. Your solicitor should keep you up to date with the progress of your matter. Agree on how frequently you will be informed and by what method, such as telephone or letter.
  8. Trust your solicitor – Carefully consider what your solicitor advises you to do. Their advice is based on years of experience and training. Sometimes the best course of action may not be what you want to hear, but your solicitor, as your advocate, is obliged to have your best legal interests at heart.
Help us to help you

We want our clients to get the best service from Russell Kennedy Lawyers, and we have prepared a few tips to help you to help us: –

  • Try not to listen to “advice” from friends and family– They are often too emotionally involved, and their experiences are usually not exactly the same as yours.
  • Be open to negotiation – It is a very rare case that is settled without negotiation.
  • If possible, try and settle out of court– Court proceedings can be expensive, lengthy and emotionally draining.
  • Consider mediation– Mediation puts you in control and can often be a more economical way forward. Aitken Lawyers can make referrals to Mediators on your behalf.

If your relationship has broken down, and you want more information on how we can help you, contact our Family Law team.

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