Need to choose the best family and divorce lawyer for your case?
Claire Naidu, an Accredited Family Law Specialist, offers some tips to help you choose a family lawyer to suit your needs.
Engage an expert
You should look for someone who is not only experienced in family law, but is an expert in the field. Choosing a lawyer who practices predominantly in family law will best advance your case and ensure you get the right advice as they are more likely to be abreast of the changing law and family law precedents. The Family Law Act has undergone numerous and significant amendments over time and each year the Family Law Courts determine hundreds, if not thousands, of cases which can set precedents for how the Family Law Act is to be applied.
For Accredited Specialists in Family Law, professional continuing education and development in the area of family law is mandatory. Family Law Accredited specialists have also passed family law specific examination set by the relevant Law Society.
Meet your lawyer
When you have chosen a proposed family lawyer, make an appointment to see them as soon as possible. If you feel that appointment may be overwhelming by yourself or you would prefer to take someone with you to help make notes or ask questions – then ask the lawyer if you can bring a close friend or relative to this appointment to help you absorb the advice you will receive and to assist you in assessing whether this is the right family lawyer for you.
You should ask yourself:
– Do I think the lawyer and I can work effectively together?
– Do I have confidence in the knowledge and expertise of the lawyer?
– Did the lawyer listen to my needs?
– Do I feel able to communicate openly and effectively?
– Do I feel that the lawyer will get you the best results?
– Can I afford the lawyer?
The costs of the lawyer’s services will not be the only consideration but legal costs cannot be ignored when instructing a lawyer. Making the right choice in this situation will give you the best chance at a good result, in a reasonable time frame and at a fee which represents value for money.
You should discuss the costs of the first appointment when making the appointment, and you should raise the fee/cost estimates at your first appointment.
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