What are they?
They are first and foremost lawyers. The difference between them, are some lawyers specialise in different facets (e.g. adoption) while others don’t limit themselves or specify a particular area of specialty. This doesn’t necessarily mean a specialist lawyer will be more qualified and successful than a regular family lawyer. There is no room for assumptions.
What do they do?
They deal with family law issues in and out of court. Family law specialists provide advice, negotiate, collaborate, mediate and go to court for clients both nationally and internationally. Some family lawyers in Sydney specialise in a single facet of law; however, most family lawyers will deal with:
- Family Settlements & Agreements
- Child custody battles
- Paternity Disputes
- Divorce & Separation
- Child Support, and
- Interstate and International relocation of families and children and more.
Why may you need to use one?
All matters may not need to go to court. However, lawyers can help streamline any disagreements and demands. Using a lawyer ensures any exchanges including claims and agreements are recorded and are legally binding to safe guard any persons throughout any mediation or physical exchanges in paper form.
If a matter is to be taken to court, yes you can represent yourself but if you are unfamiliar with the legal process and jargon. It is helpful to have a lawyer to guide and advise you through any court proceeding.
Within your lifetime there it is inevitable that you will be required to sign or may acquire an official legal document of some sort, may it be a marriage certificate, a will, superannuation papers or a death certificate of a loved one. More than (more than you think) not these documents which you may see as fool proof may be challenged in court especially during Will, Trust, Estate & Superannuation dispersal. These are the most typical family arguments and when a lawyer may not be compulsory, it sure takes a weight off your shoulders.
For criminal or high-risk proceedings involving Domestic Violence, Custody, etc. a family lawyer is a must. Whether your innocent or guilty having a family law specialist in Sydney on your side of the table, will help get the best outcome for both parties and at the same time preserving and protecting the external family and especially children that could be effected by the court proceedings.
So, now if you have worked out that you need to employ a family law specialist now you’re tasked with the job of procuring a good family law specialist in Sydney. And there are plenty to choose from.
How to choose a family law specialist in Sydney
Research, research, research. There are plenty of resources and trusted sources which can give you information on which type of lawyer you may need. Which brings me to the next point.
Do they specialise in the field that you need?
Depending if you require a lawyer for family relocation internationally or a lawyer for the adoption process. Hiring a lawyer that specialises in your particular issue will improve the chances of you reaching the desired outcome. Not only does it give you peace of mind that they know the process inside out and may have
Now for interviewing process.
Employing a Family Law Specialist should be similar to conducting a job interview because after all, you are hiring them to do a job, a significant one and perhaps expensive.
Like any job hiring process, before a job interview is organised, the Resume, CV or portfolio needs to be thoroughly assessed. Here you should make sure the family lawyer includes:
- Case success rates
If the information above is not stated on their portfolio don’t fret, it gives you another question to ask them when you meet them. Yes, you do need to interview your potential lawyer in person to ensure you connected on a personal level no matter how experienced and qualified they may be. Apart from any further questions you have for the lawyer about how they approach cases and how their firm will handle your particular case, there are questions you need to ask yourself.
You should ask yourself, before choosing a family lawyer:
- Do you feel comfortable with them? Your lawyer will be dealing with your personal and perhaps intimate details. Meaning you need to be comfortable opening up to them, disclosing information and are comfortable being completely open and honest with them.
- Are they you confident with their qualifications and approach? Again, if you require a lawyer more than not, you will have a strong interest or place a high value on the outcome of your case. Especially the issue or case involves family members and children directly. The result of a case, the decision can be life changing (e.g. child custody) so you need to have complete confidence and trust that your family lawyer has your best interests at heart, and you are confident that they know best.
Everything can look swell on paper, but your natural instincts rule. Once you have ticked every box, asked every question and everything is just as a great family lawyer should be, BUT your gut tells you otherwise. It’s a no from me.
Never take second best, trust recommendations, trust references and just as important make sure you trust yourself.