Choosing a lawyer for your family law matter
Choosing a family lawyer to represent you is one of the most important decisions you will make in your case. When meeting with family lawyers, you should ask for someone who:
- Is in good ethical standing with the Queensland Law Society, Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and Family Law Practitioners Association (Queensland).
- Has the experience and qualifications to handle your specific legal needs.
- Is easy to communicate and work with.
- Honestly communicates about legal costs and has a rate you can afford.
Not all family lawyers have the same level of experience. If you have a lot of assets or run a business with your spouse you will need someone experienced in dealing with the complexities of business assets. If you are in dispute about your children you will need someone with experience in dealing with the high conflict associated with parenting cases.
Referrals through Other Lawyers
If you have a relationship with a lawyer you can trust who does not practice family law, chances are that he or she can provide you with recommendations for the best family lawyers in your area.
Recommendations from Friends and Family
If someone you know had a good experience with a family lawyer, personal recommendations are often valuable. Just be sure you still do your research beforehand so that you know that the lawyer has the right qualifications and experience for your needs.
Check with the Queensland Law Society.
The Queensland Law Society is able to provide you with a list of family lawyers in good standing, including those that have earned Accredited Specialist qualifications.
Check for Conflicts of Interest
If the family lawyer (or any lawyer from the same law firm) has ever represented or given legal advice to your spouse prior to advising you there is a conflict of interest and the lawyer or law firm should not represent you as well.
Don’t Forget to Ask Questions
Ask as many questions as you think you need. Family law conflict is a life changing process and it is important that you feel secure with your lawyer. The family lawyer you end up working with should be able to answer your questions in a way you can understand and clearly define your legal options. The lawyer should also offer practical solutions to meet your needs and be fearless in giving advice, even if it is not what you want to hear.