As almost everyone does at some point, you may have found yourself in the middle of a family law dispute or dilemma. This can be an overwhelming and emotionally taxing experience. Family law includes legal matters relating to marriage, wills and estates, divorce, separation, parenting arrangements, child support, family violence, spousal support, and adoption. Considering the seriousness of these matters, it is only natural that you should seek the support of a professional. Family lawyers are equipped to deal with any and all family law cases, providing guidance, emotional support and legal services to their clients. If you are unsure as to whether you need a family lawyer, the following guide might help you come to a decision.
When Might You Need a Family Lawyer?
In The Formulation of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement generally outlines how spousal support and the division of property will be worked out between a couple in the event of separation or divorce. It is signed by both participants before they enter into a marriage or civil union. Although this is a private agreement it varies significantly from couple to couple. Family lawyers have the experience to confidently assist in drafting such a contract. They can also take care of any legal issues that may arise from the contract at a later date.
If You’re Going Through a Divorce
The breakdown of a relationship can take a serious emotional toll on a person. Adding the long, often complicated process of sorting out parenting and property issues to the mix can make it all the more difficult. Although it is not mandatory to consult a lawyer during a relationship breakdown, choosing to do so takes some of the stress out of the experience. Divorce lawyers have the expertise to ensure you understand every step of the legal proceedings. They can take you through the process with straightforward explanations, and help you access mediation services to resolve legal issues. A good family lawyer will have the ability to see all possible solutions to a problem, and suggest their alternatives with professionalism and tact. They may even be able to settle negotiations outside of court, which will not only save you time and money, but lift a sizable weight from your shoulders.
In the Organisation of Parenting arrangements and Child Support
One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce or separation can be agreeing to parenting arrangements for your children. This is an incredibly sensitive process involving many difficult decisions, and this is something a good family lawyer will understand perfectly. These professionals will help parents come to a reasonable care agreement for the children. They are there to assist by providing specialist advice and drafting parenting orders, parenting plans and Binding Child Support Agreements.
If You Are Experiencing or Have Experienced Family Violence
Family violence can take many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse and controlling behaviour. Individuals who experience family violence often feel powerless, as though there is no way for them to escape their circumstances. Fortunately, family lawyers can help to secure intervention orders and other safety measures for individuals or families in need. If you are experiencing family violence of any kind, reaching out to an experienced lawyer is the best thing you can do to pursue long-term safety for yourself and your children.
If You’re Undertaking Adoption
The adoption process is a lot to wrap one’s head around, and it can take a long time to reach its desired outcome. Having a legal expert to guide you through this period makes a world of difference. The adoption process varies according to the circumstances of the adoption; for example, whether the child is still a minor or is over 18 years. Family lawyers are knowledgeable in all types of adoption and provide all the legal insight and assistance necessary for completing the process smoothly.
When Drafting Your Will
It is important to organise a Will so that when you die your property passes to your loved ones in accordance with your wishes. Since there are specific legal requirements to make a Will binding, preparing a Will yourself can be daunting and prone to error. Family lawyers can help you with effective estate planning and Will drafting. They can assist you in preparing your documents to ensure that, when the time comes, your estate is administered according to your wishes.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Family Lawyer?
They Have Advanced Knowledge of Family Law
It may seem obvious, but the value of having a family lawyer by your side during legal proceedings cannot be underestimated. These highly-skilled individuals have years of training and experience in dealing with legal matters, and their presence in a courtroom can be the difference between winning and losing a case. Even in situations that appear low-stakes— such as in the writing of a prenuptial agreement — having an expert to guide you through this process will ensure that nothing goes awry.
They Will Save You Time and Money
It is no secret that many matters of family law are time-consuming and complex. Taking it upon yourself to tackle these proceedings single-handedly is therefore going to be incredibly burdensome. Family lawyers know how to deal with these matters efficiently and thoroughly, and will save you a lot of time and stress in the process. They are often able to eliminate the need to go to court, which is even more beneficial to both your bank account and general wellbeing.
They Provide an Unbiased Perspective
As someone who is directly involved in the case, it only makes sense for you to be emotionally invested in its outcome. The trouble is that this kind of investment can make it difficult to see the situation clearly. Family lawyers provide an outsider’s perspective, and are skilled in the art of objective, logical thinking. They can analyse a legal issue or disagreement, and find the best possible solution without being clouded by emotional bonds.
They Offer Emotional Support
While family lawyers are emotionally detached when necessary, they are also practiced in the provision of emotional support. These lawyers understand the delicacy of family matters, and treat each individual case with utmost sensitivity. If you need it, they are there to give you the emotional and moral support it takes to help you through a difficult legal proceeding.
They Can Act As a Counsellor
Families who are in the midst of a legal matter often benefit from the influence of a 3rd-party perspective, and this is why many family lawyers have counselling experience. They can assist with mediation, either providing it themselves or finding you an appropriate service. This can help to de-escalate a situation so that solutions can be agreed upon in a calm, thoughtful manner.
How Do Family Lawyers Build Trust With Their Clients?
Once you have secured a family lawyer, it is important to ensure that they are competent. After all, you are trusting them to represent your personal interests and maintain your privacy. A good family lawyer should understand the weight of this responsibility, and make efforts to help you feel comfortable and supported. They will provide practical, balanced advice and explore alternatives to litigation such as collaborative practice and negotiation. An expert in family law will build trust with their client by doing everything they can to settle matters outside of court. They will be straightforward and transparent in the provision of their services, with the experience to know that they cannot guarantee a particular result.
Find a Family Lawyer You Can Trust
The dedicated team of family lawyers at Duffy & Simon have helped families of all kinds resolve their issues and achieve their desired outcomes. If you are a resident of Melbourne or South-East Victoria in need of advice, representation or assistance with any element of family law, please don’t hesitate to contact Duffy & Simon today.