With family law experts on your side, you can expect to be able to navigate this difficult area of law more easily. While no one can guarantee that you will get the result you want, with the right family law firm, you can ensure your best interests, and those of your family, are advocated for. But say you’re looking for family law help in Gippsland or beyond — how can you set yourself up for success?
How Can a Family Lawyer in Gippsland — Or Anywhere — Help You in Legal Matters?
At the last census, there were more than 40,000 families in Gippsland, with an average of 2 children in every family. With such a large familial population, it’s fair to expect a host of experiences and many families or individuals needing, at some point in their lives, to meet with a family law Gippsland or nearby. However, it’s possible that many of these people may not understand that they can benefit from speaking with a family lawyer.
While it can be an additional expense, family lawyers can be incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding Australian legislation around families, as well as giving you a better chance at achieving your desired outcome. This can include helping you collect documents, information, or evidence to build your case; helping you settle affairs outside of Family Court to avoid distress and further costs; and acting as a mediator or voice for you when meeting with involved parties. When it comes to what family lawyers do, it’s all to help achieve better outcomes for you and your family.
6 Easy Steps to Find a Good Family Lawyer
Clearly there are significant advantages to hiring a lawyer experienced in family law. However, if you’ve never needed a family lawyer before, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to finding the right lawyer. Luckily, we’ve got a tried-and-tested strategy just for you that works whether you’re in Gippsland or anywhere else in Australia.
Know What Services You Need
Just like when you’re engaging any other professional, you want to make sure their services match up with your needs. So, first things first, you need to nail down what you’re looking for help with.
Family law is a complex and wide-reaching area of law. It includes but is not limited to:
- Property settlements
- Child support
- Parenting arrangements
- Family violence
- Financial agreements
You may need assistance in one of these areas or multiple. For instance, if you are seeking a divorce from your partner with whom you share children, you may need help with the divorce application and organising parenting arrangements hereafter. Alternatively, when you are divorcing, you may want to work with a family lawyer to ensure that any pre-agreed financial agreements are upheld or to assist you in the equitable and fair distribution of any property owned.
Whatever your circumstances, you want to be sure that your family lawyer can help you. But the onus is on you to know what services you require. Take the time to consider what help you need.
Start Researching Family Law Professionals in Gippsland or Your Area
Once you better understand your needs you can start looking for family law firms and experts in your area. There’s a number of ways you can do this, however it’s important to remember that as this is such a sensitive and complicated area of your life, you want to be sure that you are getting a dependable professional who you can trust. That’s why we recommend using your best judgement in your search, and even your gut instinct, to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. We also suggest using only reputable search techniques to improve the quality of your results.
With that in mind, a good place to start your search is to speak with family and friends. They may have a recommendation for a good family lawyer, and they can provide you with a first-hand report on their experience with the lawyer.
If your friends or family cannot recommend someone — or even if they can — you can then widen your search to official directories and lists from law societies and authorities in your area. For instance, in Victoria you can visit the Law Institute of Victoria’s website for a directory of practising lawyers in Victoria. From there, you can look at the reviews and any publicly available feedback of the lawyers to help you decide who you may be interested in contacting.
Finally, you can also use Google to find lawyers practising family law in your area. Remember to be diligent in your searching though. The first lawyers that appear in your search may not be the best. Therefore, it’s an innovative idea to look at any reviews they may have and decide whether you want to contact them.
Create a Shortlist of Top Contenders
After all this searching, you should have quite a few names of lawyers who may be able to help you. But to save you time while still helping you find the best lawyer for your case; you can create a shortlist. This could include ranking the lawyers that come highly recommended by friends and family as more desirable than those that simply have good reviews on Google. It is up to you what your criteria for making your shortlist is but be sure to consider your needs, such as services provided, location of the law firm and so on.
Contact Potential Family Lawyers With Prepared Questions
Now that you have your shortlist, it’s time to start whittling it down. To do so, you need to be prepared to do a little more thinking and legwork, but the result will be well worth it.
First, you will need to produce a list of questions to ask your potential lawyers. These questions should help you get a better understanding of the lawyer, their expertise, and their practice; and how they can help you.
Some questions you could ask include:
- What relevant qualifications do you hold? Are you a member of any relevant societies, associations, or groups?
- Have you helped people with similar problems to mine? Can you explain what happened and what you did?
- Do you regularly work with clients like me?
- With the information I have provided, are you able to provide me with an estimate of how long you think it will take to resolve the matter?
- In your professional opinion, do you think my case will be successful?
With your questions prepared, you can then begin contacting your chosen lawyers. You may be able to ask your questions via email or telephone, or you may need to have an in-person meeting with the lawyer.
Meet With the Best of the Bunch
This step you can do in conjunction with the one above or as a separate step after. What’s important is that you get a sense of the lawyers you are interested in working with. As you may be discussing sensitive matters or simply just spending a lot of time in their presence, it’s important you feel comfortable and can trust your chosen representative. That’s why having a sit-down meeting where you get to know them better, including their manners with clients, can really help you make the best decision for yourself.
When you are meeting with potential lawyers, there are certain things you can look out for. For example, do they seem passionate about their work and the opportunity to take on your case? Do they appear empathetic and respectful of you and your family at this tough time? Are they honest, transparent, and clear when they are discussing their services, your situation and how they can help?
While you’re not exactly looking for a new best friend, you want to feel heard, supported, and comfortable with your new lawyer. Just as important, you want to feel like they are taking your case seriously and doing their best to advocate for you and achieve an outcome that aligns with your best interests.
Compare Quotes to Narrow Down Your Search Even Further
Finally, you need to consider the practicalities of hiring a lawyer. Depending on the work involved, the lawyer’s reputation and other factors, you may find you receive a range of quote amounts. While it’s important to keep your budget in mind and look for value for money, you also need to consider the scale of help you need. Family law issues are deeply personal and can affect us across many areas of our life. Therefore, you may not feel confident or want to entrust this part of your life to simply the cheapest option available.
Now it’s time to make your final decision. Your choice should be a lawyer with family law expertise that meets your needs, that you feel comfortable with and that meets your budget. It’s important to not rush this process, but you also need to remember that legal work can take some time, so you may not want to unnecessarily delay it either.
Who Can You Turn to for Family Law Help in Gippsland or the Surrounding Area?
Obviously, there’s a bit of work involved in finding the right family lawyer. But it’s better to do the challenging work now and find the right lawyer, then to be scrabbling to overcome any number of hurdles that can result from picking the wrong lawyer for you and your case.
To make things a little easier, if you live in Gippsland, we recommend finding a reliable legal advice. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, law firms are professional, dependable, and supportive lawyers who will help you through this tough time, while working hard to achieve the outcome you are after.