Family law is a complex and often emotionally charged area of law. Successfully practicing in this area requires highly developed interpersonal, drafting, administrative, and advocacy skills. It also requires sound judgment and the ability to arrive at common-sense alternatives that suit a family’s situation.
In parenting matters, the court’s heavy reliance on reports composed by social workers and psychologists often means that lawyers have a reduced role in directing proceedings and can have a sense of ‘losing control’ of their client’s case. The appointment of an Independent Children’s Lawyer can further complicate a solicitor’s role in proceedings and how their client’s case is received. For these reasons, it is always preferable for parties to come to an agreement about the care arrangements for children rather than proceeding to a trial.
In property matters, clients are often concerned that the asset pool will be depleted as a result of protracted court proceedings. Ensuring full and frank disclosure is paramount, especially where the other party appears to have been less than transparent about the extent of their income, assets or financial resources. However, in these matters too, resolution through mediation is generally preferable to a contested hearing.
The high number of self-represented parties in family law matters can pose a challenge for solicitors, who are left in the position of having to negotiate directly with the other partner or parent, often in circumstances of extreme hostility. This can take an emotional toll on lawyers and can also affect how successfully a matter can be negotiated, mediated or litigated.
At GTC Lawyers, we pride ourselves on resolving all family law matters as expediently and amicably as possible. We emphasise to our family law clients the importance of exploring all avenues of alternative dispute resolution with a view to minimising their costs and maximising the chance of attaining mutually acceptable orders. When a matter must proceed to a contesting hearing, we strive to prepare the case in the minimum amount of time while ensuring that all supporting evidence is obtained and the client’s affidavit material prepared with the utmost professionalism.
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