Family Law matters can be an emotionally daunting and a challenging experience for all parties involved. For this reason, it is extremely important that you choose a family law solicitor who will be able to provide you with valuable legal advice and assistance during this difficult time.
Here are 3 key tips which will better assist your decision making in choosing the right family law solicitor for your case.
1. Qualifications and Experience
When choosing a family law solicitor, you should always consider whether they have the relevant legal qualifications, experience and skills to handle your matter.
However, you should be mindful that a more experienced solicitor does not necessarily mean that they will be better suited to handle your matter, in the same way that a less experienced solicitor does not necessary mean they will be less suited for your matter. A solicitor who has been practising for a few years may be better suited to handle your matter if it involves less complicated legal issues, and as they will charge a lower rate than more experienced solicitors, you will save yourself money in the long run. On the other hand, a more experienced solicitor may be necessary for matters that are more complex.
2. Communication and Personal compatibility
When choosing a family law solicitor, you should consider whether you feel that you can effectively communicate with your solicitor. Whist it sounds quite basic and obvious, ensuring that a solicitor understands your story and instructions is of the utmost importance in any legal matter, especially in family law, where situations may be emotionally daunting and challenging. You should always feel comfortable enough to speak openly with your solicitor, without feeling judged or like you are a hassle to them. Some solicitors may also prefer face-to-face, telephone or email communication, so you would need to determine which method of communication works best for you.
When choosing a family law solicitor, you should consider their cost. While this relates to the level of experience of your solicitor, as discussed above, this is an important consideration within itself. Solicitors will charge based on their hourly rate. Whilst there may be unforeseen circumstances in your case resulting in unexpected work to be done, your solicitor should still be able to provide you with a rough estimate as to what you can expect to spend throughout the various stages of your matter.
However, you should be mindful that basing your choice on cost is not an effective way to find the most suitable family law solicitor for you. A solicitor which charges a higher hourly rate may be more efficient, taking less time and therefore less money in the long run. On the other hand, a less expensive solicitor may have a lower hourly rate because they are not as high in demand, but this may not necessarily reflect their level of experience, professionalism or dedication.
At Etheringtons, we try to ensure that our clients have an idea of costs throughout their matter, and we find that if there are no surprises when it comes to our bill, both our clients and us walk away happier at the end of a matter.
The list above provides you with a starting point in your search for the best family law solicitor for you. You should speak with a potential solicitor over the phone and meet with them face to face, if you can, before determining whether they should handle your matter. If you would like to discuss your family law matter with a legal professional please contact us on (02) 9963 9800 or via our contact page.