There is a world of difference between a good family lawyer and a bad one. RMB Lawyers Managing Partner CRAIG OSBORNE explains the qualities he sees in a good family lawyer:
Relationships breakdown and people breakup.
Hearts often don’t break evenly.
There is often significant animosity involved in a relationship breakdown, generally arising from personal behaviours and where assets and lifestyle are at stake. Add to this children’s issues, embarrassment and upset in the friendship group.
All of these feelings are real and important.
Family lawyers are often chosen when a well-meaning friend says; “Go to ‘Mickey Mouse’. He is a real ball-breaker. He will get stuck into your ex.”
This is usually a bad start. A good family lawyer is someone who cares about reassuring you, is experienced in the law and legal process and the range of outcomes available in the many circumstances he/she has worked on in that role, and is able to get you the best result possible for a reasonable fee.
A good family lawyer is generally not someone who sets out to inflame the situation by riding the wave of your anger, disappointment and fear. These lawyers tend to say after two years of battle when the result comes down something like 40%/60% in a property matter: “I know we could have settled for that a year ago, but things changed in this matter once we saw a particular document or an affidavit or a job change for one of the partners”.
A good family lawyer is very experienced in listening to you closely, comparing your factual situation to the hundreds of cases he or she has run, getting the necessary documents from you and the other party as quickly as possible, and developing a reasonable rapport with the opposing lawyer. They will give you advice as to the range of settlement outcomes for you to consider while managing your expectations, and then setting out to resolve the matter competently, quickly and fairly without getting involved in the mud.
These are the real family law lawyer heroes in my book. They are good people who work in an emotion-fuelled area of law where most of the participants are on edge and sometimes not at their best. They work early mornings, all day, late nights and build their career on helping regular people manage a difficult circumstance in their life.
If you would like to speak to a 'really good' family lawyer who specialises in relationship breakdowns, please contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on ourwebsite.