The roles and responsibilities of a family lawyer
Family lawyers generally deal with legal issues involving members of the same family. There are a number of different types of issues that can fall within the ambit of family law. Such issues include:
- Divorce and separation
- Division of property
- Child custody
- Financial support
- Protection of assets
- Claims against a trust or estate of a deceased person
- Family violence
Some family lawyers specialise in one or more of these areas of family law and others (such as myself) practice in all areas.
The extent of assistance you obtain from a family lawyer depends on what you want. Some people may only seek preliminary advice to understand where they stand legally without taking further action whilst others may seek more in-depth assistance.
There can be complex issues to navigate within family law and your future is often riding on the outcome. Family lawyers can help in reducing your stress at what can be a very difficult time. Deciding whether or not to use a family lawyer can be a challenging decision.
When it comes to dealing with family law issues, knowledge is power. That cannot be emphasised enough. Arming yourself with knowledge about your legal position allows you to make an informed decision about what to do and how best to handle your situation.
A family lawyer’s role can involve advising you about your legal entitlement, negotiating an agreement or settlement on your behalf, drafting documents, attending mediation or commencing Court proceedings.
Most family law issues are resolved without having to go to Court, however, sometimes Court proceedings become necessary. There are various other alternative dispute resolution methods available to resolve family issues. A family lawyer will be able to lay these options out for you so you can decide what is right for you. Sometimes, no action is necessary, other times, further steps need to be taken.
Having an experienced family lawyer assist you means you have someone on your side who knows what they are doing. They will most likely have seen many of the types of issues you are facing before which means they will have solutions in terms of how to deal with them. Working with a family lawyer allows you to put together a tailored approach that works best for you, taking into account your particular circumstances.
Family lawyers can be a barrister or solicitor. Solicitors generally work within a law firm whereas barristers tend to work on their own. Most barristers and solicitors in family law do the same type of work. It is a common misconception that barristers only undertake Court work. This is not correct. Most family law barristers can assist you in the same way that a family law solicitor can.
Barristers do, however, need to have a law firm that instructs them to complete work on a client’s behalf. This is known as an instructing solicitor.
Obtaining the assistance of a family lawyer can help you navigate the legal landscape. If you are facing a family issue that you would like advice about, feel free to contact Sharon.