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Should I Hire a Family Lawyer or Not?

When dealing with family law, couples may elect to retain family lawyers, or alternatively self-represent.

There are pros and cons associated with each, and so knowing when to employ a family lawyer and when to self-represent from the onset allows for a smoother transition to divorce.

When to Self-Represent:

  • Costs: couples elect to remain self-represented to save on costs.
  • Amicability: many couples can resolve their affairs amongst themselves, without the intervention of lawyers.
  • Usage of other lawyers: If the divorce centres around the division of assets, accountants and commercial lawyers may already be assisting with the matter and hence their expertise is considered more suited than that of a family lawyer.

When to Retain a Family Lawyer:

  • Reaching Formal Agreements: Every family law settlement proposes unique circumstances. Whilst some agreements may prove standard and easy to navigate, others may require more in-depth legal analysis. Although employing a family lawyer is mandatory in formalizing terms to be filed in Court, parties entering informal agreements are encouraged to retain solicitors.
  • Unfair Terms: experience and specialized advice proves invaluable in reaching agreement, whether in relation to simple or more complex settlements. The self-represented litigant is often in a position of weakness, and disadvantage, particularly when it comes to understanding their rights, entitlement, and the current law. A plethora of cases exist of parties entering agreements that have bound them to unfair and restrictive terms.
  • Other Consequences: Other unintended consequences of an unfair divorce settlement may arise, including issues with property transfer or tax consequences. Employing an experienced family lawyer will ensure that all bases are covered.
  • Litigation: when it becomes apparent that there is no chance of reaching an amicable resolution and particularly when you want to enforce your rights, retain a solicitor without delay.
  • Children: retaining a family lawyer is a must when there is a risk of harm to or abduction of a child.

For further information regarding Sterling Legal’ s stellar performance in the family law arena, please contact us on 9649 7007.