Do I need a Lawyer?
You don’t always need lawyers because you’ve separated.
Legal requirements have changed over the past decade. Contemporary Separation and Divorce is heading away from the old-school approach, and in a much healthier direction.
Now the push is for families to use non-adversarial pathways, stay out of court, save money, time and a whole bundle of stress.
Unfortunately there is still a myth about needing to have a lawyer to make things better. But it often makes things a lot worse.
“As a parent, I don’t let a stranger – who doesn’t know my family – decide what school our kids go to, decide the interior design for my home or choose where we go on holiday. In the same way, even though it wasn’t easy, we wanted to be joint project managers of our family’s separation. It was crucial for our kids that we were in control “
Handle with Care
• It may seem appealing to pay a lawyer to sort out the arrangements and avoid tough and confronting situations with your ‘ex’. The reality is that legal negotiations build a bigger wall between you both at the very time you’re trying to find ways to communicate about the kids.
• Family Lawyers don’t specialise in relationships, constructive communication or day- to-day co-parenting.
• Lawyer-led negotiations quickly rack up hefty bills, and once it turns adversarial it becomes a runaway train.
• Even judges and lawyers say in family law court cases no-one wins; everyone loses. You lose time, control, thousands of dollars and any possibility of working out how to share the parenting of your children after separation.
• You may as well toss a coin as to how things will play out in court. Be prepared to be shocked and dismayed by the decisions and orders of lawyers and judges who don’t really know your family.
Is there a time when it’s wise to use a lawyer?
• Savvy parents just touch base with a lawyer once they’ve worked through things, using family separation consultants or a mediator. The lawyer then checks their Financial and Parenting Agreements are fair, equitable, child-focussed and meet legal requirements, and finalises documents.
• In certain situations parents do need to access further legal processes. We help you work out if you need legal representation.