Family law is frequently neglected as a significant field of practice, yet it is a critical and complex legal topic. Consider this: when people marry or begin a relationship, they feel it will last forever. Unfortunately, around half of all marriages end in divorce. This isn’t even taking into account the many relationships that end without marriage, leaving children to deal with following the breakup or a one-night stand.
In a divorce, everyone is unhappy, and it can be one of the most stressful and terrible experiences of one’s life. According to some psychologists, divorce is second only to the death of a child or spouse in terms of the worst imaginable outcomes. Divorce is a difficult process. A divorce can result in the following possibilities, regardless of whether it is settled out of court, through mediation, or a trial:
- Parents spend half of their time with their children or less.
- When one parent pays child support and the other receives it, both parties are frequently unhappy with the amount; one believes it is too little, while the other believes it is too much.
- Similarly, if spousal support is ordered, the recipient believes it is insufficient, while the payor believes they are overpaying (especially since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act removed the tax deduction for spousal support).
- Both marital debts and property must be divided between spouses.
- Every divorce or custody battle comes at a high emotional cost.
- Attorney fees can be a touchy subject. Many clients believe they got a bad bargain and could have gotten the same result without paying for a lawyer, which is usually inaccurate.
Tips for the Initial Consultation: Best Practices for Family Lawyers
1. Avoid overselling a case. There will be issues if you fail to deliver on your promises.
2. Keep in mind that the possible client is assessing you in the same way that you are assessing them.
3. Allow plenty of time for your initial appointment with a new customer; never make them feel rushed or unimportant.
4. During the consultation, do not take phone calls or allow distractions.
5. be truthful when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer, notify the client and tell them you’ll look into it.
6. Gather as much information as possible so that by the end of the consultation, you have a thorough understanding of the case and any potential issues.
7. Talk about fees, such as how time is invoiced for phone calls, office work, e-mails, and work done by other members of your team.
8. Always present new clients with a documented retainer agreement.
9. Give the potential customer a rundown and summary of the procedure, including what to expect.
10. Inform the client if you believe there are any possible issues.
11. Be wary of “shoppers”; some unscrupulous individuals may try to weed out all of the top attorneys by conducting a cursory initial client interview.
12. Similarly, if at all possible, avoid becoming a potential client’s fourth or fifth attorney. I was the first attorney on a well-known case in which the client had to go through more than 16 lawyers. There are personality conflicts or a breakdown of the attorney-client relationship in some divorces; but, a client who hires and quits attorneys frequently nearly always has a problem.
13. Have the potential client meet the other attorneys or paralegals who will be working with you on their case if you have a team.
Are you looking for family lawyers in Perth?
Acuity Law Partners is a top-rated family lawyer in Perth that provides legal services to businesses in the UK and around the world.