What to Expect from a Family Lawyer
A Family Lawyer will advise you as to his or her opinion as to where you stand when applying the applicable Family Law to your particular situation. However, a Family Lawyer will never be able to provide you with a definitive outcome in your case as the outcome of your case will depend on the following:
- If your case is being decided by a Judge- the way in which the Judge exercises his/her discretion in applying the relevant Family Law. Different Judges will come to different conclusions on the same case, so it is important for your Family Lawyer to know the biases of the different Judges when advising you as to whether to settle or whether to go to a final hearing and let the Judge decide.
- In some cases, there is a dispute about certain relevant facts. (For example, the value of assets). At the initial stages, a Family Lawyer may make assumptions that a client is providing accurate asset valuations and base his/her advice on those assumptions. Even if independent valuations are obtained, such valuations may differ.
- In some cases, even if there is agreement from both parties as to the facts of the case, there will often be disagreement as to the way in which the Family Law should be applied to those facts. A good Family Lawyer will make sure that the facts being relied upon are accurate to ensure that his/her opinion is based on sound foundations.
- Many Family Law Disputes in Melbourne are settled by negotiation and mediation. Sometimes a client will settle for less than he/she may realistically end up with if the case was decided by a Judge- there may be many reasons for this, such as: the legal expense of continuing court proceedings is not warranted having regard to the potential net benefit of a possible more favourable outcome; it is not worth the ongoing stress; it is better to compromise and agree so as to be able to maintain a workable on-going relationship with the other spouse when it comes to parenting the children.
So, the best which a Family Lawyer can do is take into account the divergent facts and the risks of litigation and provide you with a range of possible outcomes- The client can then decide whether to litigate in Court or to settle out of Court based on his/her personal tolerances to the uncertainties, stresses and costs of Family Law Court litigation.Back to all Articles & Cases