A solicitor in family law is also responsible for preparing legal paperwork, and representing and/or defending a client’s rights. Moreover, a solicitor in family law conducts two types of legal work.
Firstly, solicitors do contentious work or ‘litigious work’. This involves dispute resolution between parties in a court or tribunal or alternate dispute resolution like mediation or arbitration.
Secondly, solicitors perform non-contentious work or ‘non-litigious work’. This type of work deals with a client’s personal business related to property or conveyancing.
The Role Of A Solicitor In Family Law
The Family Law Act 1975 has several legislations regarding family law matters. The Act also states the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with his/her parents. Further, the Act applies to married, de facto, and same-sex couples. A solicitor in family law explains how the child’s best interests affect parental responsibility in the law.
Indeed, the law does not consider parental rights because it focuses on children’s rights. Hence, separated or divorced couples have an obligation to arrange plans and agreements for their child.
Here are common cases that a solicitor family law handles:
A relationship breakdown can result in a divorce. This involves a couple wanting to legally separate followed by identifying who gets custody of their children. Couples separated for 12 months can apply for a divorce.
Child custody/Child Support
Several divorce cases can involve couples having to decide who has rights and control over a child. Due to this case’s complex nature, it’s usually difficult to identify who gets custody of a child. On the other hand, child support is payments that support a child’s financial and basic needs. A solicitor in family law helps in child custody and managing child support payments.
Establishing paternity can help in determining child support payments. However, fathers establish paternity in order to have a relationship with their child or children. DNA testing can prove paternity.
Adoption procedures can be at times costly and lengthy. This is due to instances like an absent father in the child’s birth certificate. Also, there might be instances where biological parents won’t simply allow the adoption of their child or children.
Solicitor Family Law: Barristers Vs. Solicitors
These two legal practitioners help in handling family law matters. Although, they have differences in their roles in the Australian legal system. Barristers don’t spend as much time with their clients but they spend most of their time in court. The key difference between these two practitioners is their roles in family law matters. Here are their common responsibilities:
- Make court and trial appearances
- Handle court applications
- Work with a solicitor with drafting documents
- Conduct arguments
On the other hand, clients facing complex legal matters often hire a solicitor for family law advice. Solicitors also represent clients in courts whenever necessary.
As a result, solicitors are more connected with their clients as they handle their documents and explain legal proceedings. Solicitors work with a team that assists the daily needs of their clients including:
- Providing updates for their clients through emails or calls
- Drafting legal documents that the court requires
- Managing their client’s legal files and documents
- Handling negotiations out of court
- Advising and instructing barristers on behalf of their client
Solicitors offer services other than expensive court procedures. For example, a solicitor in family law can also provide mediation services to parties. This is a cheaper and more effective way in resolving family disputes.
Choosing between a barrister and a solicitor for a client’s legal matter can be tough. However, clients will always need to seek a solicitor’s advice before they choose to work with a barrister. Hence, it’s wise that clients go to a solicitor first and ask them if they need a barrister’s services.
How A Client Can Help A Solicitor
When a client opts for a solicitor, it’s important for them to know that they can receive market-leading advice. To receive the best advice, they should also provide solicitors with proper cooperation for them to understand their case. Here are various tips that clients can keep in mind.
Providing Clear And Honest Information
Indeed, honesty is really the best policy. Solicitors will need honest and complete information for them to better assess a case. Whether it’s court cases or mediation, unspoken facts may backfire on a solicitor and a client. Also, a solicitor will maintain confidentiality for all disclosed information.
Preparing Needed Documents
Consulting with a solicitor will require a client to summarise their matter in writing. This may include the type of case a client has and the contact details of the people involved. Also, it’s important for a client to bring documents that can support their case. This can result in reduced costs and promote efficiency for clients and solicitors.
Understand The Costs Of Their Services
Normally, solicitors will provide clients with their costs before a client would want to consult with them. Clients have the duty and responsibility to pay for a solicitor’s services. Some firms may also provide fixed fees for their services in family law matters.
Ask as many questions
Asking questions can benefit a client especially when it’s about family law matters. A firm’s fixed fee services can enable a client to get the best legal advice in an affordable manner. As a result, they can ask as much about their legal matters while paying a fixed amount.
Stay in touch
Solicitors have the duty and responsibility to provide a client with timely updates about their cases. In return, clients should reply and confirm these updates as they may contribute to their case’s success.
The Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
Family law matters can greatly affect people as this involves stressful and complex matters. JB Solicitors has a team of experienced family lawyers who can provide proper legal advice and information to clients.
Furthermore, our mediation services can help parties in reaching agreements that can benefit them. This is a more cost-effective approach compared to court proceedings.
Reach out to JB Solicitors today.