News - New Year's Resolutions


January is a good time to make decisions and get on with sorting out relationship problems. Our Family Law team, suggests the following New Year’s Resolutions for those going through a family breakdown: 

  1. Get yourself a good lawyer, one that is focused on the best way to wade through the factual situation.  Instructing an “attack dog” lawyer, driven by aggression and ego may initially seem appealing.  Be careful, as this could result in higher costs and more stress for you.  The best family lawyer is one who has the ability to remain calm and deliver the results. 
  2. Stop seeking legal advice about divorce and family law from the wrong people.  Sadly, these opinions often complicate what should be a straight forward exercise.
  3. Do not use social media activity during divorce, child matters, or other family litigation. 
  4. Look after yourself.  Once you sign the retainer with your family lawyer, your problems become their problems.  Let them lose sleep worrying about your case while you get some rest for the first time in months.  Seek help from a counsellor specialising in separated family problems.  Remember you are not alone.  Take the opportunity to take control of your life and be patient with the transformation. 
  5. Improve your communication skills – attempt to stay on point when giving instructions.  Don’t make assumptions about what your lawyer does and does not need to know.  You stand to benefit emotionally, if you are able to communicate civilly.
  6. Plan ahead.  Waiting until the last minute to coordinate plans with your former partner in relation to child and property issues could mean unnecessary legal fees and emotional distress.  Address issues like holidays and property deadlines, in advance.
  7. Provide to your lawyer the information that is asked for in a timely manner.
  8. Don’t involve the children in the argument. 
  9. Picture resolution and closure.  A good family lawyer’s role is sometimes to be a mediator, a litigator and other times a social worker.  If ex-partner does not want to negotiate and simply wants to “win the final argument”, it is difficult to progress and resolve the dispute without resorting to litigation.