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DIY vs Family Lawyer

Making the Case for Family Lawyers

“You better get a lawyer, son. You better get a real good one.” – The Cruel Sea.

Trying to manage dealing with legal issues yourself without involving lawyers after separation can be tempting. However, there are several reasons why this approach is rarely the best option and will often result in inferior outcomes.

In our latest Bayside Family Law Solutions blog, Principal Chris Forster explores why having a family lawyer can be incredibly useful to you and your family during separation.

Lawyers! Ugh! We’re not known as a profession that ranks highly when it comes to trust – or reasonably priced legal fees. But when you’re separating and dealing with complex issues, your emotions are highly charged, you’re operating at a level that’s far from your best, and you’re required to make potentially life-changing decisions.

Because of this, having a good family lawyer by your side can be life-saving. Here’s a case study to prove it.

John and Mel’s Story

When John and Mel first got married, they were starry-eyed young lovers. They bought a home together, had children, and built a great life. But over time, life also threw some curveballs their way. There was an affair, financial struggles, and a bail-out from John’s parents. One of the kids got into trouble, and John and Mel had different approaches to dealing with them. They bickered, and they were unhappy. Their relationship crumbled, and they decided to separate. Between them, there were feelings of blame, anger, sadness, depression, and guilt.

For various reasons, they needed to make decisions about their living arrangements, the children’s living arrangements, and their finances. Decades ago, when they shared goals and a common perspective and loved and trusted one another, they would have worked through challenges together. But now they see things very differently, and the love and trust are gone.

Why working with a family lawyer can make all the difference

It can be tempting to try to deal with your family law issues yourself. You might know someone else who’s gone through it, and their circumstances were similar. There’s lots of information on the good ‘ol interweb, so you can feel that you’ve got the vibe of it.

On good days, you think back to when you and your ex worked out problems together, and you’ve heard too many horror stories about issues and costs getting bigger than Ben Hur (a bit like a wedding?) when lawyers are involved.

But from our experience working with many different clients and families over the years, there are essential actions that a high-quality family lawyer can do and provide to minimise stress and maximise your chances of a good outcome:

  • Objective guidance: A lawyer’s job requires objective advice to help you make informed decisions based on facts and legal principles rather than emotions.
  • Protecting your rights and interests: Your lawyer’s job requires them to advocate on your behalf, especially during times when you may find it difficult to stand up for yourself.
  • Stress reduction: Using a lawyer will free up a lot of your headspace for your day job and cause you to worry a lot less.
  • Effective resolution: A good family lawyer can untangle what might appear to be a maze of problems and help you find your way out. For instance, they can navigate complex child custody arrangements, negotiate fair property division, and ensure your rights are protected during the separation process.

What to think about when making this decision

An excellent way to work out your stance on involving a family lawyer when separating is to look at the type of family lawyer you need and how they can support you. Do you want a lawyer with an all-guns-blazing approach or someone more calm and sensible? Will this lawyer do it “on the cheap” or do it well?

While legal representation can be a significant investment, it’s a worthwhile one. A good family lawyer will work out an agreed arrangement with you up-front, so you know exactly what to expect in terms of fees.

At BFLS, family law is our sole focus. We are dedicated to helping individuals navigate the challenging and intricate issues that arise after separation. Our tailored support, transparent upfront fees, and objective advice are all designed to empower you to make the necessary decisions with confidence. If you’re grappling with the DIY vs Family Lawyer dilemma, reach out to us for a complimentary chat or book an initial consultation. We’re here to help you make an informed decision.


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