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Have just received an application and affidavit from the Federal Magistrates Court by my ex wife. I have had dealings with lawyers before & sadly not very good. Don't really want to get one cos I know most of em are sharks. My question as I've never been through this area before how credible & trustworthy are solicitors & barristers really in this family law area if anyone knows? My gut feeling says not very or am I being paranoid! Thanks in anticipation.

Posted: 9 years ago by Eric from Norwood

Hi Eric, look lawyers are a very contentious issue. Simply, there are both good and bad lawyers like every other profession. The trick is finding one who will give good advice, follow your instructions and be effective without taking you to the cleaners. Some lawyers are extremely ethical, credible and trustworthy with enormous integrity, while others will say and do whatever it takes to promote a fight, keep you both in it and to extract every last dollar you both have.

Posted: 9 years ago by Francis from Beyond Separation

Family lawyers have only one agenda. THEIRS!!
Don't ever trust them, keep away from them wherever possible. Do you own homework from people who have been through it. From someone whose has been mauled by legal sharks destroying his life!!

Posted: 9 years ago by Brett from Queensland

One thing that I learned the hard way Eric is that just because someone initiates court proceedings doesn't mean that the other party must seek legal representation. You can attend the FMC unrepresented if you want to. You cannot be forced to have representation. Some people seek legal ADVICE but not REPRESENTATION. I.e. they do their own paperwork and represent themselves in court on the basis of the advice they have received. Self-reprented litigation is quite common in Family Law and there are resources to help people prepare their case.

Posted: 9 years ago by Brenda from Victoria

Hello Eric,

This is tricky business. I am currently being represented legally by a family law solicitor & a barrister as my x took legal action in June 2012. My advice re your legal situation is to search for an ethical, but more powerful & experienced family law solicitor who will truly proove to be on your side, be loyal to you, your needs, your requests. What you want them to help you with legally etc. Be as clear as you can to them about this & at same time try to obtain clear advice, information from them about what they can/will help you with legally & indications of total costs.

I think I was lucky in obtaining a suitable solicitor, who actually is a tough solicitor meaning he will fight hard for his clients & has already had/has other clients in similar cases who he has had considerable success in helping win legal cases to clients favour. And has some ethical standing unlike so many other solicitors.

He was a criminal law solicitor before becoming a family law solicitor. So he is experienced in tough legal matters, which works favourably for his clients like myself in family law cases. He is also familiar with my x partner's solicitor, & is confident of his capabilities, expertise etc in going to legal matters, dealings with my x's solicitor & also confident/experienced in the legal~court processes. As well as experienced in compensation/annuities matters which my x's/my family law case involves. And although it will cost more { paying at settlement etc } it is good to have a tough, experienced, & more ethical barrister on my side too. They are both trying to do their best for me to work in my favour & provide me with more options to work to my favour as possible. And for as little financial cost as possible.

I was already given a rough estimation of my solicitors/legal costs & opportunities from my solicitor to indicate whether I want to it to remain between solicitors/my barrister too & avoiding legal processes become a court hearing as this costs a lot more.

But I do agree with other commenters in the risks of obtaining a legal representative, as there are many legal sharks out there. Only too eager to take their clients to the cleaners & con them into spending more $ than needed or ripping them off by dishonesty & less ethical standing/behaviour in their legal work etc.

So yes be very wary, & if you can get second opinions about solicitors standings/reputations with other people who might know what they're like or know someone who has experienced them as a solicitor. Good luck & hope you will have a favourable outcome for yourself in legal/court matters.

Posted: 7 years ago by Sharon from Australia
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