To Lawyer or Not To Lawyer

Fa la la la – Family Law.
Hey guys, this family lawyer is back on deck after taking a few days of “rest” over Christmas. I hope that you all got to spend time with your family or loved ones as did I. But boy, am I glad to be back at Family Law Headquarters today where there is no sign of Christmas pudding and leftovers (well there is a packet of Kingstons in the back but I’m trying to avoid those). Far out, it doesn’t help when your family is Greek and the food is so good. No complaints, and I am actually standing here in my workout gear in an attempt to motivate myself to get a little physical. I figure that if I can do a few star jumps and a push up or two in between checking emails that ought to count! Getting back to you is important to me.

Wanting to know more about self-representation?
So, I see that you sent me a few emails over the break and in particular a few of you are wanting to know more about how to represent yourself in family law matters. Sure thing, happy to help. In fact, helping and guiding you through the family law process is something I really enjoy doing. If anyone knows your circumstances and the facts about your case and family situation best, it is you. Add me to the mix and I can help you make sense of the legal process and take the stress and confusion out of complying with and understanding the law.

You don’t always need to have a full-time lawyer on your case. If you have the right information to start with, this can help make matters run a little more smoothly and hopefully a little more quickly. I understand that each of you have different circumstances when it comes to separation. For some it will mean working out parenting arrangements for your children or sorting out a property settlement, or both. For some it might be that you haven’t seen your children since separation or that mediation did not work.

A good place to start.
If you are thinking of representing yourself then I suggest that you start by checking out the Family Court website (www.familycourt.gov.au) or the Federal Circuit Court website ( www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au). Here you will find some great information to get your started. These websites have great guides to help you with the family law process and a number of brochures under the Reports and Publications tab. You can also access the correct forms and templates directly from the websites. There are do-it-yourself kits for consent orders and divorce that you can download.

It’s not always financially viable to engage a lawyer full-time so check out some of the package options at www.kouniaslawyers.com.au. If you search online you are bound to find other law firms offering something similar. Most family lawyers understand that running a family law matter can be a costly process, and so you should ask if there are other options that the lawyer can offer you.

Having someone guide you through the right legislation, especially the parts that are crucial for your case, or having someone help you write and prepare your documents could really help make all the difference. Why do I say that? Well, if you are planning on filing court material or making an application to the Court for children or property matters, how you present your case is very important. For example. if you are filing affidavit material, it is helpful to understand that this is something the Judge will rely on when he or she needs to make a decision about your family law matter. Making sure you have covered all the important aspects of your case and presented them in a way that puts your words in the best possible light can make a difference. Sometimes, just having a lawyer to guide you through this part of the process makes it less stressful and gives your material more impact.

You can also see a lawyer to help you prepare for mediation or to help you prepare letters or consent orders and parenting plans for example. Not every matter goes to Court, in fact, it is much better if you can resolve your separation without the need to go to Court. This will save you a ton of money (better to be used on getting on with your new life) and it will also save you time (Court matters can go on for years and you don’t want that!).

On that note, time for some more star jumps and getting back to your emails, because getting back to you is important to me.

Catch you in the New Year.

Filitsa

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Filitsa Kounias

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