We understand that hiring a family lawyer is a massive step. We get that you want 100% confidence that your Brisbane family lawyer:
√ HAS YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART
√ HAS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN FAMILY LAW
√ WILL HELP YOU TO REDUCE CONFLICT WITH YOUR FORMER PARTNER
√ WILL DELIVER AN OUTCOME TO YOU QUICKLY & COST EFFECTIVELY
√ WILL DO EVERYTHING WITHIN THEIR POWER TO GET THE BEST PRACTICAL RESULT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THAT MAKES A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR LIFE
That’s why, to help you make the right decision, we have put together a list of 6 things you should know before hiring a family lawyer.
In this TOP SECRET high value article, expert Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyer Courtney Barton reveals 6 things you should know before hiring a family lawyer. Not knowing these could cost you thousands…
The bigger firms tend to have a bee under their bonnet that because they are more expensive, they are better lawyers and will deliver a better outcome to you the client.
However, in our experience, sometimes the bigger firms with bigger fees don’t always deliver on their promise to provide an outcome to you quickly, cost effectively and (if possible) without court intervention. Because of their reputation to deliver a ‘better’ outcome to their clients, the bigger firms have a tendency to focus on the smaller issues whilst forgetting about the bigger picture issues. What do we mean by this? The bigger firms sometimes forget to give you the client the practical, strategic and commercial advice you need about the benefit versus the cost of going down a certain pathway during negotiations with the other party. The consequence of this is that you end up spending more money and the benefit you get back sometimes doesn’t outweigh the costs, including both financial and emotional costs.
TOP SECRET TIP: Choose a lawyer who has a ‘bigger picture’ attitude, who tells you not to sweat the small stuff. You need a lawyer who does not just act as your mouth piece but who gives you practical and strategic advice which enables you to weigh up and assess the benefit versus the cost of choosing a certain legal path.
Knowing your lawyer may seem like a given. Surely no person would engage a lawyer without knowing that that person is their lawyer who will handle their family law problem from negotiations, to mediation, to litigation and settlement, right?
WRONG. Sometimes you will meet with one lawyer, usually the senior lawyer of the practice but your file is ultimately passed on to be managed by another junior employee of the practice that sat in on the appointment. In bigger firms, the senior lawyers don’t always do the ‘hard yacker’ work on your file. They just supervise. You usually find this out pretty quickly when the lawyer calling you is rarely the senior lawyer who you thought you were getting when you signed up and paid the retainer fee.
TOP SECRET TIP: When meeting with your lawyer for the first time, ask them if they will be the person handling your matter from start to end, so you know exactly who you are getting before you sign up.
When you meet your lawyer, one of the first questions you ask is likely going to be about their fee structure. During this meeting and before signing any cost agreement, you should be asking important questions such as:
– what is your method of charging – e.g. fixed fees or an hourly rate
– If you charge an hourly rate, what is the range of fees I can be expected to pay you?
– In what circumstances are you entitled to charge me above that range?
By choosing fixed fees you take the stress out of engaging a family lawyer because you always know how much you are going to be charged at each stage and you know your costs cannot be driven up by your ex or circumstances outside of your control. It promotes better communication between you and your lawyer as you don’t have to be nervous every time you pick up the phone to speak to your lawyer or send an email. Fixed fees keeps you in control of your costs.
In the last five years, we have seen fixed fees escalate in popularity. A Fixed Fee offering is ‘the new black’ when it comes to effectively marking family law services, to maximises the prospects of converting you into a paying client.
However, the sad reality is that many ‘Fixed Fee’ Law firms are making an offer that doesn’t actually match what their service provides. For example, when you read the fine print the ‘fixed fee offering’ is only in relation to agreements and other menu priced, easily quotable work.
Our TOP SECRET TIP: read the fine print early on before signing up to a fixed fee Brisbane family lawyer to make sure that the offer matches what you actually get in return.
TOP SECRET TIP: Choose a lawyer who listens to what is important to you, who understands your ‘non-negotiables,’ and who acts accordingly. That lawyer should care enough about you (and their reputation) to:
– Give you realistic, practical and strategic advice that is commercially balanced;
– Help you to reduce (not increase) the conflict with your ex partner;
– Make good on their promises to you (and not make promises they can’t keep!); and
– Deliver an outcome to you that meets your litigation needs, quickly and cost effectively.
But don’t choose a lawyer who cares about you too much, as that tends to cloud their judgement and their ability to meet the four criteria above.
Some lawyers invest themselves emotionally in their client’s matter. Why is this bad? Because the emotionally driven lawyer is too caught up in the moral righteousness of your problem and achieving a just outcome for you, rather than what is possible within the confines of the law and fails to devote appropriate attention to developing the strategies necessary to deliver an outcome to you that is possible and practicable. The emotionally driven lawyer also often has a ‘win at all costs’ attitude when in reality what you need is a lawyer who will give you tactical, strategic and practical advice and who will deliver an outcome to you that meets your needs, at the least possible financial and emotional cost.
A lawyer who tells you they have 100 files is not going to be responsive or attentive to you and your matter. They are not going to treat you like you are number 1. If you call your lawyer you may not get a return call from them at all or within a reasonable time frame. You may even be palmed off to one of their employees.
TOP SECRET TIP: A good lawyer will respond to you within 48 hours of you making contact with them. A good lawyer will not take two weeks to draft a response to a letter from your ex partner’s lawyer. A good lawyer will be responsive, attentive and will promptly deal with issues that crop up in your matter to bring it to a resolution quickly and cost effectively. A fixed fee lawyer is generally a more efficient lawyer as they have an incentive to deliver an outcome to you as quickly as possible as that is when we get paid.
TOP SECRET TIP:Do not choose a lawyer who gives in to your emotional drivers. What do we mean by this? Whilst you may be hurting from the trauma of your relationship breakdown, your lawyer is not helping you by rehashing your hurt feelings and emotions in correspondence to your ex partner and/or their lawyer. In reality, they are dragging things out unnecessarily. Your lawyer should stick to the relevant facts and issues in dispute.
When writing a letter to your ex partner, our top tip for lawyers (that is rarely adhered to) is to think about how you would feel if you were the person receiving that letter (and this tip goes for any method of communication you have post separation with your ex). Playing the blame game may feel good at the time but in the long run, it will cost you more emotionally and financially.
Try taking off your armour of justification and defensiveness and putting down your weapons of blame and accusation when corresponding with your ex via your lawyer. By doing this, you enable a more productive conversation to take place with your ex partner which will maximise the prospects of you resolving your sticky issues quickly and cost effectively and without the necessity of court intervention.
A lawyer should never just be your mouthpiece on letterhead.
We hope you enjoyed our article 6 things you should know before hiring a Brisbane family lawyer. We think this article provides some high value content that is worth taking the time to digest, before you pick up the phone to contact a Brisbane Family & Divorce Lawyer. We have also put together a quick video to summarise our top 6 things you should know before hiring a family lawyer.
We highly recommend that you seek advice from one of our experienced Brisbane Family lawyers promptly post separation in relation to your rights. Contact us today to book a reduced rate initial consultation to discuss your individual circumstances.
Don’t wait months or even years following separation for things to hit the fan before hiring a family lawyer as there will be higher emotional costs and financial costs. It is easier, and less costly, to prevent the volcano from erupting in the first place. If you choose to contact us promptly post separation, before things hit the fan, we can give you invaluable advice and the tools to help you make smart decisions following separation that will save you in time, money and emotional heartache.
Want more information? Check out our Free Family Law Information Videos
Check out some of our helpful free family law information videos on various family law topics relevant to you.
Courney is the only person I would call if I ever had any legal issues. Her help, knowledge and experience had helped tremendously through the rough times during my children and property court battle. I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers!
Found Courtney and George not only to be very professional but also very caring and courteous and I would strongly recommend using their services to family and friends if ever needed.
Courtney is a master at her profession.She promised me she would get my power back ,and she delivered.She is a balance of great empathy and fights for you all the way ,the outcome was exactly what i needed.I highly recommend her and her amazing team,to get you the outcome you want.
I had Cortney help me with my family court matter. I couldnt have asked for a better team. From the start the care and understanding from the whole team at Barton was outstanding. I will be forever grateful for the outcome. If you are after a awesome family lawyer look no further. The photo never would have been possible without Courtney and her team. Thank you
Thank you to Courtney and the Barton team for guiding me through a difficult and confusing separation process. Barton Family Lawyers kept me updated, acted immediately on my questions and instructions and most importantly put my best interests forward at all times.
There really is no way to put a price on the stress relief Barton’s exceptional service, understanding and drive for results brings.
Highly recommended if you want the work done right, first time.
Courtney and her team have gone above and beyond for myself and children. I’m so appreciative of them fighting for what was fair for myself and children.
Courtney knows how to deal with narcissistic behaviour and she had given me support and guidance through this traumatic experience.
Courtney is open with you and honest. Every email she sends or receives comes back to you and she will let you know what is important or not. They helped me through the process with detailed billing.
I could not have found anyone better to deal with my difficult separation than Barton family firm.
Everyone in the team I can’t say how grateful I am to everyone who work on my case. Thank you is not big enough. But I am thankful.
So far so good Chris, Rachel and the team at Barton Family Law, have been a exceptionally patient & helpful with my somewhat difficult case. As a veteran things can be quite complicated with regards to family matters. Would highly recommend 🙂
Barton Family Lawyers, or the ‘Dream Team’ as I like to call them. I cannot recommend Courtney, George and the team at Barton Family Law highly enough.
The last couple of years have been the worst experience of my life, but I was backed and supported 100 percent by the whole team at BFL. Nothing was ever an issue, me asking thousands of questions, me emailing stacks of questions, me crying on the phone was never an issue. I had nothing but support and expert advice the whole way through.
I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything Barton Family Lawyers did for me. Courtney, George, Tenayah, Ellie, Alice, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. The whole team got me the absolute best results and I will forever be thankful.
To the queen of her team, Courtney, thank you. Thank you for absolutely everything. From day one you have been right at my side and have made me stand up and fight for what is right. You have given me back my power and I can never thank you enough for it all. You have been my voice when I wasn’t able to speak and have fought for me the whole way though.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I will scream the praise of you and your team to anyone who will listen.
To whom it may concern,
Ellie Prior and Barton Family Law were great to work with during a difficult time. Separations are tough, but Ellie consistently kept her cool and remained positive. Ms Prior offered timely expert advice/options for each circumstance throughout the proceedings.
Gladly, an agreement was reached that both sides were comfortable with. My family’s future is bright and I appreciate Ellie’s hard work.
Lawyers are expensive… Although, I am preferential to the Barton Family Law billing process. IMO Barton’s billing is superior to the law firm I was previously engaged with. Basically, Barton Family Law quote in stages for their work and don’t hit you with surprise extra charges. Three times money was left over in trust to be used for the next stage in court. My feeling throughout the proceedings was that Barton’s billing was fair.
Separations are stressful, Ellie and the Barton Family Law crew helped to make it as painless as possible.
Thanks Ellie, Courtney and the Barton Crew.
Amazing, amazing people, amazing location, just amazing everything
Thank you Courtney for your excellent service. Amazing professionalism & so efficient also showing compassion & understanding..the BEST in her field & I was so fortunate to have her support & advice…highly recommend.
Courtney and her team have been terrific in assisting me with my matter. Excellent communication, swift action and a very professional service – I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers.
I can’t thank Courtney enough for her dedication to achieving not only the best outcome for me but also what is fair and right.
My children and I are forever grateful.
The team at Barton Family Lawyers went above and beyond to enable a property settlement which enable me to move forward with my life. I highly recommend Courtney and the team for all your family law needs.
With experience and know how far beyond her years. I cannot thank or recommend anyone any higher than Courtney.
Having worked with many lawyers over the past 10 years she not only did the legal work to its absolute finest but more importantly she got my daughter back in my life at a time when at one stage I had given up hope.
She is such an authentic person & while she won’t sugar coat anything she is someone you want in your corner.
I highly recommend Courtney Barton, of Barton Family lawyers, for matters including domestic violence and property settlement. The legal system is very traumatising for domestic violence victims and Courtney helped me navigate this, with empathy and her extensive knowledge of the legal system. Courtney clearly explained the process and my options. Courtney helped enable me to successfully seek a domestic violence protection order, and a favourable property settlement outcome.
Divorce is never an easy journey for any individual regardless of their background, occupation or gender. Particularly so, as emotions are running high, all logic flies out the door and extreme frustration looms over one’s mind making it impossible to make a rational decisions. In a such volatile journey, having the right legal partner makes all the difference. Barton Family Lawyers have helped me keep my emotions at bay and enabled me focus on the issues at hand with a rational mind and thereby allowing me to reach a good result in my property settlement and my divorce.
I was not just a mere client but a lawyer (who practised a different area of law) myself and therefore questioned, examined thoroughly every advice and process Barton Family Lawyers gave and undertook in the family court. I wanted a lawyer who would strongly advocate for me, communicate my arguments/issues with the court and the other side like I would have if I was to defend myself. Barton Family Lawyers did exactly that. They exceeded my expectations and advocated for me so strongly in court or whilst communicating with the other side, but most of all, took all reasonable endeavours to enable me to reach my desired result. I strongly recommend Barton Family Lawyers to anyone who is looking a lawyer that is worth every dollar, produces outstanding quality work and wishes to feel the same vindication I felt through this journey.
From the moment we met Courtney we knew she meant business and that’s exactly how she performed right from start to finish.
She totally exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend her.
Thanks so much Courtney. A job well done and thanks to you a five year old has been reunited with his family
Courtney and her team are nothing short of amazing. Prior to and on the day of our case, the level of organisation and professionalism that was shown was incredible. We got the result we were after and I would recommend Courtney and her team to anyone. ThankYou again to the Barton Family Law team!
Excellent law practice. Courtney is amazing and the support staff are second to none. Very happy with their conduct of my matter and with the result. Highly recommended
I highly recommend Courtney and her team. I was amazed at their response time and their professionalism. They helped my daughter to navigate through a very difficult settlement, giving expert advice and making her feel at ease. There were tight turn around times and they not only met those timeframes but exceeded our expectations. Thank you Courtney, George and Tenayah, you are all amazing.
I highly recommend Courtney for child matters. She is highly professional, very responsive and efficient. Her knowledge and experience with Family Law helped to achieve the best possible outcome for my daughter. I couldn’t have gotten through this difficult time without her honest approach to working with me as a client.
I highly recommend Barton Family Lawyers, Courtney is an amazing lawyer coupled with high level professionalism, empathic and efficient it is an unbeatable combination. She is able to handle any client’s emotional response with calm and confidence, I would not have been able to cope without her direct honest approach. The bonus is that Barton Family Lawyers are fixed fee and very clear so you know where you are a each stage. No surprises at the end and always available. Thank you so much.
Courtney was amazing from our first meeting. The fixed fees are great as you know what you are in for cost wise. She was super organised and and professional and got me a great outcome in the end. A big thank you to both Courtney and George for all your hard work.
Courtney and her team are nothing short of absolutely astounding. Courtney recently represented my partner through an absolutely awfully vindictive and horrid domestic violence and property matter with very very short notice coming up to a court judgment.
Courtney and her team were extremely thorough, fast to respond and spoke from the heart of exactly how my partner was wanting things to be put across.
I’m not sure where we would be without Barton Law, you guys are incredible!