If you’re experiencing family violence and are in danger, call 000 immediately.
It can be difficult to know what to look for when choosing a family lawyer. And when it comes to finding the best domestic violence lawyer, it’s a complex situation with multiple facets that need to be taken into consideration.
To make it easier to identify and engage with a lawyer to manage your domestic violence case, we’ve created a simple list of things to look for, to ensure your best interests are kept in mind.
Start looking as soon as you can
Seeking a lawyer for a domestic violence case early in your situation ensures that you have the time to gain a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities, and you receive more comfort and peace of mind that your case will be settled in the most appropriate manner.
But when looking for your lawyer, don’t just choose the first or second listing from an online search. Wherever possible, do as much research as you can first. Read online reviews, talk to family and friends, or other connections who have faced similar situations, and seek their advice on who to engage. You can also get in contact with LegalAid, to gain advice on the best domestic violence lawyer for your situation.
Pearsons Lawyers are always available to help you navigate your domestic violence situation with care, consideration, and peace of mind. Get in touch with us to discuss engaging a lawyer for your domestic violence case.
Meet with your lawyer face-to-face
Always make sure to meet with any potential lawyers first before you engage them. This way you can ensure that the fit is right. You’ll be able to get to know each other in person, and build a face-to-face rapport that you can’t get over the phone or online. This way you can judge the level of personal compatibility you have, and make a choice based on more than just recommendations alone.
When you do meet them, there are a few things you can think about to help decide whether or not they’re a good fit.
Do they put you at ease?
When you meet with your domestic violence lawyer, you’re engaging them to take a weight off your shoulders. And it’s a relationship you’re paying for, so you need to feel comfortable that they’re working with your best interests in mind.
If it feels like the potential lawyer for your domestic violence case is only going to create more stress for you, and more difficulties, then you have every right to walk away. If you feel like they’re not giving you the support or service you need, or they don’t treat you with the same level of respect you see them give others, then it’s best to continue your search and find a domestic violence lawyer who treats you with the respect and compassion you deserve.
Do they demonstrate empathy?
The right lawyer for your domestic violence case will listen to you, and seek to understand you. So, you need to feel comfortable that they’re doing so without judgement or motive, and are working with your best interests in mind, regardless of whether you’re the applicant or the respondent.
A good domestic violence lawyer will listen to your situation, and ask questions to fully understand the circumstances. Their role is to work with you in the situation, so they’ll be sure to gain a full understanding of the bigger picture too.
Ultimately, the best domestic violence lawyer for your situation will demonstrate a genuine level of care and concern. If it’s clear that they’re just treating your case as a business transaction, that they only see you as another number, or if they’re easily distracted by calls or emails when in consultation with you, then it’s a sign that they may not be right.
The right lawyer makes themselves available to you
Like any lawyer, a lawyer for domestic violence cases should make themselves available to you when you need them. However, your circumstances aren’t like other cases: you need a more comprehensive level of care and support in order to safely navigate a domestic violence situation.
They need to be available to you when you need them. It’s important that they take your calls, or return your calls as soon as they can, and respond to your emails in a timely manner.
Choose a lawyer that matches your budget—but don’t let cost be the only factor
With complex and potentially dangerous situations such as domestic violence, divorce likely will be an expensive process. But this doesn’t mean that you should go for the cheapest option when it comes to choosing your legal advice.
If you find a lawyer that’s priced a lot more cheaply than others, this can indicate that they may not have the relevant level of experience that you need. It may also demonstrate that they aren’t as efficient or effective in their role.
A more expensive lawyer, while they have higher rates, may be more efficient and faster at doing their job. This serves to speed up the process, meaning they complete your paperwork and research in less time, and actually end up saving you money.
Ultimately, the best domestic violence lawyer is one that works for your budget, but at the same time makes you feel comfortable that they’ve got the level of skill, tenacity, and compassion to achieve the outcome you’re looking for.
For further information to help understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to a domestic violence case, head to Family Relationships Online, or go directly to the Family Court of Australia for a step-by-step breakdown.
Get expert advice and support to ensure peace of mind during a domestic violence case
Pearsons Lawyers are experts in all matters involving Family Law. Our domestic violence lawyers are highly experienced in listening to your situation, understanding your needs, and supporting you during this difficult time.
So if you’re looking for compassionate and understanding legal support to navigate your domestic violence matter, get in contact with us on 1300 699 688 and book in with one of our family lawyers for a free consultation.