Solicitors Role in Family Proceedings

Solicitors Role in Family Proceedings
16 Sep

Solicitors Role in Family Proceedings

The role of solicitors in Family Law proceedings may not be known the parties before commencing legal representation. In the case of Simic& Norton [2017] FamCA 1007, Justice Benjamin was critical of both parties’ solicitors, describing their actions as fuelling a negative culture of “bitter adversarial and highly aggressive litigation”. His Honour referenced correspondence which had been sent between the solicitors which did not reflect the appropriate professionalism expected of the role.

The letters, which were tendered into evidence, were at some point unnecessarily inflammatory, reflected the anger of the parties and were accusatory. His Honour further stated that the correspondence served little to no forensic purposes, and, only acted to hinder the process and raise the associated costs to both parties.

What to Expect

Solicitors in Family Law proceedings should not act as simple messengers for their clients, merely relaying what their client wants to say to the other side. As most cases involve high levels of emotions, this often ends with both sides harbouring resentment towards the other, destroying any chance of reasonable settlements and future amicability. The role of the solicitor is to instead understand what the client’s instructions are, and to draft their wishes into an appropriate position based on the current facts and circumstances of the case.

Solicitors are burdened with a duty to act professionally and uphold the law, which is unable to be completed when simply repeating what their client wants them to say. At James Noble Law, our Accredited Family Law Specialists are well versed in understanding your wishes and conveying these in reasonable language and form. Although there is a time and place to be insistent and firm, it is important to note overstep this line. We provide professional, researched advise to clients who find themselves in situations where emotions are strained.

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