Understanding why getting a top family lawyer is worth its weight in gold
I wanted to write to you in summary of the past 6 months, in the hope that it entertains and inspires other clients of yours. Please feel free to post this on your blog or social media channels.
I am a 41-year-old male and proud father of one amazing little boy. I am now living with my new partner – happily ever after!
Life has just started to settle down but it wasn’t always smooth…. The story begins about 10 years ago when I was 31. My fiancé at the time was a couple of years younger than me and came from a small family in a rural part of Australia. I was a city boy and she was a country girl. It was a good match, or so we thought.
We had planned to start our life together by saving up enough for a home and then… with hopes… start our young family with a child. She was never seemingly that interested in having kids, nor with having extravagant things. Part of the appeal of her was her simplistic ways and ‘homestead’ personality.
I had always been very open about not wanting to ‘get married’ because both our parents had separated in a divorce and I didn’t see any need to ‘involve the Government’ in my relationship. My partner’s parents had also separated and she had always agreed with me in my position. So I thought.
After about 8 months of trying for a child, we were finally successful. Our beautiful baby boy was born and I was the happiest ever. The first year was what I would describe as ‘fairly routine’ and we were excited for his first birthday.
GOING GETS TOUGH
Well, I guess this is where our problems really gathered momentum.
Over the past month or so, my partner began to become more ‘distant’. Our sex life had dropped and our intimacy had all but vanished. At no point did I ever consider cheating but at the same time, I just didn’t have much urge to be intimate… and neither did she.
So only a couple of days after the birthday party, my partner at the time suddenly moved out.
She went to stay with her friend claiming that she needed “time to think things through”.
I was left without my son, an outsider. Still responsible for all the bills, all the hassles of building a family remained… but with no family to show for it.
After 3 weeks, she told me that she wanted out! She said it wasn’t anything personal and wanted to remain ‘amicable’ and embrace ‘split parenting’ arrangement!? I’d never heard that term before.
TOUGH GET GOING
Then I got a letter from her aggressive Brisbane family lawyer! No phone call… just a letter with very cold language…
It was on. She not only wanted 100% custody, but she also wanted 70% of my worldly possessions, car, house everything! She was taking it to me! And all without any phone calls or human notifications. So much for ‘amicable’ and ‘split parenting’.
Through her lawyer, she had accused me of domestic violence, bullying and even suggested I hadn’t contributed financially through her pregnancy.
The world had changed 100% from the reality of my past couple of years. What went wrong? I am not sure… to this day I can’t determine what the catalyst was… but I have the impression now I was nothing more than a sperm donor for her.
Not only was I left alone, with a life turned upside down and without my son…. But I was now facing a massive legal bill and possibly an expensive property settlement. My stress levels went through the roof and my bank balance dwindled. I barely got to see my son throughout that period.
FAMILY COURT DOESN’T CARE
The courts don’t care… they just consider us a number. They play on rules of averages and offer no form of decision or assistance until both parties have spent at least 6 months and $20,000 in costs each. But where did it get us? Nowhere!
There was no intention of my ex to let up… she had turned rogue and wanted to come for everything we had worked together to achieve. Mentions and counselling sessions did nothing. Everything seemed ok face to face, but then another legal letter would arrive.
“Forensic accountants” and full financial disclosure were requested and even the judge at a mention said ‘if you go to trial, the only people who will win is the top family lawyers.
Well, for me there was no other choice. I had to find a family lawyer that thought outside the box and could negotiate a result I could live with. Charles Noble at James Noble Law was just the man for the job. He spoke to me for 30 minutes free of charge and we brainstormed some ideas and he outlined his extensive experience in matters similar to mine.
He suggested the best measure for us will be via ‘collaborative practice’. It sounded like another round of counselling, what would be the difference?
The difference was James Noble (and his firm) and his over 30 years’ experience in collaboration and mediation!
It worked! By the time the financials were properly spelt out and costs outlined for all parties, the choice was obvious for us both. There was no other way but to act fairly. The pressures had gotten to my ex and she finally decided to back off and start to negotiate fairly. With the care and attention of James and Charles Noble, the matter has been resolved and the result was as fair as can be. The collaborative family law process only took four weeks and three collaborative meetings to finalise.
My experience has taught me that in Australia, the law tends to side with women when it comes to children disputes. Fortunately, with a good lawyer, it’s possible to navigate your way through the process and this heavily reduces stress because things become clear.
Now, I have moved on with a new partner and things are looking up. We’ve agreed to a prenuptial agreement as well as working out our wills and estates in advance. James Noble Law is helping me with all of these things and do so at a very reasonable price considering the amount of work required. I am hoping this reduces any conflict in future case of relationship issues.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
The best part is that my son and I now share a special bond and I have got shared custody of him finally. So in that sense, this is a very happy story.
Thanks again to you Charles and James Noble for your expert guidance and for the help and advice in navigating me through the most difficult period of my life. Their Noble nature (excuse the pun I couldn’t resist) and kindness have earned him a special place in mine and my son’s heart forever – they are top family lawyers.
Most importantly, I encourage anyone reading my story who has a family law issue to consult an experienced, patient and assertive Family Lawyer at all costs…