Observations from a Divorce Lawyer
When you speak to people who are not involved in family law on a daily basis, as I do as a Divorce Lawyer, it is apparent that their knowledge and perception of divorce and separation is shaped by horror stories. I often hear stories about that one friend, relative or acquaintance that has been through the family-law ringer.
Invariably, these horror stories involve people losing their house, large portions of their superannuation, time with their children and sometimes even their pets! These stories usually involve an unsavoury cast of characters beginning with the person they married, the lawyers involved (who are always nasty and charging excessive fees) and a judges who are clearly biased.
Our popular culture tends to lend credence to this caricature by portraying family law in television and movies as a winner-take-all battlefield. Rarely is family law depicted as cooperative, collaborative or civil. In reality (thankfully) family law is usually nothing like the portrayals found in media or stories from friends. Yes there are some matters that are contentious, acrimonious and high-stakes.
These cases represent the minority of family law matters. A fact that would surprise most people is that the great majority of cases are resolved by agreement, with little acrimony, in a cooperative and cost-effective manner. Despite the fact that this makes for a less interesting story or boring television, the reality is that most divorce or separation cases fall in the “boring” category and not the “horror-story” category.
So what differentiates cases that are legitimate horror stories from cases that resolve quickly, efficiently and amicably? Read the full article on the four few important factors we have found.