When facing a matter in family court, many individuals find themselves struggling with emotional and financial burdens even more than legal ones. Because of this, many will attempt to go about the process without hiring a legal professional. Not only will going about this process without a lawyer be even more of a struggle, but a lack of professional representation can also easily make you seem unprepared, disorganized and lacking in good judgment to the courts.
This is just one of the many reasons why you should still seek legal representation even if you are not facing criminal charges. Here are the others:
First Impressions: Because most matters in family law are not criminal cases, there is often more emphasis put on your character. For example, in a child custody case, a parent with a lawyer will have a great advantage over one without. When you have a lawyer, they can speak for you and present your case in a way that will fit with the expectations and desires of the court.
Long Term Cost Savings: While hiring a lawyer may seem prohibitively expensive, a quality family court lawyer can save and/or win you more than you are paying for them. A lawyer doing their job will get you more than enough to cover your fees and then some while also potentially winning you other valuable rulings.
Family Lawyers are Specially Trained to Help: Unlike trial or litigation lawyers, family lawyers are trained to help resolve a situation as peacefully as possible. Though a family lawyer does have the resources and capability to pursue an outcome that will be devastating to the other side, such as demanding unreasonable amounts of alimony or child support, this is not their default goal. They are there to represent your long-term interests and to get you what you deserve quickly, affordably and peacefully.
Reducing Emotional Trauma: Because of the high emotions that are often involved in a family court, having a go-between is essential for many reasons. Individuals who attempt to represent themselves often do far more harm than good, allowing their anger and other emotions to destroy not only themselves but other family members and the family’s financial wealth in the process.
Insurance Against Further Legal Bills: Along with a lawyer increasing the chances that you are the winner in your case, they may also save you your legal fees and the legal fees of the other party. Because Canadian law works under the idea that the loser in a case pays all legal fees, you could find yourself stuck with your own and the opposing party’s fees if you lose.
Making a Valid Agreement: While you do not technically need professional legal representation in order to have a valid domestic contract, the agreement could be invalidated if it is found that a party did not understand the agreement. Because of the complexity of the law, most judges will assume an individual does not fully understand the terms unless they were working with a lawyer throughout the process. If you or the other party fail to have legal representation, this could invalidate the agreement and cost both parties upwards of $50,000 a piece to enter into litigation to determine the validity of the contract.
Help Navigating the Court: Perhaps the biggest reason to have a lawyer in family court is the invaluable expertise they offer in navigating the contracts and court system. Something as simple as word choice could give the judge the wrong impression about you and you will not be able to rectify this.
Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) family lawyers have extensive experience and professional development in all areas of family law. We can help you avoid the many pitfalls of self-representation in court while getting the results you need for a peaceful and prosperous outcome.
B.A. (HONS)., M.A., J.D
B.A. (HONS.), LL.B., LL.M., C.S.
B.A. LL.B. Acc. FM..