There are often many decisions to make and many issues to deal with if your relationship is at an end. A family lawyer is trained to guide you through this challenging period in your life. Here are some top reasons you should hire a family law lawyer when going through a separation.
1. Family law is extremely complex.
Things can get very complicated very quickly. Far-ranging issues arise when a relationship ends. Depending on your situation, this may include parenting arrangements, child support, who gets to stay in the matrimonial home, spousal support, and division of property and debt.
You simply can’t be expected to know the law or how it applies in your situation, especially when you are going through the emotional turmoil of the separation itself. But that is exactly what you must do if you don’t hire a lawyer to help you with your case. Experienced family lawyers are familiar with the BC Family Law Act, Canada’s Divorce Act, the Child Support Guidelines, and the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines as well as updates to the legislation.
Family lawyers also regularly work with a number of intersecting federal and provincial statutes that may impact your rights and obligations such as child protection, valuation of pensions, enforcement of family maintenance orders and enforcement of interjurisdictional support orders.
2. You don’t know the court rules or procedure.
In BC, both the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court can resolve family law cases. Each Court has its own set of Rules and its own set of Forms. The BC Supreme Court Family Rules are here and the BC Provincial Family Rules are here.
As will note, the Rules are very detailed. They set out strict deadlines, procedures, and necessary paperwork for each stage of a family law case from starting the claim through to trial and enforcement of court orders. You can lose the right to bring a claim or suffer costs consequences if you miss deadlines, fail to follow the rules or show up to court unprepared.
The Rules are also constantly changing. A dedicated family lawyer stays up to date on the rules and requirements and will ensure that time limits, service and filing requirements are met so you do not have to worry about these details of conducting your case.
3. Because your ex hired a family law lawyer.
You will be a significant disadvantage if your spouse hires a family lawyer and you do not. Your ex’s lawyer does not represent you, does not advocate for your position and is not obligated to protect your rights or ensure a fair outcome for you.
4. You want a strong advocate.
If you try to handle your family law case without a lawyer, you may quickly feel overwhelmed by the paperwork and rules. You may also find it challenging to speak on your own behalf in court or feel intimidated by your former spouse’s lawyer.
When you hire a family lawyer, you have a powerful advocate on your side. Your lawyer knows how to draft clear, understandable written materials and has the skills to negotiate persuasively on your behalf in order to reach an out of court settlement by way of a separation agreement or a Consent Order.
If litigation is necessary, your lawyer will put your best foot forward in presenting your case to a judge. An experienced family lawyer can assist you in getting the best resolution for your case because they know the law, the legal procedures, and are trained and experienced to advocate for you in the courtroom.
5. Emotions are high and your time is at a premium.
It can be challenging to give important issues the attention they need if your energy is going to your work, your children and to healing from the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing as a result of the breakdown of your marriage.
When you hire a family lawyer, you get the benefit of objective advice so you can make rational and informed decisions as you move towards resolving the outstanding legal issues. Your lawyer will handle your file and prepare your case so that you can focus on adjusting to your new life following your separation.
Do you want legal advice from a trusted family lawyer?
If you decide to work with an experienced family lawyer, you can increase your chances of saving yourself time, money and the stress of going to court on your own or going to court at all.
At Valerie M. Little Law Corporation, our experienced and trusted family lawyer will provide you with objective advice, help you make smart and informed decisions about your case and protect your rights. Contact her today to learn more about her family law services she offers to clients in New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam and throughout the Lower Mainland.