Don’t buy into the presumption that your lawyer knows exactly what to do. 

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Your lawyer will have studied law at university, perhaps with another degree or two, have been admitted to the local Court and the High Court, and have worked in law for a number of years (or not).

Your lawyer will (or should) know what the law says and be able to tell you how it applies to you and your circumstances. Your lawyer should be able to talk to you about the various options available to you when it comes to progressing your separation and legally finalising it.

You mustn’t assume though that your lawyer’s confidence or demonstrated means that they know exactly what to do. From a legal standpoint, assuming that they’re fully informed and competent, they will, but you know your partner. Remember, you’re dealing with fact and emotion. With the information and advice that your lawyer would’ve given to you, you should feel empowered to make a decision about what ought to be done. Only you know exactly what to do.

Don’t presume that your lawyer will be able to get you a resolution. 🤔

It is not your lawyer that will get you a resolution. Make no mistake that you and your partner really own the separation and you have the opportunity to narrate how the legal separation plays out. Lawyers can certainly be an integral part of helping you achieve a resolution and can help shape it to be a positive experience but it will really be you and your partner compromising and reaching an agreement together that will see a resolution—not a Court Ordered settlement.

👩‍⚖️Don’t presume that you even need a lawyer.

The Oxford dictionary defines a ‘lawyer’ as someone who practices law.

Once you and your partner have reached an agreement together after separation, whether that be about the children, how you’re doing to divide your finances and superannuation, child support, maintenance and divorce, and you’re looking to legally formalise it, you don’t need a ‘lawyer’ in the strict sense. What you in fact need or want is a ‘paperwork lawyer’, someone who will prepare your legal agreement documents.

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