If not, then you should seriously think about changing Lawyers. One of the principle features that distinguishes good Family Lawyers from ordinary ones is not necessarily their huff bluster, nor is it their intellect. In most cases, it is their attention to detail that makes a difference.
Let me explain further. In any matrimonial case, the first important step is to identify and value each party’s interests in property at the current date. A “details” Lawyer will perform many tasks and obtain corroborating information or documents to support each of the alleged items of property and their value.
They will perform detailed property and company searches, probably prepare a corporate diagram and will ask you for proof of assets that you say exist and their values.
A good lawyer will not simply accept what you say, but will ask you to provide a copy of the Contract in relation to the sale of that block of land last week and may ask you to provide a copy of your recent statements proving balances in all of your accounts. What this Lawyer is showing is that they are organised and they do have a fine attention to detail – the detail is not wasted. If your matter goes to a Mediation or goes to Court then you can rest assured that a Lawyer who is a “details” Lawyer, will ensure that all the evidence to back-up what you say is before the Court.
For instance, during a relationship you may have received an inheritance from your Mother. An ordinary Lawyer will simply put a one line paragraph in the Affidavit saying that you received an inheritance of $100,000.00 that was put towards “matrimonial purposes”. Not only is such statement inadmissible, but it doesn’t prove anything.
A good “details” Lawyer will obtain source documents that prove the inheritance from your Mother, including any copy of the Will, the final statement from the Estate Lawyers and bank statements showing deposits of monies. The “details” Lawyer will explain precisely what was received and when it was received. They will annex proof to your Affidavit and will disclose those documents to the other side. The “details” Lawyer will show how that money was used and how it made a difference to the assets built up during your relationship.
It is folly to underestimate the benefit and the need for a “details” Lawyer to act in your Family Law matter. There are many cases that fail at Appeal because evidence wasn’t properly put before a Trial Judge when it should have been.
Your Family Lawyer may be a nice person. They return your calls when you want them to and they seem to be smart. However, if you don’t see proof that they are attending to your file in a detailed and prepared manner then sack them quickly and look for someone else.