Have you thought of bypassing a lawyer and starting with a barrister? It is possible.
First and foremost, fill out the Divorce Answered Separation Statement. For a small fee, the form will save you hundreds of dollars in your first appointment (with your legal counsel) and assist in writing your affidavit submission. As you can appreciate, time is money and you can end up spending lots of it in court proceedings.
Those who start with the consultation of a barrister, tend to have a shorter duration between the instigation of the divorce and the final orders or settlement. During your appointment, the barrister will get to the facts quickly and tell you the likelihood of getting the results you want. Like lawyers, barristers agree that mediation is the fastest and quickest way of settling your divorce matters efficiently and cost effectively. Barristers are able to perform the same duties as a lawyer as well as act on your behalf during hearings. Admittedly, there is a difference in hourly charge between a lawyer and a barrister.
If your lawyer engaged a barrister to your case, it is unlikely the barrister will communicate directly with you. Similarly, not every barrister will be open to you contacting them without a lawyer or be willing to manage your case from the outset. These are questions you will need to find out from your research and the barrister’s office.
In a traditional divorce case, most people seek the advice and assistance from a lawyer first. This scenario can end up with the client having a lawyer write letter after letter and the situation not progress. In the more technical or complicated cases, the lawyer seeks consultation and further professional advice from a barrister. The barrister is hand-picked for suitability to the case. Eventually, the client is paying for the lawyer and barrister to work together and jointly represent. All the while, the case is being drawn out and the fees are mounting. In some cases it has been known that the barrister writes the letters and the lawyer is the undersigned.
Remember that barristers and lawyers specialise in different areas of law. It is essential to find the right professional for your situation and make sure you get a schedule of fees from your barrister (and lawyer) in advance.
There is no way of knowing which way a Judge may rule in your case, however, it will save lots of time and money making the best informed and calculated decision early in the settlement process. Some cases are destined to end up in court, however, many don’t need to.