The 7 must-have traits of a family lawyer

Family lawyers, also often referred to as divorce lawyers, need to have certain traits which guarantee the success of their cases, and which provide clients with the assurance that their desired outcomes will be reached.

Divorce and marriage related legal matters are very personal. The stress that people feel following the breakdown of a marriage or relationship is very acute. Especially because of these reasons, family lawyers need to show appropriate insight in navigating and dealing with each case.

Family solicitors need to have the understanding to grasp every aspect of the case, and they must also be perceptive and comprehend the emotional turmoil that their clients will undoubtedly be facing.

When people are seeking family lawyers to help out with their divorce and other related legal matters such as property settlement, prenuptial agreements, or custody disputes, there are certain characteristics that the family lawyers must reflect.


As briefly mentioned above, family lawyers need to have the emotional depth to understand the situation that their clients are in. They need to be compassionate and sensitive towards their needs as a client.

When people approach a lawyer for legal guidance on any matter, especially after a divorce or separation, they need someone reliable and trustworthy because it would be a really difficult period in their life. They will need someone, such as conveyancer bathurst, who understands the mental state they are in, and strives to reach a desirable outcome.

Conversely, if the family law attorney does not understand the clients struggle, and has an aggressive approach towards solving the matter, it will inevitably lead to greater conflicts and disputes among the separating parties.

Technical knowledge and good skill set

The legislation on divorce and separation matters is very extensive. There are various rules and regulations such as applicable time limits and deadlines that the lawyer needs to be aware of. It is the responsibility of your family lawyer to inform you, and give you advice on all relevant rules and regulations.

If the lawyer fails to advise his clients on relevant rules, the clients will be required to pay unnecessary extra costs. This is why it is extremely important for the lawyers to always be informed about any changes to existing legislation, and he/she should have the right skillset to tackle every legal matter.

Team player and leader

One of the best things a family law firm can offer is when all its members work on a complicated matter collectively. Often, your family lawyer may be tied up with court cases and must have a busy schedule. In times like this, you will be relying on his/her team members to provide you with legal guidance.

A family law attorney has to be a team player and needs to have a good rapport with his co-workers. Similarly, as a leader of a team, he/she should always promote positivity within the team.

Communication and responsiveness

Family law will often include complex legal jargon. Your lawyer must have the communication skills to break this down and help you understand the complexities better. Your solicitor must also keep you updated regarding all proceedings related to your matter.

The lawyer must regularly contact their clients to inform them about any new updates. He/she should be available for you. In case your lawyer is extremely busy, it is their duty to inform you about this, and reschedule any meetings with you and not cause any hassle.

The attorney should not make it hard for clients to be able to access him/her. This would otherwise reflect that the lawyer is not trustworthy or reliable.

Negotiation skills

It is imperative that your family law solicitor has good negotiation skills. These will be very valuable when dealing with property settlement matters, or child custody matters. Through the use of expert negotiation skills, they must be able to deliver great results to their clients.

During property settlement and child custody disputes, often mediation or family dispute resolution services will need to be used. In these situations, your attorney should be able to showcase great negotiation skills in reaching agreements which are favourable to all involved parties so as to avoid future conflicts.

Document preparation

In divorce cases, right from the application stage until the time the divorce is finalised, there are many documents that need to be submitted. The paperwork forms a crucial part of a case, especially in divorce proceedings or related matters where courts are involved.

Because of their experience, family lawyers are experts in preparing documents and knowing which documents are significant. This ability of theirs also helps in saving the clients a lot of time, and helps them reduce their stress.

Your attorney must be well-aware of which documents must be filed and must always be one-step ahead when dealing with all paperwork.


For clients, lawyers are the people who represent them during a time which is very overwhelming for them such as a divorce. It is very important that the lawyer remain transparent with the client at all times – be it in regards to the legal costs involved, or with regards to the legal proceedings of the client’s case.

Some firms offer a fixed-fee price structure, whereas some offer a service-based fee price structure. In either case, it is important that the lawyer informs the clients of the fees beforehand, and provides cost agreements which facilitate transparency.

Author bio

John Bui is the Principal Solicitor of JB Solicitors, a law firm based in Sydney, Australia which deals with matters falling under family law, property law and criminal law – among others.