Mar 22, 2024

When might you need a solicitor?

A solicitor

Life can change in the blink of an eye.

For most people, the worst day of their lives arrives out of the blue – it could be a serious accident, a loved one getting in trouble with the law, or the end of a relationship.

On top of the emotional distress, these situations often mean having to deal with legal matters, possibly for the first time in our lives. At times like this a solicitor’s professional expertise and calm guidance are vital to making those difficult decisions.

Solicitors are lawyers who act as guides and advocates when we face legal challenges; they are the general practitioners of the legal world. In Australia, solicitors must hold an Australian practising certificate issued by a Law Society or another regulatory body; members of the public can easily look up records of qualified solicitors online (1).

A solicitor is the first point of contact if you need legal advice. They also prepare legal documents, negotiate on behalf of clients, and represent clients in court on relatively straightforward matters.

So, when are you likely to need a solicitor? As life very rarely goes to plan, sooner or later, we will all need to call on a solicitor for legal help!

When relationships end

Few things in life are as stressful or emotionally turbulent as the ending of a relationship through separation or divorce. Changes in living arrangements, shared parenting, child support, property settlements, etc give rise to a whole gamut of emotions even when a relationship ends amicably.

Applying for a divorce in Australia is a complicated and time-consuming process for the uninitiated. This is where having access to a solicitor experienced in family law is crucial for your peace of mind. Not only will they make it easier for you to navigate unfamiliar territory, but importantly, they also help with negotiations and protect your interests.

Domestic and family violence

Distressingly, most people who experience family and domestic violence (around 60%) don’t go to the police (2). The reasons for this are complex. They include fear of retribution, the stigma of domestic violence, but also concern about being believed as the violence occurs behind closed doors.

Abuse can come in many forms including physical, sexual and emotional, coercive control, stalking, image-based abuse, financial abuse and psychological.

Everyone deserves to be safeguarded from harm and abuse. If you need protection, see a solicitor who can explain your rights and assist with applying for protection orders. This is often a stressful process with many sensitive factors to be considered and having the right legal guidance makes a world of difference.

In criminal matters

There is simply no substitute for good legal advice if you or a loved one gets in trouble with the law or is a victim of a serious crime.

Solicitors with expertise in criminal law deal with charges relating to traffic offences, drink driving (Driving Under the Influence), assault, burglary, fraud, drug offences, and other more serious matters. They make bail applications and advocate on behalf of clients in the lower courts, as it is extremely difficult to navigate the legal system without the support and advice of a competent criminal solicitor.

While we all hope that we may never need legal representation, life's difficult moments can be less stressful with a solicitor's expertise and legal guidance.

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