April 4, 2017

Family Law is Emotional (So, Keep a Cool Head)

I don’t normally write about family law, despite practicing it.  But, I’m going to break that trend this week… And, I’m going to start from scratch, from the basics.

In case you didn’t know, family law is an incredibly emotional area of law.

Here’s a fact for you: family law lawyers generally receive more complaints about their work than any other type of lawyer.

In fact, of all the complaints made against lawyers to the Law Society, family lawyers have accounted for more than 25% of all those complaints!

Now, let’s back up a bit…

I had a few different jobs when I was a student and before I was a lawyer. And, like a lot of college students, I worked in both the construction industry and the service industry.

I had great jobs, and, I had great co-workers.

Some of my co-workers, though, were going through or had gone through a divorce. I still remember the comments that some of my co-workers made about family lawyers. You can probably guess the nature of those comments… Let’s just say that they weren’t complimentary.

And, that has stuck with me.

From that, I work hard to keep my clients happy and I do my best to ensure that my clients know and understand everything that is happening in the process. It’s because that’s where some lawyers fail…and that’s where a lot of complaints come from.

So, with that, what’s some of the advice that I give to my family law clients?

Well, here’s one of my best tips: when resolving your marriage breakup, don’t do it in a courtroom; do it outside the courtroom.

What do I mean by that?

Well, a lot of people who get served with court documents from their ex asking for a divorce go into ‘full-on attack mode’. They hire a lawyer and give instructions to that lawyer to be a “pit-bull”. It’s as if they want to punish their ex.

If you’re doing that, then STOP…and take a breath.

Your pain is completely understandable. But, if you can resolve your breakup with your ex in an objective and amicable way, such as talking and settling your legal issues CHEAPLY, then do that.

Granted, you can’t always do that. Sometimes, going to court IS necessary. But, if it’s not and you can resolve your issues with your ex outside the courtroom (which typically involves a lawyer, too), then absolutely do that.

There’s no sense in having an expensive legal matter with your ex if you don’t have to.

Remember: don’t spend thousands of dollars to keep dollar store vases.

And now you know.


Jeff Zilkowsky is a lawyer with CBM Lawyers.  To learn more about family law or to schedule a consult with Jeff or someone else from our family team, please contact us at 604.533.3821.