The world of law is often sensationalised by the entertainment sector with shows like Law and Order and we only hear about court cases in the media ending in multi-million dollar settlements. So we brought in Simon Creek from HHG Legal Group to clarify the world of law for us and to give an insight into the world of a divorce lawyer.
From a junior in the field Mr Creek always questioned how he could be a Christian divorce lawyer but found he came to a simple conclusion. “My simple conclusion without going into detail was if I wasn’t there helping these people at rock bottom then someone else would be and they may not have my approach to it and my faith”, said Simon.
Simon takes a non-conventional approach to his work. He makes a point of asking his clients who are unsure about their relationship whether it can be reconciled. He said “If there’s a glimmer of hope there I will jump on that and refer them to the right councilors and people who might be able to help them through it.”
This scenario however is not all that common;
statistically by the time someone goes to a family lawyer there is minimal chance of people turning around their relationship. Not all couples go to court for settlement. Only about 2% of all separating couples end up in family court for trial according to Mr Creek. The other ways a couple can settle after a separation is through mediation, arbitration and simply through negotiations by divorce lawyers.
“Everybody’s different, every family is different, every break up is different. And we have to be able to step into somebody else’s life very quickly, learn how to put on their shoes to be of any use. That in itself helps people relax,” said Simon.
Putting yourself into your clients shoes can however be taxing on a lawyer doing that for all of his clients. Simon took a short break after 15 years due to feeling quite drained and upon returning has focused more on the management of his firm and looking after their larger clients to regain focus.
“I think this is another big problem we face, everybody thinks divorce lawyers are out there to make a matter last as long as possible and drag it out. We are so busy, we have so many cases coming through that the last thing we could ever do is have the luxury of dragging something out. It is in fact the test of a really good family lawyer that they are able to settle things and keep them moving efficiently”, said Simon.
Any separation will be an expensive affair but many firms can work to a budget to which can aid in taking the pressure off the client. Not all firms however will operate in this manor so it is a good idea to find a firm you are happy with before progressing.
By Rebecca Low