Unfortunately, there can be many unforeseeable things that lead to the breakdown of a relationship. Issues such as domestic violence and drug or alcohol addictions can throw a once loving relationship into one of complete chaos and volatility. As relationships mature, material assets, finances and even children belonging to both parties often become intertwined, adding an extra layer of complication to the process of separating. Enlisting the help of family lawyers in Melbourne will become imperative at this stage, as both parties may need assistance and representation if matters persist to a courtroom setting. While family lawyers will vary in both their legal expertise and professional etiquette, there are a few fundamental qualities to look out for when you need family legal support. Here are the most important qualities to look for when choosing a family lawyer.

Excellent Communication Skills

While you would expect any lawyer irrespective of their area of expertise to be an expert communicator in both written and verbal form, this quality is especially important when looking for family lawyers in Melbourne. When attempting to cope during what will invariably be an extremely emotionally distressing time for both parties, the last thing you need is a lawyer that complicates matters further by not explaining things clearly enough. The family lawyer you choose should be able to strip away complex legal jargon from their vocabulary in favour of getting information across to you in both a professional and succinct manner.

Negotiation Skills

If you’re going through a divorce or the separation of a de facto relationship with mutually tied assets, it can be easy for emotions on both sides to become flared, leading former partners to attempt to ‘win’ the break-up. The services of family lawyers in Melbourne can play a vital role in resolving these types of disputes. A family lawyer trained in negotiation tactics will be able to steer both parties toward compromises that solve their issues amicably.

In the unfortunate event where you wish to have your dispute heard in a courtroom, you will first need to prove that all disputing parties have made a sincere attempt at alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Due to backed up waiting lists of disputes waiting to be heard in family courts, proof of ADR is a legal requirement, so having a family lawyer mediate this process can become an absolute necessity.


Due to the sensitive and highly emotional nature of these types of disputes, a family lawyer must first and foremost be able to genuinely sympathise with their clients. They should also be able to easily recall details relating to the client, such as names, dates and any important information that pertains to the dispute itself. This demonstrates a level of personability that makes clients feel acknowledged and heard. This also carries importance if the dispute progresses to being heard before a judge. A lawyer who has truly taken the time to understand their client’s grievance and can recall specific details about their client will be a more capable communicator in the courtroom, making it more likely that they’ll garner a favourable outcome for the parties involved.