Complaining about (family) lawyers!

I haven’t written a column about family law before. 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.


**The information contained in this column should not be treated by readers as legal advice and should not be relied on without detailed legal counsel being sought.

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About the Author

Jeff Zilkowsky is a lawyer practicing at MacLean Law in the Lower Mainland and in Kelowna, and focuses his practice on family law and litigation.  

In his column, Jeff provides information about current legal events or points of interest or concern relating to the law. 

The information contained in Jeff’s column should not be used or relied upon as legal advice.

Comments are always appreciated and encouraged, so don’t hesitate to email Jeff at [email protected]

Visit Jeff’s website at www.jeffzilkowsky.com or visit the website of MacLean Law.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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