The New Singapore Divorce Lawyer You Will Need in 2020
Family law – like other areas of law – is undergoing a tectonic shift. The divorce lawyer you need in 2020 and beyond is someone who is a specialist in family law, skilled in knowledge, soft skills and technology and has great team support.
The New Singapore Divorce Lawyer You Will Need in 2020
By Sheila Cheng, PKWA Law
With the ever-evolving legal landscape, it is inevitable that potential divorce clients’ needs will change as well, which makes it all the more imperative to identify qualities you will need in your divorce lawyer if you are seeking to get a divorce in 2020.
It is fundamental that the lawyer you end up engaging should specialise in divorce, be diligent, connect and be honest with you, as well as have a good reputation. These are strengths that are perennial and all the more important now, given that there is an increasing number of lawyers offering divorce services. You will therefore need to be discerning with your choice, as selecting the right divorce lawyer can make all the difference in an emotionally-draining divorce
Aside from the aforementioned traditional qualities, the following are additional qualities of a Singapore divorce lawyer you should look out for if you are getting a divorce in 2020:-
1. Divorce lawyers who are specialists
Increasingly, a lawyer of the future will need to have deep expertise in specific practice areas. It is not enough for lawyers to practise all types of law any more. Clients naturally want their lawyers to have deep knowledge and skills in the area they operate in.
Legal fees are competitive and all lawyers charge roughly the same fees.
Therefore, for divorce matters, it makes sense to use a specialist divorce lawyer to give your case the best chance for success.
2. Divorce lawyers with a good track record in the courts
You would also want a divorce lawyer who has a good track record of success in the courts. You can ask the lawyer the cases they have done and their success rate.
3. Divorce lawyers who are part of a team
Getting a divorce is a multi-faceted and potentially tedious process. The complexity of divorce cases is increasing, especially with cross-border children, assets and mental health issues that did not feature too much previously.
One member of a team can concentrate on children issues. Another member can be tracing assets. Therefore, having a team to assist you, as opposed to a single lawyer, will ensure that your case and concerns are managed thoroughly and in a timely manner.
In addition, finding divorce lawyers who work closely with their support staff is often overlooked but can make all the difference. Having capable support staff to assist your lawyers will invariably allow them to focus on the substantive aspect of your case.
It is always a good idea that you visit your divorce lawyer’s office for your free consultation. You can tell a lot about your lawyer from their law office. Is the law office neat, orderly, efficient and well-run? Are the staff friendly and helpful?
4. Divorce lawyers who have good research and writing skills
As the law is not static, you have to expect changes continually, especially for divorce cases. This is where good research skills in divorce lawyers are crucial, both in seeking out the latest case law and in ensuring that there is sufficient legal justification for any position that you wish to adopt. In addition, having good research skills supplements the earlier point that working with a divorce team, as opposed to a single divorce lawyer, is more beneficial. This is because a divorce team will have the depth and resources to conduct research that will best help your best.
You will need lawyers with good writing skills as well, as such skills are fundamental to writing convincing legal submissions. In this COVID-19 world, where hearings are being moved online, there may be an increasing focus on written submissions. It is therefore critical for your divorce lawyers to be able to present their written arguments succinctly and persuasively.
5. Divorce lawyers who are skilled in mediation
Most divorcing couples will have to go through mediation at some point. The benefits of mediation are trite, especially on reducing costs and acrimony, and need no further elaboration.
In this regard, you need to have a shift in perspective of what makes a good divorce lawyer. An aggressive lawyer may not necessarily make the best divorce lawyer in today’s pro-mediation climate. A divorce lawyer who is calm and reasonable is probably more suitable, as mediation entails being collaborative and amicable, so that a fair agreement can be reached.
Choosing lawyers who are equipped with mediation skills and who knows the art of negotiation – instead of needlessly litigating in court – will help you get the best possible outcome in the shortest amount of time.
At PKWA Law, all our senior family lawyers are trained in mediation by the Singapore Mediation Centre.
6. Divorce lawyers who can integrate the use of technology into their work
Before even COVID-19 struck, the legal industry was already being transformed by a wave of digital disruption. Divorce lawyers who are able to innovate and adapt, and adopt technology will do well.
COVID-19 has thrust the use of technology into the faces of law firms, as the courts in Singapore, including the Family Court, have switched to virtual hearings. The investment and training in technology is critical for lawyers who want to excel.
At PKWA Law, our family lawyers are equipped to seamlessly transition to working from home and to conduct video hearings.
We have invested heavily in technology and we have an IT system that enables us to have calendar tools; internal team communication tools; and document management tools.
This ensures that there are minimal disruptions to our client’s cases, and we will continue to explore more ways to incorporate the use of technology in our work.
7. Family lawyers with good people skills
The new divorce lawyer must have good people skills. It is not enough to have legal knowledge (hard skills) – the new breed of divorce lawyer has to have empathy, ability to connect, thoughtful, wise, and be a leader to his/her clients. All these people skills are especially critical in divorce law work.
Getting a divorce is a daunting process. It is therefore pertinent to choose the right divorce lawyers, so that they can help you navigate this stressful period.
Family law, like other areas of law, is undergoing a tectonic shift.
The new divorce lawyer you are going to look for in 2020 and beyond is someone who is a specialist family lawyer, skilled in knowledge, soft skills and technology, has excellent team support and a good track record.
ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW
PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family & divorce law firms, specialising in divorce law, family law, wills and probate. PKWA Law’s team of family and divorce lawyers are consistently named as leading family lawyers by respected legal publications such as Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific, Asian Legal Business, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Leading Singapore Family Lawyers.
Conveniently located at HDB Hub, PKWA Law offers affordable fees for the average Singaporean.
Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.