A new plain-English guide to family law will contribute to a more level playing field in family law disputes.
"Men are often more confident about the law or at least pretend to be," says family law specialist Ian Shann. "Women, on the other hand, can be more at risk, and less likely to seek legal advice after a breakup.
"Men can have the advantage of controlling the purse strings, putting women at risk of being financially exhausted in open-ended family law proceedings."
Ian's new book "Know Where You Stand" will help level the playing field. In plain language, it explains how the law works, what readers are entitled to, and what they can expect in respect of children. The book also aims to clear up some of the common misconceptions about family law: "For example, despite what many parents think, they don't have rights in family law. The Family Law is not about them, it's about the rights of the children. It's about what's in the children's best interests, not what the parents want."
Slater & Gordon lawyer Ian Shann's new book is unique: a plain English guide to separation for married and de facto couples from someone who's experienced the family law system from both sides. It includes practical tips for parties to protect their entitlements, and a huge resource section for those needing extra support.
When Ian's first marriage ended, he found himself in a world he had never imagined: adversarial, emotional and expensive. He upgraded his legal qualifications to enable him to handle his own family law case.
The experience was so profound that, after his own case settled, Ian decided he wanted to practise family law full-time. Today life is much happier for remarried Ian and his blended family. What he has learned as a lawyer and as a participant in the Family Court has changed his life.
"Know Where You Stand" is the result of 20 years of experience and full of practical tips and resources. The book could help a separating couple save themselves a wealth of time and legal fees, as well as avoiding extra pain at what is already an emotional time for all involved.
"Know Where You Stand" is consistent with Slater & Gordon's philosophy of access to justice for all Australians. The firm recently announced a new fixed fee model for family law cases to be introduced first in Victoria. Clients will no longer face open-ended costs on family law matters.
Review: When a relationship goes sour, it's often hard to focus on the important things, especially when children are involved. 'Know Where You Stand' is the first step to helping you take control and make sure you know all your rights before important decisions are made that involve your family. If you are going through a separation, divorce and need advice on what to expect from the family law system, 'Know Where You Stand' by industry experts 'Slater & Gordan' will outline what's important and what steps are involved. Ask a close friend or family member to read it with you, as often the emotional stress of family breakups can cloud our judgement.
Ian Shann, an accredited family law specialist and national head of family law at Slater & Gordon.
Know Where You Stand
Author: Ian Shann