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empathy and family law

Empathy and Family Law


Family Law is an area of personal law, as opposed to corporate or commercial law, and as such, is often adversely impacted by the emotional turmoil generally experienced during the breakdown of a relationship.  To help clients navigate what can be a complex, confusing and sometimes frightening legal process, it is extremely important to have an experienced lawyer on hand, someone who can demonstrate empathy and emotional intelligence towards their client. This is extremely important to us as your family law specialists, and is a practise on which we pride ourselves.


What is empathy?


Empathy is often confused with sympathy, but they are actually two entirely different concepts. Empathy is the ability to recognise and share the emotions of another person. It goes beyond sympathy, which is essentially caring and understanding for the suffering of another. Whilst sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for another’s adversity, empathy is actually putting yourself in the shoes of that other person, and involves a shared perspective. When an experienced family lawyer is truly empathetic, the client’s thoughts and feelings become the absolute focus of attention, and whilst a particular course of action may not be the logical, legal choice, if it’s the right choice for YOU, then it’s the best option.


Why is this important?


Understanding a client’s needs and expectations is paramount to ensuring that a lawyer achieves an outcome that the client is happy with, albeit often a compromise of some kind, but one which enables the client to move on with his/her life.  What is critically important, and what differentiates us from other law firms, is how we go about achieving this. By demonstrating empathy, we put you at ease and enable more effective, honest and open communication between us.  This means that we are better able to understand your position, emotions and what you are hoping to achieve, thus reducing the anxiety often associated with family law processes, be it property settlement negotiations or child matters. Our focus and aim is to support you, as you deal with the many and varied emotional, financial and practical dilemmas associated with a relationship breakdown.


If you are considering or experiencing a de facto or marital relationship breakdown, or if you need advice on child issues, please contact Julia Adlem or Stefania Scarcella, or one of our other experienced Adelaide Legal family law practitioners on 08 8410 9494.