In any area of law, a client’s perceptions of matters are often inaccurate. This is partly because clients don’t have the benefit of the knowledge that comes from experience in such matters. Part of a solicitor’s job is to educate a client about the process, the substantive law and the like. As a result, I have learned in time to take special care to manage the expectations of my clients and after every significant event I ask the client whether they understood what has happened, and get their account so that I can ascertain their perceptions.
In family law, a client’s perceptions are further clouded by their emotions. Many clients’ perceptions of the situation are completely twisted because their emotions blind them from actuality. As a result, what a family law client believes to be the case often is not the case at all. And many clients resist being told (and even resent) someone else telling them that their perceptions are inaccurate.