About Peace Talks
The name “Peace Talks” sums up in just two words the approach which principal Sharyn Wagner applies to the practice of family law.
As both an experienced family law solicitor and mediator, Sharyn considers that separating couples fare better – both financially and emotionally - when they are assisted to work things out amicably rather than taking the traditional adversarial approach.
Sharyn Wagner - family law solicitor and mediator
“I have always viewed my role as a helping professional and I feel a personal responsibility to guide my clients through a difficult experience in a compassionate, supportive manner,” Sharyn says.
“It’s important to establish the client’s goals at the beginning so that every step is a step closer to the end goal. My focus is on looking at the big picture and giving honest and practical legal advice so that clients have the information they need to weigh up the financial and emotional costs of the various options.”
Sharyn is committed to keeping clients out of court wherever possible.
“Before embarking on a court process, it’s important that the client has good advice about the costs and the potential outcomes. There’s no point in going to court and “winning” but coming out financially worse off once you take into account the legal fees to get there.
“The other “cost” which I encourage clients to think about is the emotional cost and the potential impact on their family, particularly if there are children. The value of maintaining a co-operative co-parenting relationship between ex-partners for the benefit of their children cannot be under-stated.”
Experience and Qualifications
Sharyn has practised exclusively in family law since 2011.
She has worked for mid-size law firms and became an Associate responsible for overseeing the complete running of family law files, including guiding and mentoring more junior solicitors.
Her experience covers the full range of family law matters, including negotiation, mediation and conducting court proceedings in relation to property settlement, parenting matters, divorce, spousal maintenance and child support.
Sharyn’s belief in empowering clients to resolve matters quickly and amicably led to her gaining qualifications as a Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner in 2015. She has practised as a full-time family law mediator with a not-for-profit organisation and continues in this role alongside her family law practice.
As a member of the Queensland Law Society, Family Law Practitioner’s Association and Toowoomba Family Law Pathways Network, Sharyn is able to keep abreast of changes in the family law context.
Legal Fees Explained
It’s difficult to find out about legal fees and yet this is usually the first question which a client wants to ask. “How much will this cost and can I afford it?”
A traditional law firm charges an hourly rate for work completed by a solicitor or their assistant (“paralegal”). An hour is broken down into 6 minute “units”, so if you speak to your solicitor for 1-6 minutes, you will be charged for one unit. Hourly rates for solicitors vary between around $400-$600 per hour (therefore a 6 minute phone call will cost between $40-$60).
Having worked in that environment, Sharyn observed that this fee structure is simply unaffordable for the majority of family law clients.
“This cost comes at a time when people are going through perhaps the most traumatic period in their lives, and clearly the unpredictable legal bills only add to their distress,” Sharyn says.
With that in mind, instead of giving clients a “how long is a piece of string” estimate of likely fees, Peace Talks offers fixed fees for the majority of services. These fees are substantially less than traditional law firms.
“How can Peace Talks provide a service for less than other firms? Is the service inferior?”
Sharyn explains that in fact, the opposite is true because:
- Peace Talks is a mobile service which does not have the high overheads which come with an impressive office and support staff.
- You get continuity because the one person (an experienced family lawyer) deals with your matter from start to finish.
- Because the fees are fixed, you don’t have to be worried that every contact you make with your solicitor is adding to your costs.
- You know what your legal costs will be from the beginning so you can budget for that and factor that in to your settlement negotiations.
Discover Peace Talks.
As a member of the Queensland Law Society, Family Law Practitioner’s Association & Toowoomba Family Law Pathways Network, Sharyn is able to keep abreast of changes in the family law context.
Call right now and talk to Sharyn.