• Janis Donnelly-Coode

Client spotlight - Kristal Naividi at Coastal Lawyers



This week I finally got a chance to chat with Kristal Naividi, busy lawyer, Mum, Masters student and Central Coast local.


Janis - So you are a former police prosecutor and a criminal lawyer, what made you want to do family law?


Kristal - I naturally fell into Family Law as a number of clients were involved in AVO proceedings which then also had a family law element.


I believe that my experience dealing with victims of crime for over a decade and my extensive knowledge of the Evidence Act as well as being an experienced advocate, has actually given me a great foundation for family law. I also bring a fresh approach to the family law not having a traditional ‘litigation’ background.


I want people to leave Coastal Lawyers feeling seen, heard, and listened to. I want to get to the core of what is driving a client’s decision and truly understand what a good outcome looks like to them. As it really is different for every client.

Janis - You are a big proponent of what is known as collaborative family law or collaborative practice, why is that important to you?


Kristal - I am a huge fan and it is definitely on my ‘To do list” to train to become a Collaborative Practitioner. The difficulty is that we need someone to practice with and I don’t know of many (if any) on the Central Coast.


I guess the main reason why I am drawn to it is that family law to me doesn’t initially seem like a legal issue. In criminal law there are clear legal issues, this is the law, it was broken.


In family law everyone has their own truth, everyone has a different opinion on what is right or wrong. Collaborative practice does a better job of accepting that, the differences between the parties, the different approaches for each family. In litigation and in criminal law, it seems there is a winner and a loser. In family law you don’t want that, particularly where there are children. You want the children to win and you want the co-parenting relationship to win. Long after the dispute is over those children go out into the world and you want to give them the best opportunities possible well into the future. I believe that collaborative practice has a better chance of achieving these outcomes.

Janis - While we haven’t been in lockdown in NSW we have certainly seen changes, were you already mostly online or did Covid make that happen more quickly?


Kristal - That was always our business model, to be online and to be available for the people who worked and commuted. On the Central Coast a huge proportion of people commuted before COVID. At Coastal Lawyers we were all ready to go, COVID just normalised the video call.


Since COVID has hit a huge portion of our clients aren’t commuting, a lot more people are working from home, but I still feel that the online model is better. People have really embraced video calls now, even those who weren't confident before know that it isn’t big or scary and is very convenient.

Janis - What made you first notice FamilyProperty, why did you think it would be a good fit for your firm?


Kristal - I initially did a family law intensive course with the founder, Fiona Kirkman, and as soon as I heard about it I thought ‘this makes the process quite simple’. I did a free trial to start with, I loved it. It made the client feel like they were involved and part of it from the beginning. It helped give my clients clear direction about what information we wanted and why we wanted it.


Then being able to have the portal where you can upload it all is fantastic, it is all just in one spot. I have other practice management software, but the financials get mixed in with everything else as random attachments or emails that someone (usually me) has to wade through and sort out. This way they are all in there, in one place, arranged and organised. It saves me so much time, which saves my clients money, so my clients are happier. Happy lawyer = Happy client.

Janis - what changes are you looking forward to making over the next year, either in your business or in your personal life?


Kristal - Well like us all, I am ready for COVID to leave.


I am going to have a school-aged child next year so that will be a new journey for me being a school mum, while still having 2 in daycare and our business.


I plan on finishing my Masters, as COVID caused some delays in that.


Business-wise I am having my first PLT student so that is exciting, I am looking forward to mentoring someone at the beginning of their legal journey.


Who is Kristal Naividi?


Kristal worked for 13 years with NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and has a strong background in criminal prosecutions.

Kristal’s time as a prosecutor including her years of experience with victims of crime particularly domestic violence set a solid foundation as a family lawyer.


Kristal is passionate about presenting the best case for her clients and guiding them through the legal maze.




Qualifications:

  • Master of Laws (Criminal Practice) – 2021

  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

  • Diploma in Law

  • Admitted as a solicitor in the NSW Supreme Court and High Court of Australia.


Visit her (virtually)


You can visit Kristal on the usual channels:

We are doing a series of interviews with our clients which we are calling our client spotlight. If you would like to see some more information about our product, or some of our other client interviews, then please head over to Instagram to check it out.




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