Sadly with divorce rates still rising, according to the latest statistics, many of us may find ourselves needing the help of a family lawyer. Others who have children together or are living together may also need similar help if their relationship breaks down.
A separation can be a confusing and anxious time and if you have never needed a lawyer before it can be a daunting prospect. Where do you start?
I would suggest that you keep the following points in mind when making your decision:
- If you may know someone who has been through a similar experience and if you feel able to ask them for recommendations.
- Do your research and try to find an experienced family solicitor from a reputable firm that you believe you could work well with.
- Search for law firms in your area and visit their websites. A good law firm will constantly be updating their website to keep in line with changes in the law and will have up to date blogs and news.
- Consider whether you want to use an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation or collaboration. These are more amicable methods of resolving things but not all family lawyers are qualified to offer these.
- Consider what services the firm offer in addition to support your journey. Depending on your circumstances you may need employment advice, corporate advice, tax advice – particularly if there is a business involved. At Gilson Gray we are a full service law firm and additionally we have an in- house financial management team that can assist with any financial queries including pensions and investments.
- Try to think objectively about whether you are in a proper frame of mind to seek and digest advice. It is often the case that one party has moved forward more quickly in terms of emotion than the other particularly if the separation has come as shock and it is not unusual for someone to need to take the time to be prepared emotionally before instructing a solicitor.
- Understandably many people will be worried about the costs involved in instructing a solicitor. Does the firm you have chosen offer the first appointment on a fixed fee basis?
- How did you feel after meeting your chosen solicitor for the first time? Did you feel able to be open and honest with them and comfortable sharing personal and private information? Did they explain things to you in a language that you understood? Did they explain about the alternatives methods such as mediation and collaboration? If you didn’t feel comfortable with the solicitor you met consider approaching someone else.
- Consider what approach may work best in your situation. Whilst the aim should be for matters to be resolved as amicably as possibly, there are situations where you need a robust and experienced solicitor to represent you through litigation and advise you on a strategic approach to the situation to ensure matters move forward in the right way for you.
- If you feel nervous about the first appointment consider taking a friend or family member with you.
Gilson Gray has an expert team of solicitors who can help guide you through your family law needs. If you would like further information regarding the topic discussed in this blog, please contact Sarah Feeney by email – email@example.com, or telephone 0141 530 2021
You can also visit our Family Law Team page for more information here.
The information and opinions contained this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any information contained in this blog, please seek solicitor’s advice from Gilson Gray.