How to choose a family solicitor
The family team at IBB Law appreciate that approaching a solicitor when you are going through a family breakdown or considering a divorce or separation is the first step and often the most difficult one to make on what is often a very turbulent and difficult journey for you.
We understand that this step and meeting a solicitor for the first time is so important not least of which because you are sharing your personal thoughts and information and recognising issues you may not have wanted to face for the very first time. The reality of the situation and what you are about to embark upon at this point can be overwhelming.
Below is a guide that we have put together to help you consider what to look for with some helpful information of how to make this process easier for you to navigate.
- Research – talk to friends and look into reputable and experienced family solicitors and law firms. These solicitors and firms are usually listed in legal directories and individuals are often Resolution members which means they adopt a sensible and conciliatory approach to family disputes. This ensures language and correspondence is framed in a non-aggressive manner to ensure hostility is reduced and to ease the pathway for negotiations and ultimately a resolution. Please visit resoltuion.org.uk for further information about the organisation and its code of conduct.
- You do need to talk to solicitors on the telephone to get a feel for how they may work and if you feel you could work with them. Do not be afraid to request a short call so that you can ask some pertinent questions about how they may work with you and what their charges are. If you are suffering with a difficult or controlling relationship and the impact upon you and your children, you may need someone with experience in this area specifically. You may own a family business jointly with your spouse or own assets in other countries that requires specialist advice in these areas so you can raise any queries at this point to see if you feel comfortable before you meet with anyone. Often you can arrange an initial consultation, which will be a paid meeting but will also provide you an opportunity to meet your solicitor. At IBB Law we offer an initial meeting for a reduced fee which will last at least 1 hour.
- Prior to your meeting if possible, you can prepare a list of all questions and possibly collate some information regarding the marital finances such as valuations of assets (your home, pensions and any savings you have) or other relevant information depending upon your situation. You can always send this information to your solicitor in advance of your meeting to ensure you use the time productively. Also do not be afraid to send a list of important questions or priorities you want to focus on in advance of any initial meeting. If divorce proceedings or any other Court proceedings have already commenced, then any Court papers or correspondence about this is essential for that meeting to be as helpful to you as possible.
- There are circumstances where you need a robust and experienced solicitor to represent you through litigation where proceedings are underway or where you feel the situation is so sensitive and confrontational that Court maybe the only step to resolving matters. This means you need to consider what you feel you need in a legal representative and ensure your search is focused on those prerequisites.
- Costs in divorce proceedings and family breakdown are naturally also a concern for those who require legal advice. Consider costs with the solicitor you choose up front and ask them to set out a best and worst case scenario. Consider how you will fund those costs either with your own funds, help from family or a legal loan. The family team at IBB work closely with several leading companies who can support parties’ costs through this time until an agreement has been reached or a final Order has been made.
With the right solicitor you will be able to move forward and hopefully achieve a situation that will enable you to move on with your life. If you would like to discuss any issue relating to a family or relationship breakdown then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team at IBB Law.
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