Many members of the public have this image of lawyers as people who become involved and over complicate matters when things could be so simple. The reality is that when lawyers become involved and provide you with the necessary legal advice, you realise that unfortunately certain aspects of the divorce such as joint property, savings and other assets and their division may not be as simple as you expected they would be.
Following the legal advice you may need to do things differently to achieve the result that you want. Ignoring legal advice and opting for the simple solution may leave you open to financial claims from your soon to be ex spouse in the future in which case this may may turn out more expensive than paying the solicitors to ensure that the divorce and separation is carried out in a structured manner with neither spouse having the ability to make any financial claims against the other in the future.
In any separation, it is a difficult time for both spouses. By consulting solicitors all options and solutions are discussed and we proceed with the most advantageous way forward.
If you decide that you want to employ the services of a solicitor in respect of your family separation, then here are some things which we would advise you discuss with your instructed lawyers:
- What do you want to achieve from the process
- Is the solicitor a recognised expert in the provision of family law advice ie Resolution Accredited, Family Law Panel member.
- What is important to you in terms of the resolution of the matter
- What are your uncertainties and insecurities about the relationship ending
- Any financial concerns that you have following the separation
- The costs involved and how these are to be paid.
- The timescale involved in the matter and any potential foreseeable delays
- Ask for a breakdown of how their charges are calculated
- Agree a level of service with them.
- How often will you receive bills
- How long from receipt of the bill are you expected to pay
- Make a list of questions that you would like to ask
- How long will it to take too reach various stages within the process
- How much experience does the lawyer have in dealing with such cases
- An estimate of how much the matter is likely to cost in total
These are not the only questions but asking the above will ensure that you have sufficient information available to make the decisions required in your separation process.
I always encourage clients to remain focused on the issues that exist and the solutions that we can achieve. Its is also important that you feel that you can work with your solicitor as a team. It is important that you consider their advice very carefully and although it may not be what you want to hear, taking on board the advice can ensure that resolve your case in a cost effective manner.