5 Tips When Choosing a Family Lawyer
As with all important life decisions, choosing a family lawyer is no ‘mean feat’ and research should be conducted with care and diligence. It is not as simple as finding the nearest and cheapest lawyer in your location. One size certainly doesn’t fit all! A family law practice is niche by the very nature that they specialise in providing professional legal advice on a variety of family law issues e.g. divorce, separation, children and injunctions. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration if you want to be sure to secure the right lawyer for you.
Set out below are 5 tips when looking to instruct a family lawyer:
- Family law specialist: If you want a lawyer who specialises specifically in family law matters, why seek legal advice from say a criminal or employment lawyer! Non-family lawyers have an entirely different knowledge base than family lawyers. You should look to instruct a specialist in the area in which you are seeking legal advice to ensure you are being served by someone who has the required training and knowledge to represent you well.
- Recommendations: Ask trusted family members or friends if they know of reputable family lawyers who they would recommend. If you know someone who has recently instructed a family lawyer and had a positive experience speak with them to establish whether that firm/individual would also be able to assist you. A lawyer that comes recommended is likely to provide you with the confidence you require and the expectation that you will receive a high level of service.
- Initial telephone call: Speak with the lawyer prior to arranging an appointment. Any reputable lawyer won’t object to giving you 10 minutes of their time on the phone. An initial discussion should provide you with information to determine whether that lawyer holds the right knowledge and experience you require. It will also give you a feel of whether they are the right fit for you (and vice versa). You should use the opportunity to obtain important information such as their charging rates and how they charge as well as who at the firm is likely to represent you.
- Therapeutic and Mediation services: Consider a family law practice that offer services such as counselling and/or mediation. Going through a separation can be a harrowing and emotionally challenging experience so assistance from a professional therapist/counsellor would provide you with invaluable emotional support throughout your legal process. The benefit of choosing a firm who provides specialist legal advice and therapeutic services are that they can work together as a team to give you a high level of support together with helping you utilise and tap into the correct professional services as and when required. Additionally, mediation offers parties the option of resolving their family issues without court intervention leading to you both maintaining control in a more informal and non-confrontational way.
- Resolution: When choosing a family lawyer you should check whether they are a member of Resolution. Resolution is a professional organisation which promotes the ethos of conciliatory practising between professionals workings in family law. Their members are from a variety of professional backgrounds who join together to uphold the virtues of their professional work with honesty, integrity, and respect without judgement.
There are of course many considerations you should have regard to when looking to instruct a family lawyer. The above provides you with some of the most pertinent. Ultimately, like most things in life you should go with your gut and instinct. We at Family Law in Partnership have a range of services and lawyers of varying experience. We provide a high level of professionalism and expertise and would welcome hearing from you.
Marcia Drummond is an Associate and Chartered Legal Executive (FCILEx) Lawyer. She handles all aspects of private family law and has a broad range of experience across financial, divorce/dissolution and parenting matters.
Choosing a family lawyer can be a difficult decision. At FLiP we are here to help make that first move as comfortable as possible. We have many experienced family lawyers, mediators and arbitrators to assist you in taking those first steps. Profiles of our lawyers can be found here: https://www.flip.co.uk/people/.