23rd Jun 2020

What makes a good divorce lawyer, the best divorce lawyer?

What makes a good divorce lawyer, the best divorce lawyer for you? Read the top tips from Family Law in Partnership.

Choosing a lawyer to assist you with any aspect of your life can be a daunting process. For many, the cost is a key and often primary consideration. But once you have established your financial parameters, other factors then come into play.

Those living in London, the so called ‘Divorce Capital of the World’, can have their pick but narrowing down your options is no mean feat. Top divorce lawyers are certainly not confined to the capital. The most important thing is to find the right fit; someone you can trust, feel comfortable talking to and who has your interests at heart.

What makes the best divorce lawyer?

Instructing a solicitor vs going it alone:

Finding a family lawyer is just the first step in the process. Guidance and support is what will get you through the rest of the process. Your legal support may also be complemented by the assistance of a family therapist or counsellor. Both these services can also provide you with the ‘tools’ you need to rebuild your life once the process is over – for example, tips and guidance on co-parenting going forward.

Some cases may be so straightforward that they can progress without the need for legal representation. In certain situations, however, not instructing a lawyer to manage the process can sometimes prove to be a false economy. What you save on legal fees, you may lose in negotiating a potentially unfavourable settlement or litigating your own case simply through lack of knowledge of the law and your rights. Whether the consequences are felt in the short or long term, it could leave you with a feeling of regret. At worse, there may be financial hardship suffered as a result. Where there are children concerned, a bad outcome might be a dysfunctional or damaged relationship with your former partner.

Resolving a dispute with the assistance of an experienced family laweyr can, for example, pave the way for successful parenting by setting out what is important to you both, identifying shared values and importantly, how to communicate with each other. Any outcome in a dispute concerning children is often not worth the paper it is written on if it is not workable and where the parenting relationship is not intact.

Even a one-off meeting with a family lawyer at the outset can give you the perspective, the legal advice and understanding of what a ‘good’ outcome might look like. Knowing what a court would consider and what factors are taken into consideration is valuable information which would underpin and justify your case. Going in ‘blind’ can leave you vulnerable and often unprepared for what lies ahead.

Assertive vs aggressive:

For some, the decision about which divorce lawyer to instruct is easy. For others, the choice is more nuanced. The objective is less about cost but more about how negotiations and possible litigation will be handled.

  • You may want an ethical, client-focused, sensible and empathetic lawyer who can help you make well informed, intelligent decisions without compromising on what matters most to you.
  • Finding that lawyer who can help you to choose your battles, someone who can help you establish what is important and focus on the bigger picture becomes the priority.
  • Equally, someone who will fight the fight when need be but not fight for the sake of it.

Perception vs reality:

Those who choose not to instruct a divorce lawyer are almost always doing so (and understandably so) because of the associated costs. But instructing a lawyer who represents your own core beliefs and who negotiates effectively for you is money well spent.

It may seem like an obvious point for a lawyer to make but as professionals, day in day out we see first hand how costs can escalate as a result of unnecessary litigation or long, drawn-out negotiations. Sensible negotiating and intelligent litigation in both divorce cases and children matters can help to contain costs whilst achieving the best possible outcome for the client.

Relying on divorce advisers who aren’t qualified solicitors, may prove problematic. As with any non-legal service, it is important to remember that the ‘adviser’ is unlikely to be covered by any insurance, should things go wrong.  A solicitor’s advice is covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance and the legal service itself is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Employing an unregulated and uninsured service is something not to be taken lightly. A bad result in a divorce process can have long lasting and potentially devastating consequences and this is not a position anyone would wish to find themselves in.

Some services such as the divorce coach can complement the services of a divorce lawyer. They can provide valuable support and guidance which may result from a personal experience of family breakdown or even professional experience, having worked as a family lawyer, for example. They will therefore have a good understanding of the process itself including the legal paperwork and can help you to complete paperwork and explain the relevance of it, at a lower cost than a family lawyer.

Many family lawyers are also members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Members sign up to a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. It is this Code of Practice that underpins how we work both with our clients and with other professionals.  A useful way of illustrating this point can be found in our Divorce Diaries website which gives our clients the opportunity to communicate their experience of the divorce process and instructing a lawyer to others going through the divorce and separation process.

A means to an end?

Remember that the divorce process is just that – a process. Whilst the best divorce lawyer will ultimately help you to achieve an end result, equally important is how you get to that point and your overall experience. As best as you can, you should not be swayed by others’ experiences of divorce as this may taint your own decision-making process.

Divorce is a very personal experience. Every marriage is different and therefore every divorce is different. The same can be said in relation to disputes concerning children – every family, every child and everyone’s particular circumstances are different.

Why choose FLiP?

If you’re looking for a great divorce lawyer, take a moment to think about instructing one of the team at Family Law in Partnership.

At Family Law in Partnership we understand that divorce can be incredibly difficult. We want to help, and we pride ourselves in doing things differently. We have an award winning team of specialist family lawyers, arbitrators, mediators and family consultants. Whether you want someone with you every step of the way, or prefer advice as and when you need it, we can assist.

We have extensive experience of acting for national and international clients from all walks of life. Reaching an agreement on financial matters can be complicated. Our lawyers regularly advise on cases involving financial complexity including those with hidden assets, family companies and trust structures.

We can also help with pre-nups or post-nuptial agreements. And we advise couples who are splitting up after cohabiting or those whose civil partnership has broken down. Our expertise in these areas is second to none.

Sometimes going to court is the only option but there are many other services we offer, such as solicitor-led negotiationcollaborative lawmediation and arbitration.

At the heart of everything that we do is a desire to use our depth and breadth of expertise to provide tailored solutions which deliver the very best outcomes.

What do others say about FLiP?

“I cannot imagine being better looked after anywhere else” Former client.

“FLiP is able to litigate hard and effectively when circumstances call for it, but its focus remains on bringing cases to a swift and amicable conclusion” Legal 500 UK 2020.

“Client service, responsiveness and efficiency all outstanding” Former client.

“An impressive firm….that can manage litigation and conciliation with equal aplomb” Chambers HNW 2020.

“The way the firm is run is exemplary. They are always available and there is a kindness there that goes beyond the actual work” Former client.

Awards and accolades: 

Pioneering, innovative and exceptional, FLiP’s talented team is truly award winning. Recent awards include:

  • Best Law Firms, The Times (2020 & 2019).
  • Tatler HNW Guide 2020.
  • LexisNexis Family Law Awards Partner of the Year 2019 – David Allison.
  • LexisNexis Family Law Awards Young Solicitor of the Year 2019 – Kara Swift.
  • LexisNexis Family Law Awards Partner of the Year 2018 – Gillian Bishop.
  • Top Recommended Spears 500 2020, 2019, 2018 & 2017.
  • Law Society Excellence Awards 2018- Excellence in Learning & Development.

If you’d like to learn more about how our top divorce and family lawyers can help you, please contact us on:

E: hello@flip.co.uk or T: 020 7420 5000.