Divorce Solicitor. Do You Need One?

 "Do I need a divorce solicitor?"

Alongside “How much will divorce cost?” this is one of the most frequent questions I get asked. 

We at Relationship Breakthrough Coach can't tell you what is best for you so we asked a family law specialist, just for you.

This article is kindly contributed by Karen Weiner, Divorce Solicitor & Specialist Family Lawyer

Your Solicitor Is An Expert

The fact is, experienced family lawyers are experts and in the same way that you would see a doctor, dentist, vet or accountant for expert advice you should also see a family lawyer if you are separating or divorcing. Yes it will cost you but even if the separation or divorce is amicable you will want to make sure that your interests are completely protected and also that all court paperwork is in order.  For example, I have had clients who have done a “DIY” divorce. They have got as far as applying for decree nisi only to find that the application is rejected because there is an error in the Petition. This can be costly and time consuming – the Petition may need to be amended and then would have to be re-served on the other party.  Some solicitors will offer a “document checking” service similar to the passport checking service provided by the Post Office which is cheaper than the solicitor acting for you.

Protect Your Interests

Similarly even if you have reached a financial settlement with the other party it is always worth running this by a solicitor to ensure you haven’t missed anything and also getting it drawn up into a proper agreement/order so that it represents a full and final settlement and you are protected.

The perception is often that solicitors increase costs rather than seek to limit them. As with any trade or profession there are some unscrupulous solicitors but most family solicitors will seek to protect your interests in the most cost effective way.

A Good Family or Divorce Solicitor Should:

  1. Listen to you, help you focus on the issues and find out what is important to you
  2. Advise you of all the options available to you in order to achieve the best possible outcome for you
  3. Advise you on the law and legal process throughout
  4. Give you clear costs estimates both at the outset and at regular intervals through the process
  5. Guide you as to which arguments/issues are worth pursuing and which are not
  6. Advise you when it would be best to compromise

If your divorce solicitor does this then you can make an informed decision at each stage as to what you want to do and the likely outcome and act accordingly.

Limit The Costs Of Divorce Advice

Of course there will always be situations when it is difficult to limit the costs for example if the other party is difficult and unreasonable or won’t engage in the process. However you can yourself help to limit the costs. Remember:

-        You are relying on your solicitor for legal advice and guidance. Do not use your solicitor as an emotional crutch. That is what coaches, counsellors and friends are for

-        Listen to your solicitor's advice and don’t ask them to push arguments or issues that are unreasonable

-        All emails/telephone calls are usually chargeable even if they are routine so limit your contact with your solicitor if necessary

-        Try and focus on the bigger issues and not the small ones

Remember, it is your divorce not your solicitors!

Specialist Divorce and Family Lawyer:

Karen Weiner is a specialist divorce and family lawyer with The Law House. With over 20 years experience Karen advises on a wide range of family law issues. Karen is a Resolution accredited specialist in the areas of complex financial and property matters and private children law issues.

You can contact Karen on 01923 521003 or kjweiner@thelawhouse.com


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