Making a bad decision could be detrimental to both your legal case as well as you personally (and perhaps financially). Divorce Consultant Rhiannon Ford gives The Group Hug community the low-down on what NOT to do when your are choosing your divorce solicitor.
Your solicitor is a vital member of your support team and you need to feel confident and comfortable with them and how they are handling your case. It is possible to change solicitors if you realise you have not made the right decision but don’t rush to do so until you’ve worked out whether they are in fact the wrong person (professionally or personally) or whether your experience would be the same elsewhere.
Here are my 7 quick tips on what to avoid when choosing the solicitor for your divorce…
1. A solicitor who doesn’t specialise in family law (divorce)
It is much better to have a solicitor who only does family law rather than a general practitioner. This helps ensure the solicitor has plenty of knowledge and experience in family law cases and they are also more likely to be up to date on changes in the law.
2. The solicitor firm you used for your will or buying your house
… if they do not have a family law specialist solicitor in their firm – just because the solicitor is familiar to you doesn’t mean they are the best person to represent you in your divorce.
3. Someone your friend used for their divorce
Make sure you do your own research on them (and other options) to make sure you would be happy working with them and to establish whether they are suitable for your case.
4. The cheapest solicitor you can find
This is a false economy and could end up costing you more money in the long run if they are not efficient and competent. A cheaper solicitor may be less experienced and therefore could take longer to do things on your case. This could end up costing you more in the long run than a more expensive but experienced solicitor.
5. Choosing the nearest solicitor to where you live
You may not actually meet with your solicitor face to face very much at all so it’s worth choosing somebody who is a good lawyer rather than someone who is conveniently located.
6. Choosing a non resolution member solicitor
I always advise my clients to choose a solicitor who is a member of Resolution. This is because –
“Resolution members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.”
7. Choosing a solicitor who makes you promises at the beginning of your case about what settlement they will get for you.
Nobody can predict 100% what the outcome of your case will be, particularly right at the beginning of a case, when financial disclosure has not even taken place.
Written by Divorce Consultant Rhiannon Ford who features in The Hug Directory