When going through drawn out and emotionally draining legal proceedings it is vital that your legal representation understands your needs and wishes.It’s helpful to consider some basic questions about the kind of divorce services you are looking for and the degree of involvement you want in the process.
Consider how much you want to be involved in the process. Do you want to be pouring over the legalese or would you prefer to leave all that to lawyer. How in control do you want to be? A really experienced lawyer will obviously cost more; would you be happy employing the services of someone less experienced but cheaper? Think carefully about the demands of your budget – if you are on a shoestring you may qualify for legal aid.
Consider whether factors like the gender or the cultural background/ understanding of the lawyer are important to you. A comfortable working relationship is vital, particularly if you require legal counsel for a lengthy amount of time. A typical divorce proceeding can last from anywhere between five and eight months.
In terms of their professional background, you will want a lawyer experienced in the appropriate field. In the U.K this means someone who specialises in family law or matrimonial law. Although you may want your legal matter settled outside of court, and in many case this is the most likely outcome, there is always the possibility that the courts will have to be involved. Make sure your lawyer has some experience in the courtroom.Accreditations to look for include Resolution, formerly known as the Solicitors Family Law Association.Finally, it is crucial to avoid conflicts of interests, though a good lawyer should always state these – this simply means ensuring representation hasn’t acted on behalf of the concerned parties before.
What About The Law Firm?
There are some basic niceties to expect from a law firm, or really any service you engage professionally. Prompt responses to enquiries and clearly outlined costs and procedures are good indicators. If they struggle to return calls at promised times, then it may be time to look elsewhere. Assess your comfort level when you go to the firm’s offices – how do they greet you or deal with others who may be waiting? Don’t rush the decision to engage legal counsel.
Dealing With A Lawyer
It may be tempting to unload a wealth of personal detail to your lawyer, particularly in the case of marital disputes. While your lawyer should always be sympathetic and compassionate to your case, you are paying by the hour and time not spent discussing legal matters will add up to extra costs. If you are struggling emotionally, it may be a sign that you lack important sources of support.
Your lawyer should always maintain a degree of detachment, giving you balanced advice which doesn’t involve personal attacks directed towards the other party.