There are lots of Solicitors who undertake Family Law work. How do you choose who’ll be right for you? You need to know how they’ll work and what they’ll charge. You will need to really know what their style is, and their capacity to create a relationship to you? What’s their legal knowledge? Perhaps most importantly, what’s their capacity to solve your dispute?

Questions to ask

1. When does they qualify as a solicitors North East? A person who is recently trained could do a better job than someone who has been doing for 30 years, but generally experience should bring an improved sense of how to steer that you an effective results by the best road. What you would like to learn is; are they experienced in resolving problems like yours? Are they actually experienced?

2. Who’ll do the task? You have a great Solicitor, but will they delegate all the task to a trainee or even to somebody who is junior or with no qualifications? Who’ll be your primary contact? You might have (theoretically) a great Solicitor, but do you want to ever be able to get your hands on them? (This is not to state work can’t be delegated. You need to understand how your circumstance will be taken care of)

3. When performed they specialise in Family Regulation? An identical but subtly different question to no 1. Sometimes a breadth of experience can be helpful, other times you can pass on yourself too thinly. Family Legislations is different then other styles of litigation. If it were, there could have been no dependence on the founding of the Solicitors Family Rules Association (now Image resolution)(see #4 4)

4. Are they an associate of Quality? Why would anyone not want to commit themselves to Resolution’s Code of Practice? (http://www.resolution.org.uk) which ask users to; Conduct matters in a constructive and non-confrontational way; Avoid use of inflammatory dialect both written and spoken; Retain professional objectivity and admiration for everyone engaged; Encourage clients to place the needs of the kids first; Look at the long term consequences of actions and marketing communications as well as the short-term implications; Emphasise to clients the value of being open and honest in every dealings; Make clients aware of the benefits associated with behaving in a civilised way; Make sure that account is given to balancing the benefits associated with any steps resistant to the likely costs – financial or psychological; Keep financial and children issues split; Inform clients of the options e.g. counselling, family remedy, round table discussions, mediation, collaborative law and courtroom proceedings; Abide by the Resolution Tutorials to Good Practice. Labels of all associates can be found on the Quality Website

5. Are they certified? (If so, by whom, and with what specialities? When does they gain accreditation?) Image resolution and the Law Population both run accreditation techniques which require experience and demonstrable skill and knowledge. Why instruct somebody who is not licensed?

6. Are they a Collaborative Lawyer? This is an out of courtroom process to resolve divorce related issues. Training will not bring an accreditation; however it demonstrates an openness and determination to progressive practice.

7. Are they a Mediator? Mediation is an alternative process to legal representation. However any Solicitor-Mediator will let you know that they think that they are an improved Solicitor because they’re a Mediator and vice versa. What this means is they are more likely to identify if your circumstance is well suited for mediation, and send that you a good mediator, and equip you to make the most from the mediation process.

8. Are they reputed on a national level? There are many countrywide committees/subcommittees (E.g. the Law Society Family Rules Committee, Image resolution, Family Mediators Association) which promote best practice and Regulation reform. That someone is happy to volunteer to are likely involved, says something of these commitment to progressive values. Other instances could include writing books etc.

9. Are they respected locally? Do they participate in local committees, e.g., the neighborhood Image resolution Region or the neighborhood Law Population branch? They could have been elected by their peers to a post? Would local Solicitors recommend them?

10. What’s the ethos of the Company? (Huh?!) Said one other way; do they see themselves as a big commercial lawyer, where the family legislations team scarcely gets a point out on the website? Is there a billing, billing, billing, culture? Are they going to fee for photocopies? Or are they a distinct segment practice, where they only do family work? Will the organization encourage involvement in Image resolution etc., Can you sense the Solicitor is happy at the job? (If indeed they leave, do you want to follow them, or have your circumstance transferred to another person?)(disruption, stress and cost)

11. Do they provide the cheapest quotation? How can anyone really know what the ultimate costs will be? Beware of a tendency to price low and unrealistic to be able to gain work (The survey of the Legal Ombudsman from February 2013 “The price of separation: Divorce related legal complaints and their triggers” is an excellent read) . If you’re comparing price, look instead for the Solicitors hourly charging rate; £250 p/h or £ 150 p/h? This goes back to who’s actually heading to do the task?

12. What exactly are you heading to do? Your Solicitor can provide you tons of advice and recommend you enter a Collaborative Legislations process, however by the end of the day it is the client who provides instructions. In the event that you don’t follow advice, be obstructive, cover money, mess your partner around, be on the telephone or email to your Solicitor all the time; you will wrap up with a far more stressful, expensive and much longer process!

13. So how exactly does the Solicitor propose to resolve your case? Going to trial should be the previous resort. It really is expensive and uncertain, albeit sometimes there is really no solution. Their starting place should be to be looking at how to help you achieve an authentic negotiated way to the problem.

Having chosen the best Solicitor for you, follow their advice! And become open and genuine and respectful in your dealings with them and your partner.