Divorce is, by nature, unpleasant. It is natural that emotions will be running high throughout, and communication with your soon-to-be-former partner will not be desirable. This in mind, it is useful to know what to expect from your family law solicitor and the process itself. The main expectation is that they will work skilfully, efficiently and compassionately with you throughout, but what does that mean?
Given the wide range of things that need to be discussed during divorce proceedings, your solicitor should be willing to represent you fairly and effectively across the board. Skilful representation implies more than just a knowledge of the law; your solicitor should also be able to confidently negotiate and argue your case, and have the experience to back this up. Of course a knowledge of the law is required too, otherwise they may miss points and cause a settlement biased out of your favour to be reached.
Time is an important factor in divorce; it’s most likely that you’ll want to end any contact with your partner as soon as possible. Some solicitors forget this concern, and often charge on a timed basis as well, so it’s good to get a case resolved as quickly as possible. Chatting to your solicitor about their intended turnaround speed for the case can be a good indicator of how efficient they intend to be.
Compassion from solicitors is important in divorce proceedings more than any other part of the law. The people involved are coming to the end of one era of their life, and are about to embark on another. This sort of transition is emotionally difficult, and those involved may not be in the best place. Financial resolution, child custody concerns, and other issues to be discussed in the divorce proceedings, are unlikely to contribute to their personal well-being, so a compassionate solicitor who is interested in the emotional state of their client is of high importance.
So, a solicitor is more than just a representative in a courtroom. They are a person to guide you through the process, while considering your state of mind and best interests throughout.