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Divorce is a team effort. What is the role of a Family Lawyer.

Divorce is a team effort

Divorce is a team effort

What is the role of a Family Lawyer

During every initial consultation I have with a divorcing client (the same equally applies to civil partners dissolving their civil partnership) I usually talk about building a team of professionals to help assist with the process. This is in part due to the fact that no one person can deal with every aspect of a divorce but it also assists the client in knowing who the best person is to turn to for various issues.

A divorce solicitor is going to be mainly focused on the divorce process itself. This involves untangling a client’s financial position and hopefully reaching mutually agreed terms of settlement with the other spouse/civil partner. As a divorce solicitor, it is my job to advise my client on the best process for them and the best way they can negotiate with their ex-partner. This could be dealing with things out of court directly through solicitors, using a local mediator, arbitrating on specific issues or the whole financial settlement, or by making a court application. Once the process is decided, my work then involves following through that process including getting full financial disclosure, analysing the parties’ current position and providing advice on how the legal framework would be applied to their case.

As a solicitor, one thing I cannot do is stray into providing financial advice as I am neither qualified or regulated to do so. This is where building the divorce team comes into play. At Kerseys Solicitors, our experienced family law solicitors have great working relationships with a number of local independent financial advisors. A financial advisor can, for example, assist a client in preparing their financial disclosure so that information is presented in a clear and understandable manner. An IFA can also advise clients on what their best financial options might be when considering the real-world impact of any proposed settlement. Key financial advice is most definitely needed around the subject of pensions as each pension scheme will have different level of benefits and it is important a client understands how these can be affected post-divorce.

The emotional impact of divorce should never be underestimated. Many clients I see are still trying to process their emotions and how they feel about the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership. Whilst I can lend a sympathetic ear, as a divorce solicitor I do not have the necessary skills or expertise to help a client truly process the emotional roller-coaster they may experience throughout the divorce process. Another member to add to the team is usually a counsellor or divorce coach. This person can help a client to process the end of the relationship and move on through the divorce and beyond in a healthy way.

It is true that the upfront cost to the client of building this team may be higher than just having a divorce solicitor alone, but it can pay huge dividends in focussing minds and leaning on expertise. A well-informed and emotionally stable client is going to make better decisions throughout the process. Those decisions are also likely to be made quicker when compared to someone who is just using a solicitor and not a divorce team. Quicker decision making generally leads to lower fees across the board and once the divorce process has ended, the client still has an on-going relationship with the IFA and counsellor which can help them in other aspects of their life.

If you are experiencing a relationship breakdown and want to know more about how our experienced family law solicitors can help, contact our family law team today and ask about our fixed fee initial consultation process.

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