Considerations when seeking a family lawyer
The first thing to remember is that this will be one of the most challenging times of your life. Your emotions will be in a state of flux, even if your relationship breakdown has been amicable. You may have children whose welfare and resilience to get through your split has become almost all you think about. On top of this you may also have financial worries resulting from the breakup.
Adding in to this mix the need to find the right lawyer to guide you through the process is possibly just one headache too many. However, this ought to be the issue you spend the least time on with our simple pointers.
When your lawyer is a Resolution member, this means that he/she has committed to resolving the legal issues emanating from a relationship breakdown as sensibly and amicably as possible. Resolution members aim to ensure that everything is done in a way that minimises conflict and keeps the children as the main focus. Our family team are all Resolution members and are all committed to the Code of Practice.
The area of family law is broad and diverse. A lawyer that specialises in family law is really a necessity when dealing with a relationship breakdown and all that emanates from that breakdown. A family law specialist is also experienced in dealing with clients whose emotions may be running high, who may be struggling to grasp perspective in the midst of their grief, or who may simply be incredibly sad. A seasoned family lawyer will recognise these emotions and will act and advise appropriately.
This may appear to be a minor consideration in current times, with the availability of video conferencing, email, and other means of communication. However, our family lawyers find that whilst all other means of communication are useful, there is sometimes no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. When meeting in person you are able to get a good grasp on your lawyer and how they communicate. The offices of Hine Downing are located in the centre of Falmouth and are now the only law firm with a family department remaining in the centre of town. The town is important to the firm which sponsors a variety of sporting clubs (sailing, football, rugby) and local events. A firm with good and strong links to the community is a firm that cares about their community. This will usually be reflected in the ethos of the firm towards their clients.
It is sensible to pick a family lawyer that works in a firm with lawyers offering services in other areas you are likely to need. You will be advised to make a will on your divorce, for example. You may need the assistance of conveyancing solicitors to sell the family home or buy a new one. You may need advice regarding the family business. When your family lawyer has easy access to these other specialist lawyers you find that your matter is dealt with in a seamless manner which reduces your burden. Equally, your specialist family lawyer ought to have good professional contacts such as barristers, accountants, surveyors, actuaries, divorce counsellors and mediators.
Here, at Hine Downing, we offer a free 30 minute appointment for all family law matters with a member of our experienced team. This will allow you to assess the above points and then, we think, feel safe in your decision to instruct us to help you at this time.
– Head of Family team, Kerys Deavin