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The practical and legal aspects of formally ending a relationship or dealing with any other family law issue can be complex, confusing and time-consuming, especially when you are attempting to handle them concurrently with managing your emotions, and those of others who may be impacted. There is no obligation or requirement for those navigating family issues through the UK courts to be represented by a legal professional, and people do choose to act for themselves – as a litigant in person – supported by organisations who can offer guidance, and publications that can help gain an understanding of the procedural aspects of a case.
Gaining a thorough grasp of the legal process, including the likely timescales for resolution, early in the process is crucial to help reduce anxiety and uncertainty during the legal process. Choosing a lawyer to act for you in relation to your family issue is an extremely personal choice, and those seeking legal representation are likely to consider a number of factors – such as location, reputation, and area of expertise – before seeking to formally instruct.
Many family matters can take numerous months, if not longer, to resolve and you are likely to have significant contact with your lawyer for the duration of your case. Choosing to work with a legal professional who is supportive, patient and compassionate can give you the opportunity to make decisions that will result in the most beneficial legal outcome for you without being clouded by emotion.
A solicitor who adopts a constructive person-centred approach to handling relationship breakdown can also help you to minimise acrimony as a result of the negotiations pertaining to the division of your finances and arrangements for any children of the relationship. Seeking a free initial consultation is a good way of gaining a sense as to whether you would feel comfortable working with a particular professional for the duration of your case. You may also wish to check whether a lawyer is a member of Resolution – a family law association whose members commit to a non-confrontational approach to resolving family issues – at https://resolution.org.uk/find-a-law-professional/.
Lawyers are regulated individuals, meaning that they have certain responsibilities and obligations, and must adhere to these and regulatory rules at all times. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulates practising solicitors in England and Wales, whilst the regulatory body for Chartered Legal Executives is the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). You can check whether a solicitor or firm is regulated by the SRA at https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/register/ and whether someone is a practising Chartered Legal Executive at https://crlportal.cilexgroup.org.uk/CRL-Directory.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles