Harrogate Family Law
Andrew Meehan from Harrogate Family Law

What to look for in a divorce lawyer – and what to watch out for

16 January 2017

Featured item by Andrew Meehan of Harrogate Family Law.

It’s hard to know where to start when you’re looking for a solicitor to handle your divorce, particularly if you don’t know anyone who can give you a personal recommendation locally.

Most family law firms will offer a free half hour consultation which will allow you to meet two or three and make comparisons. Half an hour isn’t a lot of time and it may be worth considering paying for an extra half hour so that you can discuss your personal situation in more depth and gain a better understanding of your options.

If you’re looking for a solicitor to handle your divorce here are three key things to look for:

  1. Is this someone you feel you can trust and feel comfortable with? You will be sharing some very personal information and need to feel able to tell your solicitor absolutely everything without being judged. At Harrogate Family Law we go to a lot of trouble to put people at ease because we need them to tell us everything so we can do the best job for them.
  2. Do they seem to know their stuff? A good solicitor will ask some searching questions during that first meeting in an attempt to flag up potential issues which, if not dealt with, could cause problems further down the line. Every lawyer at HFL is highly experienced in spotting common pitfalls and this will ultimately save you time, money and stress.
  3. Can they offer you the type of service you want? A good family lawyer will match their service to your needs. If you are facing a complex divorce involving assets that need expert investigation and valuation, look for a family lawyer who is recognised for this kind of expertise. I am able to reassure my clients that I am accredited by Resolution for complex and high net worth cases and emergency injunctions in financial and property matters. If you are keen to divorce without confrontation your solicitor should be happy to help you negotiate a fair settlement amicably. Harrogate Family Law prides itself on the fact that its partners are collaboratively trained and we are committed to keeping cases out of court wherever possible.

What to watch out for:

Are they over-promising? Some family solicitors will tell you what you want to hear just to get you on their books. A good family solicitor will be honest and give you a realistic view of the journey ahead.
Do you have their full attention?
A good family solicitor will give you their full attention throughout the meeting, won’t allow interruptions and will give you privacy to put you at ease.
Are they discreet? A good family lawyer will never share information about past cases or criticise other family law professionals.


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