How to pick the right family lawyer for you

Choosing a family lawyer is very much a personal choice. There are many many of us, all of whom have different academic backgrounds, legal training and levels of experience. The journey to resolving family conflict is different for everyone and can be smoother for some and fraught with difficulties for others. Having the right family lawyer by your side has immeasurable benefits for you and your case.

Here are our top tips for selecting the right person for you:

1.  Choose a Resolution member
Not all family lawyers are members of Resolution. As members of Resolution, Nicki and I subscribe to a code of conduct that puts the needs of any children first and focuses on constructive and non-confrontational resolution of the issues between you. Whilst this is always a two-way street, a Resolution member should always have this at the forefront of their practice.

2. Have a chat over a cuppa
Have an initial meeting. Talk through your case, your concerns and what you want to achieve. Most family lawyers offer a short free initial meeting or one at a fixed fee so you can meet face to face, either in person or virtually. This can be key to establishing a connection with someone who is going to be discussing very personal aspects of your life with you. You need to feel comfortable and have trust in that person.

3.  Are they experienced in the issues you are dealing with?
Experience is key. It is important you feel your family lawyer is equipped with the right skills and experience to provide appropriate and focussed advice to assist you in making decisions and resolving the issues between you and your partner/spouse. That can come in many forms – years of experience, accreditations, cases dealt with.

Nicki and I have a wealth of experience gained over many years over a broad spectrum of cases including high conflict children and financial proceedings. We have also worked together for many years and bring a combined skill set that gives you confidence that we will be providing up to date, clear and focused advice, specific to your circumstances.

4. How do they propose to deal with your case?
By the end of your initial meeting, you should have an understanding of:
⁃ the process and procedures you will need to go through
⁃ the main legal issues in your case including any particularly complex aspects
⁃ a broad overview of potential outcomes
⁃ a plan of how these could be resolved including the use of alternative dispute resolution (further details of which can be found here)

It is not possible to cover every aspect in an initial meeting or be able to predict the exact timescales and outcomes. This is dependent on other factors, such as when the process starts, information gathering and disclosure being provided by both you as to your assets and liabilities when necessary. It also depends on any specific complexities, whether there will be cooperation from your ex or their legal representative and other specific issues which may have an impact on your case. However, a family lawyer should be in a position to give general guidance on these matters at this stage and make recommendations for an initial way forward

The above is the commitment we make for our first meetings with clients, to give you the information and confidence to plan your next steps.

5. It’s not all ‘location location location’
It is not necessary to pick the closest lawyer to where you live, we have many clients who are not geographically close to our offices, including those who live abroad. You will want to find out how your proposed lawyer will communicate with you.

We do not conduct first meetings on the telephone, we like to meet you and for you to meet us so this will be either face to face or virtually. However, if you instruct us to move forward, we will manage your case through face to face meetings, virtual meetings, telephone and email as appropriate to issues being dealt with and your preferences.

You can find out how to make contact and arrange a first meeting here.

By Emma


If you would like to speak to our team about your circumstances, please fill in your details and we will get back to you.