Family law is a fast paced area of law, interpreted by courts and judges, using the ‘social views’ of the day. What that means in practice is that your mate down the pub/gym/club who went through a divorce 5 years ago would have a different experience of divorce/separation to you, doing it now. Everyone seems to have a view about divorce/separation/finances – not all of it very helpful or flattering. Some of the ‘war stories’ told can, quite unintentionally, give a very wrong impression of what is likely to happen. We are also dealing with people, all of whom have a slightly different interpretation, understanding and memory of what was said and what happened when.
This is why you will be urged by solicitors for your spouse or partner to get some legal advice. Getting legal advice is, basically, speaking to a solicitor. It is having a discussion with a specialist in the right legal area of law about your situation. One important point about family law is that your particular situation and circumstances play a big part in the advice you will receive – and everyone’s situation is slightly different. If you want advice that is relevant to you, the best option is to speak to a solicitor. They will be able to advise on what is (and is not) a key issue for you to think about.
What happens? Well, the solicitor will do as little or as much as you want them to. Despite what people think, the solicitor is not there to ‘take over’ and they do not go off on jollies of their own, making applications and so on without consulting you. I like to work in partnership with my clients, making sure they are with me every step of the way. If they just want an initial interview and then want to go and have a think about it, that’s fine. If they decide that they want to me to do a piece of work, that’s fine too and if I can, I will fix a fee for it. If the person decides they want me to take over the running of their case, I do that but they make the decisions (with guidance) and they know what is going on throughout.
Getting legal advice really is very easy. It is confidential and you are under no obligation to do anything once you have had the advice but at the very least, you will have more understanding of your situation. That’s got to put your mind at rest.