All you need to know about Family Law Solicitors

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Chris Fairhurst Profile Picture
Chris Fairhurst

Partner, Family Law and Divorce Solicitor

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Family law is never straightforward. Walking into a courtroom without a solid understanding of family law can leave you at a disadvantage, particularly if the other party is represented by a reputable family law solicitor. It's also possible that your divorcing partner may have a family law barrister, a trained legal advocate, presenting their case in court.

In addition to their role in helping resolve child-related matters during divorce proceedings, family law solicitors prove to be vital in another crucial aspect of separation: addressing financial issues and ensuring that there is complete transparency and a fair distribution of shared assets. This becomes especially crucial in high-net-worth cases, with significant sums of money and valuable assets.

In some jurisdictions, family law solicitors are equipped to provide mediation services. Mediation is an approach that encourages parties to reach agreements cooperatively, reducing the emotional toll of disputes. As compassionate legal experts, family law solicitors combine their legal expertise with an understanding of the complex dynamics and emotions that characterise family-related issues, making them an essential resource for those facing such challenges.

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What are some of the areas of law that Family Law Solicitors deal with?

Family Law Solicitors deal with a range of matters related to families, including all the matters mentioned below:

  • Divorce: Guiding clients through the legal process of ending a marriage.
  • Child Care: Assisting in establishing care arrangements that prioritise the best interests of the child.
  • Adoption: Facilitating legal procedures for adopting a child.
  • Prenuptial Agreements: Offering advice on financial protections before marriage.
  • Domestic Violence Cases: Advocating for victims and providing legal protection.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: Ensuring legal recognition and protection of the rights and responsibilities in such marriages.
  • Financial Planning: Providing expert advice on managing financial matters related to the family.
  • Estate Planning: Helping individuals make decisions about their family assets and legacies.
  • Family Mediation: Assisting in reaching amicable solutions to family disputes.
  • Legal Rights Protection: Ensuring that clients' rights are upheld in various family-related legal matters.

Consulting with a family law solicitor is essential when facing any of these family-related challenges, as they offer expert guidance through the legal intricacies while prioritising the well-being and rights of their clients.

 

 

Do I Need a Solicitor to Go to Family Court?

You don’t need a Family Law Solicitor to go to the Family Court about your child but it’s always best to get legal advice and support if you can, especially if your case is complicated. There is no substitute for expert legal advice and getting a Family Solicitor to represent you in Family Court will always put you in a better position than going into Court alone.

Family Court proceedings can quickly become complicated. And if your ex has a Family Solicitor in Court and you don’t, you might worry that it could put you at a disadvantage. But don’t panic. One of our Family Solicitors can work with you to try and diffuse tension between you and your child’s other parent to sort things out avoid going to Court.

All our qualified Family Lawyers are members of Resolution, a national organisation of Family Lawyers committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.

Some of our Lawyers are also accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and for Children Law. We can handle your whole case and represent you in Family Court, or just advise you where you need it.

 

How a Family Law Solicitor Can Help You

Our Family Law Solicitors can work with you to avoid the cost and stress of going to Court, but will also represent you if you need Court intervention to reach the best outcome for your family. When there are children involved, we will always put the children’s best interests at the heart of everything we do.

A Family Solicitor can help you to:

  • Get the support you need to sort matters out
  • Gather evidence to support your case
  • Negotiate a settlement or Child Court Orders
  • Represent you in Court
  • Handle all the paperwork
  • Provide legal advice on your specific issue
  • Work to decrease confrontation with your ex

We can help you as little or as much as you need. Getting a Family Law Solicitor will save you a lot of time and effort in trying to understand the legal processes involved in going to Court, and you’ll have peace of mind that all the paperwork will be filled in correctly.

 

 

How Much Does a Family Solicitor Cost?

Our Family Solicitors and Lawyers charge an hourly rate depending on the experience of the person handling your case. Once we know the details of your case, and how much work is required, we can provide you with a written quote, and we will always be open about our fees.

We’ll work with you to try and reach an agreement before taking the case to Court, as going to Court can be draining both financially and emotionally.

We can help diffuse conflict between you and your ex so that you may be able to come to an agreement through negotiation or Mediation. And if you reach an agreement before going to Court, it will save you the costs of applying for a Court Order.

Speak to our Child Law Solicitors to discuss your funding options.

 

Representing Yourself in Court without a Family Law Solicitor

In family court, you have the option to handle your own case without a family law solicitor, and it's not mandatory to consult with one before going to court. If you do choose to represent yourself, you're considered a "litigant in person," and you might even be eligible for financial assistance to help cover your expenses.

The number of people representing themselves in court has increased in recent years, mainly due to reductions in legal aid, according to the parliamentary Justice Committee. However, it has voiced concerns that some individuals representing themselves may struggle to present their case effectively because they lack legal knowledge and familiarity with court procedures. This can put them at a disadvantage and affect the outcome they hoped for.

Some people choose self-representation during divorce not because of financial constraints, but because they believe they can communicate directly with the judge and express their point of view more effectively. If you're considering this route, it's crucial to be aware of proper court behaviour.

To navigate family court successfully, it's essential to control your emotions, remain patient, and stay composed, even when the other party or their solicitor says things that may be frustrating. When addressing the court and the judge, speak slowly, clearly, and avoid interrupting others. You'll have your turn to speak.

You can have a support person, known as a McKenzie friend, with you in court. They can assist you with your case, take notes, and provide advice, although they typically aren't legal professionals. However, they cannot speak in court, disrupt proceedings, or sign legal documents on your behalf. To have a McKenzie friend with you, you'll need the judge's permission at the start of the proceedings.

 

Speak to a Family Law Solicitor at Simpson Millar

Our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors are here to provide practical legal advice and support.

When children are involved in legal proceedings it can be a very stressful and upsetting time for your family, so we will always handle your case sensitively. We’ll be open and honest with you about your case so that we can work to resolve any issues without causing your children any further distress.

We understand that family issues can be very delicate, whether it's a divorce, a child dispute, or arranging surrogacy. We aim to reduce conflict, help you understand your legal position clearly, and take strong legal steps when necessary.

Our main goal is to achieve the best outcome for you and your children. We can customize our service to fit your specific situation, and our Family Solicitors will always communicate with you in simple language without using legal jargon.

We have a strong national reputation in Family Law, being Law Society Accredited. All our team members are part of Resolution, a national organization of Family Law Lawyers dedicated to resolving family issues without confrontation.

Our legal experts work on fixed fees or hourly rates, and we'll explain your costs and payment options upfront so that you know exactly where you stand.

 

 

When children are involved in legal proceedings it can be a very stressful and upsetting time for your family, so we will always handle your case sensitively. We’ll be open and honest with you about your case so that we can work to resolve any issues without causing your children any further distress.

 

Key Takeaways about Family Law Solicitors

Key Takeaways:

Family law cases can be complicated, and having a family law solicitor can be very helpful, especially if the other party is represented.

Family law solicitors deal with various family-related matters, including divorce, child care, adoption, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence cases, same-sex marriage, financial planning, estate planning, family mediation, and legal rights protection.

Consulting with a family law solicitor is crucial when facing family-related challenges, as they offer expert guidance while prioritizing the well-being and rights of their clients.

While it's not mandatory to have a family law solicitor to go to family court, it's often recommended, as having legal representation can put you in a better position and ensure your rights are protected.

Family law solicitors can help in various ways, including providing legal advice, gathering evidence, negotiating settlements or court orders, representing you in court, handling paperwork, and working to decrease confrontation with your ex.

The cost of a family solicitor varies depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of the solicitor. However, they can work with you to try to reach an agreement before going to court to minimise costs.

Representing yourself in court without a family law solicitor is an option, but it's important to be aware of the potential challenges, such as lack of legal knowledge and familiarity with court procedures, which could affect the outcome of your case.

Family law solicitors, like those at Simpson Millar, aim to provide practical legal advice and support, handle cases sensitively, reduce conflict, and achieve the best outcome for you and your children. They communicate in simple language without legal jargon and offer transparent pricing and payment options.

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Chris Fairhurst Profile Picture

Chris Fairhurst

Partner, Family Law and Divorce Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Family Law

Chris is a Partner and Family Law Solicitor based in Northwest England, with more than 25 years’ experience in this area of law.

His areas of expertise include, but not limited to, dealing with complex financial arrangements in separation and divorce and relationship breakdowns for clients in England, Wales and living overseas often involving high value cases including multiple assets often involving pension funds of several million pounds.

References

GOV.UK (n.d.). Going to court - Get help with child arrangements. [online] helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk. Available at: https://helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk/going-to-court.

Legislation.gov.uk. (1989). Children Act 1989. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents

Citizens Advice Redbridge. (n.d.). https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/redbridge/

Family Rights Group. (n.d.). https://www.frg.org.uk/

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