Why Do We Have Lawyers?


With the rise in litigants in person trundling through family courts, it has led people to question why they need lawyers. Attempts are being made to conduct divorces, child arrangements and domestic violence issues by the individuals themselves and not their solicitors. But, what effect is this having on the system and the quality of the end outcome?

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People understand justice, in all its forms. When you go to a court, you expect the best outcome for your situation. To get justice, you have to present the best case possible to the judge making the decision; this is a practice that's been going on for thousands of years. But how do you do this when you don’t know the rules of the court? In most cases, litigants in person are not prepared to spot the best deal and often feel pushed to compromise on issues that a solicitor would not. These two areas are developed purely through experience.

Going to court isn't always the best option for you and it's not the only use for a solicitor. At the moment, people are using the courts to argue rather than to resolve the issue and this is where it becomes time consuming and expensive. For those that want to save money and take a less stressful approach, mediation can be the answer. Unlike most divorce cases, legal aid is available for mediation making it an attractive option.

Is Mediation the Key?

For some, being in the same room as your ex-partner after a break up can often be too raw and confrontational. There are many emotions involved, and unlike suing someone for personal injury compensation, the decisions made will affect you and your children for the foreseeable future.

You can be referred to a mediator by your solicitor, or you can contact them directly. They will first speak to both parties individually to consider if they are suitable for mediation. Then they will bring you together to work on whatever issues are stopping you from making an amicable agreement. When you're at a stage where you're both happy with the agreement after taking legal advice, it can be made into a legally binding document. In divorce cases for example, where there may be money or assets involved, legally binding arbitration is the way forward. You can appoint your own solicitor to guide you through the process and give you legal advice along the way.

But Aren’t Solicitors Are Expensive?

The courts are bogged down with spouses arguing and having little legal knowledge to put their case forward. Often people are pushed to represent themselves because they can’t afford legal help.

Bob McAra, Family Law Partner at Simpson Millar LLP commented: "What would you pay to get rid of the sleepless nights? Essentially, you want the best resolution to the problem and often the only way to do this is with a lawyer. In my experience, many of my clients will borrow from their friends and family or get a litigation loan from us to cover the cost. In the long run, you're getting value for money if you get a solicitor. Not only are you getting our time and years of experience, we can be a shoulder to cry on and a sympathetic ear while your case is ongoing".

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