It is the time of year to start afresh and consider all matters in a proactive and constructive manner. Your approach to family relationships can also be re-looked at in a non confrontational way in order to reach workable and positive outcomes for all concerned.
As January is typically a time when people consider taking the next step and instructing a solicitor to commence family related or litigation proceedings we thought it would be useful to set out ten things to consider before instructing a family solicitor:-
- Discuss matters going forwards with your partner in a calm and proactive manner taking into consideration the best interests of any children
- Consider the possibility of attending mediation and research mediation providers nearby, including cost and any feedback
- Consider what you, the children and your partner each need financially to start afresh and on an ongoing basis once you have separated
- Discuss and consider where the children will live, have overnight stays, how much they will see each parent and extended family and what will be best for them on an ongoing basis
- Consider obtaining legal advice and research which solicitor and firm is best suited to advise on your personal circumstances and whether they offer an introductory meeting or initial fixed fee so that you can obtain initial advice and see whether you can work with that advisor. If necessary obtain a referral through a respected organisation such as Surrey Law Centre or the Law Society.
- Research whether the potential adviser is a member of Resolution and is registered with the Law Society and any professional organisations
- Look at useful websites in order to find out more information, including https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/; https://gov.uk/; http://www.resolution.org.uk/; https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk; nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
- Progress matters at a pace which provides time to come to clear sound decisions and ask your solicitor if you do not understand or need more explanation. It is a time of adjustments and great emotional and practical change which will impact on all concerned for many years to come.
- If there is any risk of domestic violence or harm to yourself or a family member, in particular any children contact the Police, your Solicitor and or the National Domestic Helpline without delay and remove everyone from the risk of danger.
- Consider your health and the health of all concerned, particularly any children, including mental wellbeing. Children in particular may not voice how they feel and separation and divorce is a time of change and upheaval. If necessary contact your family GP and obtain a referral for counselling and or relevant support.
Should you have any queries which are not addressed by contacting or researching the above organisations and websites or you seek legal advice please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to assist further. Meadows Ryan Solicitors in Weybridge offer an initial half an hour fixed fee for £75 plus VAT www.meadowsryan.co.uk.
Lynn joined Meadows Ryan in April 2015, having worked for Solicitors Firms in Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex and Hertfordshire since she qualified in 1998. She qualified at Sussex and Southampton Universities and the College of Law, Guildford.
She has extensive experience in both Litigation and Family matters. Her Litigation practice comprises all areas of Civil Litigation and personal disputes, including Property matters, Contentious Probate, Employment, Personal Injury, Contractual Disputes and Debt matters. Lynn deals with these matters in a firm, timely and constructive manner to achieve the best possible outcome for her Clients.
Lynn`s Family practice consists of children matters including those with International elements – such as International Abduction and Financial matters for married and cohabiting partners.
She has been a member of Resolution for many years, as well as a member of Reunite . She approaches Family matters in a constructive and conciliatory fashion and has been a Solicitor member of both Cove and Hemel Hempstead Contact Centres and the North Hampshire Domestic Abuse forum.
Lynn advises at the Walton Surrey Law Centre clinics and supports the firm with their many charity activities.
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