Qualities to look for in a family lawyer

6 January 2012 | Written by wearefactory

Divorce has taken centre stage in the media spotlight this week at a time which is considered key to the re-evaluation of relationships.

Senior High Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge has launched a campaign to promote marriage and the benefits of couples staying together in order to avoid the detrimental effects of family breakups. Taking a ‘mend it – don’t end it’ stance on relationships, Coleridge is urging couples to try make their relationships work to spare millions of children from being caught up in the family justice system.

At Jones Myers we understand the importance of families staying together; often we involve counsellors and life coaches. However, if all else fails and there’s no future in the relationship we suggest seeking an amicable and practical solution through either collaborative law or mediation. By working with an experienced family lawyer, advising with a non-confrontational approach, couples can deal with problems and also disputes, negotiating their own agreements in an mature and responsible way.  In doing so couples may well avoid some of the emotional pain and anguish – not to mention legal costs so often associated with the breakdown of relationships.

When searching for the family lawyer right for you a good start is to make a checklist of the qualities you should look for. We have highlighted key traits below to help your search.

 The ideal family lawyer should:

  • Have many years’ experience practising family law and be a specialist in this area
  • Have a good reputation – check this out via online reviews or simply asking around
  • Be a member of Resolution (formerly SFLA) a 5,500-strong group of solicitors who practice a non confrontational approach
  • Ideally be able to offer mediation and collaborative law services – helping to keep your options open
  • Be compassionate and sensitive to your needs, but firm when necessary in handling your affairs
  • Be dedicated, driven, and passionate about clients and their cases, and prizing successful outcomes above all
  • Be a good listener, sensitive and understanding to client problems and feelings; who will discuss options with you to help you make the correct decisions
  • Be personable and trustworthy. Someone you feel comfortable with and can question, safe in the knowledge you will receive honest and objective answers
  • Be open-minded, non-judgmental and frank; having a lawyer who just tells you what you want to hear is not helpful and can in fact be disastrous

If you would like an informal chat or advice on any aspect of your relationship don’t hesitate to contact us.

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