On the path to divorce, working constructively with your lawyer is one of the most important parts of the journey. You need someone that you trust and that you are able to work with for as long as it takes to resolve matters. Your solicitor will be involved in your life on an extremely personal level during the negotiation and preparation that will ultimately lead to your divorce.
There is no set formula or way in which to arrive at the outcome that you are looking for. Your solicitor should be straightforward and set out the various options that are available to you, even if some of those are not in line with your view or what you are looking to achieve. There is little point in having a solicitor who is afraid to be frank and honest with you, particularly given the ongoing impact any agreement you enter into may have. A good solicitor will take you through the advantages and disadvantages of all of the options.
For each client, there are different factors which will be more important. For some, cost will be the most pressing matter; for others time; others will be focused on arrangements in respect of the children over financial matters and vice versa. However, the mark of a good solicitor is the ability to focus on those issues which are important to the client and tailor their advice accordingly to determine the best course of action for that particular client.
Another important consideration is how your divorce should be resolved. Of course, litigation is always an option open to parties but increasingly those divorcing are looking to other methods and it is a matter of considering the most appropriate – or in other words, appropriate dispute resolution. These include mediation, collaboration and arbitration. A good solicitor will guide their client through the various options available and to the most appropriate dispute resolution which will aid and assist your case. The focus should always be the simplest path to divorce without unnecessary litigation where possible. However, if litigation is required, your solicitor should be able to advise fully of the process and determine the appropriate time to raise those proceedings without either prematurity or delay.
Do not hold back from providing all the facts to your solicitor. Nothing will shock or surprise them and it is likely they have seen it all before. The important thing is to be as candid and upfront as possible to allow them to effectively do their job and advise you properly from the outset. This will also allow them to combat any surprises along the way more quickly and efficiently.
Arguably the most important part of the solicitor client relationship is ensuring that you are comfortable with your solicitor, that you have faith in them to guide the process and to remove the burden from you of having to enter into often difficult and fraught conversations with your ex-partner. A good solicitor will keep the channels of communication open between parties, acting in your interests without antagonising the other parties involved. The ability to prevent parties becoming entrenched in their position is another key factor in successfully navigating the road to divorce and bringing matters to a swift conclusion.
Choosing the right solicitor will make the difference between a negative, expensive experience or the first step to your life as a new divorcee, able to move on feeling satisfied with the experience and the outcome. The path to a good divorce lies in using your solicitor to their full potential to arrive at your final destination.