It goes without saying that when you turn to a solicitor for advice about your divorce or separation, you want to feel confident that you’re retaining a safe pair of hands. The kind of professional who does their level best to achieve an outcome that works for you and your future.

As a family law firm, we know all too well how important it is for clients to trust us. After all, they usually seek our help at the most challenging and traumatic points in their lives. But a big part of building that trust is managing expectations, and having honest conversations that include saying the things that someone may not want to hear. In this week’s blog, we’re looking at how we do just that.

Providing options, not promises

When it comes to family law matters, it’s likely that there’ll be a range of possible outcomes for you as a client.

Understandably, you may want to ask questions that seek definitive answers, and it’s essential to understand why your solicitor may be unable to give them.

Family law is full of variables, and very often the final decisions in a case won’t be down to your solicitor. Whilst informed predictions might be tentatively made, there’s no way to know how things will go or predict the unexpected, how your ex-spouse or partner might behave, for example, as well as a change in circumstances or unexpected court applications.

That’s why solicitors usually use the first client meeting to outline the potential directions that your matter might take. This equips you to consider a ‘plan b’ if you don’t get the outcome you’d hoped for and ensures you’re prepared for any curveballs that might be thrown your way.

Empowering you to make your own decisions

‘What do you think I should do?’

‘What would you do if you were me?’

Two very common questions for the family lawyer.

In some scenarios, your solicitor’s advice will be pretty clear-cut, but sometimes that won’t be the case. In those circumstances, you’ll need to think hard about what you want and where you’re prepared to compromise.

It’s important to remember that the outcomes you want must be balanced with legal realities. Divorce can undoubtedly require you to make some tough decisions. Ultimately, it’s your solicitor’s job to provide you with the advice, guidance, and information you need to make your own decisions, not to make those decisions for you.

Good communication and appropriate boundaries

A divorce or separation can be an incredibly unsettling time. There are so many questions and so many unknowns. What will happen financially? What will happen regarding the children? Will I need to move? These are just some of the things that might be causing a significant amount of stress and anxiety in your daily life.

The last thing you need is uncertainty about what you can expect from your solicitor and how they work to add to that. 

That’s why a good solicitor will always be clear about what you can expect from them for the duration of your matter. Providing regular updates, being clear about timelines and working patterns, and being open and transparent about the costs involved are just a few things your solicitor can do to help you feel more in the know and control.

Here at Harrogate Family Law, we put our clients at the centre of everything we do, providing expert legal advice to help them make the right decisions for their future. If you’d like to know more about how we can support you with your family law matter, all you need to do is contact a team member.