Recently, a couple of mums and a dad at my daughter’s school separately asked if they could speak with me in confidence.
All three are going through divorce and are in the first stages of the divorce process.
All three needed to know if I could recommend a divorce solicitor.
Their stories were different but two of them asked me the same question; “What makes a good divorce lawyer?”
This, I must say, is a very easy question to answer.
Firstly a good divorce lawyer is one who specialises in divorce law, preferably one who only works in this field. If you have children, as each of the parents in this case had, I would go further and say find one that has great experience in divorce law where children are concerned.
A good divorce lawyer will not be one who fans the flames of your anger or even one who starts a fire where there is none.
When I was going through my divorce, I had a meeting with a lawyer who, in all honesty, remains the worst lawyer I have met in my life! All she wanted was blood, despite my telling her that’s not what I wanted. I only went to her because she was very local to me and I was thinking about the convenience. I never did work with her.
Years later, I needed a notary, so returned to the same firm believing that my previous not-so-good experience was only due to the particular lawyer I had spoken to. The person whom I spoke with over the phone was very condescending and patronising and they were going to charge me over £100 more than the other firms I spoke with. I had heard all I needed.
Anyway, I digress.
A good divorce solicitor will know how to manage your feelings of vengeance and hurt. They will not allow them to come into the picture in shape or form as that will only cause war between you and your soon-to-be-ex.
A good divorce solicitor will not mind you asking any questions that are important for you to get answers to, as “ridiculous” as some of them may be. They will know and understand that the next few months are indeed going to determine how your life after divorce turns out and they will have a major role to play in it.
- How long have you practiced family law?
- Do you have past clients I can speak with?
- What are your fees and what should I be aware off in terms of other (hidden) costs?
- What do you think about family mediation?
- What do I need to do to make the divorce process as smooth as possible?
- What if I decided to change solicitors, what would that mean for me?
Finally, do trust your gut. Always trust your gut. Meet with at least 3 solicitors before making up your mind. Most solicitors offer an free consultation. Use it.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the five-star-rated online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org