Divorce Lawyers

Myths and Misconceptions
Divorce Lawyers
April 25th, 2019

If you have separated from your partner, you may be tempted to try to resolve the financial issues arising out of the separation without involving lawyers. There is a misconception that by appointing a lawyer, he/she will “add fuel to the fire” or create further animosity and charge an absolute fortune.

Most lawyers specialising in divorce/family law genuinely want to assist their client in resolving matters as early as possible, sensibly, constructively and cost effectively.

The myths:

1. I do not need a lawyer, I do not have many assets and it is straight forward.

Irrespective of whether there are complex financial issues or there are not many assets to deal with, it is advisable to consult a specialist lawyer to find out where you stand and be given insight of the best ways to resolve and conclude the issues, and reduce the risk of a future challenge on any agreement or final order achieved or contemplated; you will be better informed, remove some of the anxiety and uncertainty of what will be inevitably experienced when you are separating.

2. Instructing someone will increase acrimony and cause more problems.

Most divorce lawyers do not work to ‘up the ante’ between parties however there are a few and we refer to a very small minority here. They should work to minimise the acrimony between separating people in what is already a trying and stressful situation. Objectivity is key to the representations made on your behalf and at the same time, being sensitive to the situation faced by separating couples. It is important to point out that co-operation on part of each person and the lawyer will help to find pragmatic, effective and fair solutions to the issues faced. Taking such an approach will help to reduce conflict and ensure a fair and workable solution, that works for all, can be found. Further, it also helps to reduce the costs involved.

3. By instructing someone, I will end up in court proceedings.

When it is explained the majority of matters are concluded with the assistance of a lawyer and without having to go near a court, clients are hugely relieved. Any application to the court should always be a last resort option.

There are many ways to deal with any issues: mediation, arbitration, collaboration and correspondence. In fact, the courts of England and Wales actively encourage parties to attempt to settle matters out of court before it allows any application to get off the ground. A specialist lawyer will be able to guide you to prevent delay and take the best approach.

A specialist lawyer will explain what is involved in each of these processes and help you to decide which option is the best and most cost effective for you.

4. Involving lawyers is very expensive.

From time to time there is a high-profile case published in the media with reports of the celebrity couple spending thousands of pounds on legal costs and claiming it was a long drawn out battle but it is understandable why there is such a misconception.

At Pellys, we provide clear details as to the costs from the outset of, and throughout, your matter and also discuss to find the best and most cost-effective way of trying to resolve the issues that you face. Each case is different and the cost will always depend on the complexity of the financial circumstances and how quickly matters can be resolved.

5. I can find out about these things on the internet.

The Internet is a fascinating and very useful tool for many things however it should be used with caution particularly if you are looking for legal advice. The family law in England and Wales is very different from other countries, including Scotland, and when you have assets abroad whether that is in Europe or worldwide, there may be different considerations that need to be taken account of.

Each divorce and separation will have a unique set of circumstances and it is not the case that “one rule fits all”. Furthermore, you may well have many friends and/or family that have separated and they have achieved varying agreements/orders. You must always keep in mind that whilst parts of those agreements/orders could be applicable to you, but what proves to be good for them may not prove to be good you. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through different types of agreement/orders available and determine what might be the best options for your specific financial position.

There are many websites available that sell separation agreements etc but they can cause more problems than they solve. Whether you are looking at a cohabitation agreement, separation agreement, prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement these are some of the more important documents you will sign in your life, which will affect you from that point, and you need to ensure it meets certain requirements and has particular clauses included in it to protect and support your financial position going forwards.

If you are contemplating using an agreement from the Internet, we would strongly advise against it but if that is what you are looking to do then before you finalise the content of it or sign it, you absolutely must take advice to ensure it provides the necessary provision for your future needs and the protection for you. Usually, you will not be able to change it once it has been agreed and/or signed.

For further information on this topic or any other matter, please contact Tariq M Ahmad FCILEx by telephone (+44 279 758080) or email (tariqahmad@pellys.co.uk).

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