A search for “family law solicitors near me” is often prompted by an emotional or difficult issue like a relationship breakdown.
This makes choosing the right option – out of the many you are likely to be presented with, depending on where you live in the country – a difficult decision. Especially if you haven’t needed to use a solicitor before.
If this sounds like the situation you find yourself facing, here are some sensible steps to take before you simply choose the top search result and hope for the best:
How To Choose A Family Law Solicitor
1) Talk To Friends And Family
Good family solicitors often leave a legacy of trust and reliability in their wake. This makes them one of the better types of lawyers to ask for recommendations about.
Check with your friends and family, colleagues, and anyone else you know or trust for family lawyers they’ve used in the past.
Because an internet search is all very well. But it can be challenging to determine the reliable options from the others available. It is also sometimes risky to rely on online reviews.
This is because happy clients don’t tend to leave reviews unless prompted. Whereas those who didn’t get the outcome they were looking for – perhaps because of weaknesses in their case – are quick to leave a review. A personal recommendation can usually be trusted much more.
You might also consider each law firm’s length of standing in the local community. For instance, EA Harris has been serving our local communities in Shotton, Connah’s Quay, Queensferry, Ewloe, Hawarden, and Buckley for over a century.
2) Check Pofessional Credentials
One simple way of narrowing down your list of possible choices is to check the professional qualifications of the solicitors you are considering using.
For instance, EA Harris has LEXCEL accreditation from the Law Society – the professional body representing English and Welsh lawyers – approving our systems and case management.
3) Reach Out To Talk
More than anything else, reaching out to any solicitor you have been recommended (or found in an online search and trust the credentials of) will be a good way to get a “read” on the kind of support they will give you.
Being able to establish a rapport is often very important with a family solicitor. You will likely want to feel that they are completely non-judgemental and on your side.
The best way to do this is to have a chat and see what sense you get of them. Are they polite and supportive? What sort of approach does it sound like they have? Did they answer the phone when you called?
If your gut response is that you could work with them, see if they offer a free initial discussion (EA Harris does). You can use this discussion to get a better feel for them and talk over your specific situation.
4) Discuss Approaches
After you’ve got a reasonable sense of how your solicitor communicates, it’s time to see what they suggest for your case.
Though this is a generalisation, the goal in most family law cases should be to try to resolve whatever situation you are facing in as amicable a fashion as possible. This minimises any cost to you and the amount of time it will take.
You may be all too aware that this might not be possible in your case. Perhaps relations with your former partner have deteriorated past this point.
However, it would be a good sign if your prospective family law solicitor at least brings up the topic of mediation. This is a formal process where a trained professional mediator allows both parties to attempt to resolve the situation through guided negotiation.
In general, you should aim to get a clear idea of the strategic approach your lawyer recommends and the level of success they have had with this approach in the past.
5) Get A Clear Quote Or Fee Structure
Finally, it’s time to talk price. You should never engage any kind of solicitor without getting a clear idea of their pricing structure – and ideally a free quote.
You can then compare this against other law firms in the local area you are considering. Price doesn’t always reflect quality. But for most people, budget is a definite concern when choosing a family law solicitor near them. Make sure you don’t end up facing a surprise bill later on.
Want To Talk Your Situation Through In Complete Privacy With A Supportive Family Law Specialist?
EA Harris has been serving Shotton, Connah’s Quay, Queensferry, Ewloe, Hawarden & Buckley for over a century.
Reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation initial discussion.