Family Law Solicitor Sally Harris shares her insight to how she reassures and guides her clients through the legal issues surround divorce and separation. She discusses how she takes time to understand individual client’s needs and with 20 years’ experience provides top tips for anyone facing a relationship breakdown.
News channels report a 40% rise in divorce enquiries in the UK since the start of lockdown, this seems to be the international trend, with China and Italy also experiencing higher than usual enquiries. It’s difficult to tell whether this is really a case of couples spending increased amounts of time together, in addition to financial and employment worries that the coronavirus pandemic has brought, however family law professionals are used to seeing a peak after an extended holiday periods such as the school summer holiday or Christmas.
As reports continue to suggest that with the increase of technology in our lives we are spending less time together as a family unit, it is perhaps not surprising that enforced family time as a result of lockdown, without the support of the wider family unit is creating an unsettled and anxious time of adjustment with many spending time to reflect on family life together.
As a solicitor how do you ease stress for clients throughout a relationship breakdown?
As a member of Resolution, I am committed to handling matters in an amicable, constructive and non-confrontational way. Each family situation is different and we work with our clients to find the best solution to their legal needs, while ensuring we keep open lines of communication to minimise any stress they may feel.
Why is it important to build trust with clients facing a relationship breakdown?
To reassure clients that we are, at all times, acting in their best interests and trying to help them achieve the best possible outcome from what we recognise as a difficult and emotional situation. Building trust helps clients feel engaged and connected to the progress within their case.
You have taken a big step in getting legal advice, and I want to make sure that you come away from each meeting reassured and at ease knowing you have spoken to a professional who has your best interests in mind.
Do you find that there’s an element of providing emotional support as well as legal advice when it comes to family law matters?
Absolutely – divorce is one of the most stressful and emotional situations a person can face and sometimes their solicitor is the only person they have to confide in and talk openly to.
What advice would you give to someone facing a relationship breakdown?
- Try to keep the situation as amicable as possible – the more inflamed matters become the more stress it will bring.
- If you have children, always work with their best interests in mind.
- Ensure you take legal advice – do not take advice from family or friends, as their situations and/or financials will be very different.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor questions, no question is stupid and it’s important that you understand the advice you are being given.
How do you feel your advice brings value to clients during a relationship breakdown?
I have a broad range of knowledge and experience to offer advice in relation to all aspects of a relationship breakdown, some of which a client may be previously unaware of. Expert advice is crucial as it may not be possible to re-visit matters in the future; I work with each client to consider all the options available.
Fixed Fee Appointments
It is always advisable to have an initial chat with a Family Lawyer; this ensures you know your legal position and rights before proceeding. It does not have to be costly to take advice. Steeles Law Family Solicitors offer an initial fixed fee meeting for £100.00 plus VAT for up to an hour so that you can chat through any legal issues and raise any questions you have.
If you would like to take legal advice or would like to discuss any of the points raised in our Family Law Q&A our specialist Family lawyer will be able to advise you how to protect yourself and your family for the future, please contact Sally Harris or Sally Briggs in the Steeles Law family team who will be happy to help you via email using firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01603 598000.
*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.