5 Things You Need in a Family Solicitor

  • Personality – can you get on with them?

As ironic as this may sound, when you instruct a family solicitor, you are entering into a long-term relationship with them so it’s important that you click.You may be the irrational, scared, frustrated and lonely one in the relationship and they will be the rational, brave and honest one, the comfort that you need. Your solicitor should be able to cut through all the nonsense, be empathetic to your situation and be your hope in all the hopelessness. It’s a tall order but don’t accept anything less.

  • Honesty – how much is everything going to cost?

A good solicitor will always outline fees from the outset and give you as much guidance as they can, as to how much it will all cost. Sometimes it’s difficult to estimate because in family law, things can change and unless parties are all on the same page, matters can get drawn out. You should get regular cost updates, setting out how much you need to pay and how much you have paid to date, you should also be told if your initial fee estimate needs to be reviewed.Find out their hourly rate and try and find out how many hours worth of work, your issue will take to be resolved.It is important that you budget from the outset, you will need to pay money on account, so your solicitor can crack on and get thing done!

  • Knowledge – does your solicitor know his/her stuff?

Laws change, procedures change so your solicitor needs to be knowledgeable but what you really need is someone who is a hard worker, who will be honest enough to say, I don’t know but I do know where to find the answer!Any solicitor who tells you they have all the answers, is fibbing! There are so many ifs, buts and maybes in family law that sometimes it’s not possible to give you a definite yes or no, especially when matters get complicated. If your solicitor is grappling with the basics, get out of there and come and see us.Look at the firms reviews maybe, if there are too many negatives, that maybe a tell-tale sign.

  • Good Contacts

If you are going to court and are instructing a barrister, has your solicitor worked with that barrister before or are you being put with someone they don’t even know! If they don’t know them, can you have an extra meeting with the barrister before your hearing. The answer will probably be yes but that will be an extra cost, so think carefully! Does your solicitor have access to accountants, pension experts, etc.? Who else are among their pool of experts and how often do they work with them – get their details and look them up!

What else does your Solicitors firm offer? You will probably need a conveyancer for your property, a new Will made; can they offer youany in house referrals, at Rowberry Morris, the answer is yes!

  • Responsibility of your case

Will your case be handled by the solicitor you first saw, or will it be assigned to someone else? Find out! It’s sometimes better to have two pairs of eyes watching over your file, any work the assistant does might be charged at a reduced hourly rate. The main thing is, is that you should be able to speak to someone who knows your case when you need to and for them to explain things in a way you are able to understand.What you are going through is hard enough as it is, the last thing you need is someone being technical with you and using language you do not understand. Ask them to break it down and make sure they keep you to up to date with any progress on your case. Remember, you get charged for letters, emails and meetings so you don’t need to check in every day, but once a month is probably sensible.

All of the solicitors in the family team at Rowberry Morris are members of Resolution. We subscribe to a voluntary code of conduct to act in a non-confrontational manner – we are not here to make life any more difficult that it already is at such a sensitive time.  Find out more at  – https://resolution.org.uk/

Contact us for a confidential chat:-

Staines – peter.reynolds@rowberrymorris.co.uk

Tadley – Julie.gallimore@rowberrymorris.co.uk

Reading –  lubna.hameed@rowberrymorris.co.uk

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.