Research recently referenced by The Times newspaper suggests that the number of people representing themselves within divorce proceedings has increased from 35% to 57%.
With legal aid only available for a relatively small number of family law matters, it is understandable that the number of people having to represent themselves within Court proceedings has increased. However, it is possible that with some early legal advice from a family law solicitor, some of those cases could have avoided Court altogether.
When a relationship ends it is inevitably a difficult time for both parties. There are often issues such as the future arrangements for children to consider and how to deal with the financial impact of the end of the relationship. With early advice from a family law solicitor, it is possible to reach agreement in relation to these issues and avoid Court proceedings.
By taking early legal advice, parties to a separation:
- Can gain an understanding of what their legal position is. With the benefit of this information they will have a better understanding of how the issues can be addressed and what solutions might be available.
- Will be given information on how the Court will deal with those issues. This can help avoid issues being raised that may only inflame a situation if it is understood that the argument is unlikely to be successful before a Court.
- Can obtain information about other ways to resolve areas of dispute such as through mediation, negotiation and family arbitration.
In 2017 the Law Society published research that showed that one in four people who received early professional legal advice had resolved their problem within three to four months. For those who did not receive early legal advice, it was not until nine months after the issue had first occurred that one in four had resolved their issue.
Richard Dilks is a Divorce Solicitor based at Hatch Brenner in Norwich. He offers an initial fixed fee meeting to discuss individual divorce or civil partnership dissolution circumstances and offer advice. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 660 811.