12 January 2018
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time. A family lawyer can help guide you through the complex procedures required for a divorce, offering professional legal advice for your particular situation, and raising issues which you may not otherwise be aware of.
Choosing an Isle of Man divorce lawyer can be tricky decision to make. Few people going through a divorce have prior knowledge or experience of divorce law and therefore may not be aware of the key aspects to look for in a Manx advocate. It is an important decision which could be the difference between a speedy, value-for-money divorce and one which is lengthy and expensive.
The following tips offer guidance in choosing the right family law advocate for you:
- Know what you want from your lawyer and be realistic.
If you and your husband or wife are able to reach an agreement, this is likely to be much quicker and more cost effective than going to court. Negotiation with the assistance of your advocate and/or mediation can assist you in reaching an agreement. During this process, your lawyer can advise you on your rights, assist with the discussion process, and prepare legal documents, such as the final agreement. If you cannot agree and the matter ends up before the court, a divorce lawyer with experience in litigation is essential to ensure your case is properly presented to the judge, and also to explain your options and what the judge’s decision means for you.
- Do your research.
Ensure you research your options before finally choosing a lawyer. A phone call or email to better understand an advocate’s areas of expertise and legal fees can help to prevent unwanted surprises later on. If your case involves multiple jurisdictions, complex financial arrangements or matters relating to children, it’s important that your lawyer is experienced in dealing with such specialist matters.
- Make sure the lawyer is well practised in family law
Having a lawyer with specialist knowledge of family law is vital in ensuring your case is dealt with proficiently and to prevent potentially costly mistakes. Check your lawyer’s experience and background in family law before making your decision
- Make sure they have both experience in negotiation as well as court if needed.
It’s important to ensure that your advocate has a good track record of achieving favourable settlements through negotiation as well as strong litigation skills within court cases. Check if they are a member of Resolution, a code of practice ‘that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems and encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family – and in particular the best interests of children.’
- Meet them to know they’re right for you.
Choosing a family law advocate is a very personal decision, therefore book an initial consultation with your chosen lawyer to help decide if they are the right fit for you. Your advocate should be someone you feel will best present your case going forward. He or she should also provide clear guidance on legal costs throughout the process to ensure you have control of how much it is likely to cost and the options you wish take.