Choosing a good Family Solicitor – December/January separations

Choosing a good Family Solicitor – December/January separations

Resolving Family disputes the Resolution way

As an experienced family law solicitor I know that the Christmas period is not a happy time for everyone. In the run-up to Christmas we deal with a surge in cases between separated parents who are in dispute about where their children to spend time.

January Divorces and Separations

Some families manage to hold things together over Christmas but the cracks within the relationship are such that as the New Year arrives one will decide that they cannot face another year together.

This explains why Solicitors see an increase in new instructions each January.

Making Good Decisions

Separating in a planned way represents an opportunity to avoid hasty decisions and bad choices.

Before taking any steps on behalf of a client, I would always wish them to be clear that they are certain in any decision to separate. “The grass is not always greener”. On the other hand some relationships do reach the point where they are broken beyond repair and are even harmful. Where clients are not absolutely sure I would always suggest that they take their time to think things over. I may make a referral to a counsellor (relationship or individual counsellor).

Making informed decisions

Getting good legal advice is often an important component in making the best decisions. Advice is only as good as the information that it is based on. When I meet a client for the first time I will always wish to ensure that we have enough time to discuss their situation thoroughly and enough time for me to answer their questions.

Separation and divorce can be complicated and sorting things out properly is likely to come at a financial cost as well has an emotional cost. It is therefore important to talk through the different options and the likely professional charges.

Why not DIY?

Some couples try to untangle their arrangements without professional assistance. This can seem like a good idea, but can lead to bad agreements which work out to be unfair. There might also be partial agreements and big arguments put off until later. Not getting advice is likely to be a false economy.

Why everyone should seek advice from a Solicitor who is a member of Resolution.

Resolution is an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. Resolution also campaigns for improvements to the family justice system.

Resolution supports the development of family lawyers through its national and regional training programmes, through publications and good practice guides and through its accreditation scheme.

The Resolution Code of Practice

The cornerstone of membership of Resolution is adherence to the Code of Practice, which sets out the principles of a non-confrontational approach to family law matters. The principles of the code are widely recognised and have been adopted by the Law Society as recommended good practice for all family lawyers. The code of practice can be found at

The code requires lawyers to deal with each other in a civilised way and to encourage their clients to put their differences aside and reach fair agreements.

A Resolution solicitor will advise and guide their client of the process of separation and divorce. This may include negotiating through the process of Collaborative Family Law or making a referral to an experienced family mediator.

Why I believe in the Resolution way of Family Law

The Resolution approach is about good practice, fairness, realism and protecting the needs of children. It is about doing the best for the client.

My track record

I have been a member of Resolution for over 20 years. I was one of the first mediators trained by Resolution in 1996 and I was also amongst the first Collaborative Family Lawyers to be trained in Devon in 2005. I am the current elected Chair of the Devon region of Resolution (my second term). I have also served spells on the governing board of the Family Mediators Association and the National Family Law Committee of the Law Society.

Take a look around this website

there is lots of information on this website which is hopefully helpful. Please take your time to have a look and give me a call me  if you decide you want to know more.

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