|Ask The Chiswick Expert|
The benefits of seeking legal advice on relationship breakdown
Local family law solicitor Christina Cree of AR Legal Solicitors explains the benefit of seeking legal advice on the breakdown of a relationship.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of couples divorcing has increased with 118,140 divorces recorded in 2012. The ONS have also found that it is expected that 42% of marriages will end in divorce. The breakdown of a relationship can often be an extremely stressful and frightening time. As well as the obvious emotional impact there are also many difficult decisions which need to be made including the arrangements for the children, division of any assets and possible continuing financial support.
Clients often feel that instructing a solicitor may make a difficult situation more acrimonious but this should not be the case. The family solicitors at AR Legal are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes and promote a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Our aim is always to assist you in reaching an amicable solution as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible and always one that is in your best interests. Acrimonious Court proceedings can often be avoided in favour of a more conciliatory approach.
Instructing an experienced family solicitor at the outset of a matter ensures that you have clear and independent advice and that a fair settlement is reached. You may not be fully aware of your legal rights and obligations on separation and this could lead to conceding too much. There is also the risk that if there is any imbalance in power within your relationship then one party could exert undue pressure on the other to agree to an unfavourable financial settlement or arrangement for the children. As well as ensuring that any agreement reached is fair, taking advice from a family solicitor will ensure that your agreement is properly formalised and becomes a Court Order which you will be able to enforce in future if your ex-spouse does not comply with any of the terms. A properly formalised agreement ensures finality and limits the risk of future court proceedings.
Another understandable fear clients have is expensive legal fees. At AR Legal we will always discuss costs with you at the very outset of your case and provide you with costs estimates depending on the particular circumstances and issues involved so there will be no nasty surprises. We can also offer funding arrangements suited to the individual client including in some cases delaying payment of fees until the conclusion of the matter. In many cases we will be able to provide a fixed fee quote for some or all of the work required. For new clients we offer an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our family solicitors for a fee of £100 plus VAT.
It is important to appreciate that it can be far more costly in the long term to fail to take legal advice at the outset of the matter. Proper advice can also be invaluable if family assets include business assets or are complicated, if you suspect that your spouse will try to conceal the full extent of their assets, dispose of them or try to remove them from the jurisdiction. We can deal with all of these issues which may require urgent action to minimise any potential damage.
Our friendly, approachable and experienced team have been helping Chiswick residents with their family issues for over ten years and we hope that any ChiswickW4 readers who sadly find themselves separated or contemplating separation will take the opportunity to speak with us. To arrange a no obligation fixed fee meeting please telephone us on 020 8747 9090.
AR Legal Solicitors
March 4, 2014