You may assume that all family lawyers are client centred, the duty to protect a client's interests meaning that your family lawyer of choice will always be supportive. There can, however, be profound differences between the approaches adopted by the family law solicitors you could choose to help you to resolve issues around caring arrangements for your children, your finances, or both.
The approach taken by a family solicitor can have an effect on not only the outcome from their client, but also how the client feels about their future.
Dealing with difficult emotions – the importance of having the right kind of solicitor
It is not unusual for conflict to be around when people separate. It almost goes without saying that emotions run high. People feel hurt, a sense of loss, fear and sometimes anger; all of which can be difficult emotions to navigate. In choosing the family lawyer who will help guide you through the legal issues around this major life event, it can help to work with someone who has an awareness of the emotional aspects and who is comfortable with dealing with them whether working with you to resolve issues in a conventional negotiation process, or in any other of the family law processes available.
A person-centred approach to family law involves the principles of empathy and respect. By fostering an enabling relationship with you, your family law solicitor can help you to feel positive about your future. A good family law solicitor will work with you to gain a mutual understanding of what is most important to you, with those identified aims and needs informing the conduct of your case. It can be hard to identify goals, far less achieve them, during a time of profound stress.
Sometimes it can be useful to have third parties help you to identify your options and weigh up the risks and potential benefits of each course of action. That analysis can help you to bring to your assessment of your personal circumstances, goals and values an informed choice.
A supportive family law solicitor will have good working relationships with third parties such as family therapists, financial advisers and children services, to call upon where they may have a role in supporting you and your family to full participate in the process.
What does a client centred approach mean in practice?
It is important to find a solicitor who can help you to identify what is most important to you, without making assumptions about what is best for you. A truly client centred approach to family law requires an empathic advisor, who can communicate well with you and remain positive about your future. By witnessing and skilfully supporting your individual journey in a compassionate way, it is more likely that you will feel able to make the changes that are needed to achieve your future aims.
Research shows us that individuals have a natural tendency to develop in a positive and constructive way and will naturally do so, if the right climate is present. By having an awareness of how that climate is constructed, your solicitor can adopt a non-judgemental, supportive approach that will allow you to feel comfortable and supported.
A client centric approach to family law means that your solicitor will accept that you will feel vulnerable and anxious, but will also accept that you can and will function well. The potential benefits of this approach are:
- You will be less liable to experience tension and anxiety;
- an improved sense of self-worth;
- an enhanced acceptance of yourself and the others around you;
- more confidence in your own ability to make decisions that are realistic and sustainable;
- a future in which you can be resilient, adaptable and creative in decision making.
Get in touch with our family law specialists
If you would like to have an initial discussion about how to approach separation, divorce, issues around children, or co-habitation please do not hesitate to contact a member of the family law team.