HM Insights

Family law support during the festive period

The holiday season is not always a time of happiness and fun. It can be a stressful time, too. Expectations are high. More time than usual is spent in the close company of family members, this being particularly heightened this year because of the restrictions in place around socialising and getting out and about.


It is not uncommon for individuals to seek assistance from a family law specialist to explore possible separation over and shortly after the festive period.

Sometimes, the pressures bring simmering frustrations to a head. For some, a decision has been made to see Christmas through for the sake of the children. For others, New Year brings a time of reflection and a sense of wanting to find a new beginning. Whatever the reason for that initial enquiry, it is important to know that you have made an informed choice when it comes to instructing a trusted advisor to guide you through the process.

There are a few considerations which may help you decide which firm and which solicitor may be the best fit for you:

  1. Experience

It should be taken as read that any solicitor should have a sound knowledge of the law and how to competently practice it. Some solicitors however have dedicated their practice to particular specialisms. By choosing a solicitor who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Child Law and Family Mediation you can be confident that your solicitor has a particularly high degree of knowledge and experience.

  1. Accessibility

By having an initial discussion with a potential solicitor you should be able to gain a sense of how easy or otherwise you find it to talk openly about your situation, concerns and hopes for the future. It is important that you feel able to be honest about how you feel about the solicitor / client relationship, too. A good solicitor will work with you to help you identify what is most important to you and your family, being open to building a close working relationship in which you know your solicitor will be available to you when you need them the most.

  1. Honesty and transparency

It is essential that the advice given to any client is based on careful analysis of the individual’s situation and how the law applies to that situation. Any solicitor can tell a client what they would like to hear, risking disappointment further down the line. It takes skill and experience to be able to have a frank discussion about prospects of success, potential costs and finding a pragmatic way forward. It is essential that you know what the likely costs are going to be, too. We may not always be able to provide an exact quote, given that how a case unfolds can depend on external factors, but a trusted advisor should be honest with you in providing estimates.

  1. Processes

There are various ways in which a family law issue may be resolved. An experienced family law specialist will be able to guide you through your choice of process, looking at the pros and cons of litigation, mediation, collaboration, arbitration and conventional negotiation. Looking at the specialist qualifications held by a solicitor, and their research interests, can help you to find a representative who is particularly knowledgeable in the area of law which affects you.

  1. Values

Many firms publish their company values and aims on their website. The culture of a particular firm may chime with the way in which you would like to work. Often the particular interests and values of an individual practitioner can be identified by what they publish on-line, too. Instructing a larger firm need not be daunting if the family law team are interested in their practice area and come across and personable and caring.

Your choice of solicitor is important. It can affect the outcome and cost of your case. We appreciate that finding the right solicitor for you can be daunting.  Here at Harper Macleod clients come to us by various means. Many of our clients come to us because we have been recommended by a family member, friend or colleague. Others are standing clients of the firm. Some find us through having reviewed the content of our website, including client testimonials. We are often approached by individuals who may not be quite sure that they wish to separate, yet, but would like to talk through the legal implications.

Get in touch

If you would like to have a confidential discussion about whether and how we may be able to help, please contact me on 0141 2297 9394, or by email at [email protected]