HM Insights

Eastenders' storyline highlights the role of a family lawyer – but how do you choose and contact one?

As an avid viewer of EastEnders, I was eagerly awaiting its return to our screens last week after being absent for some three months. The soap returned to a point where the characters had been living with Covid-19 and lockdown, and the stresses and strains that had been placed on them during that time were highlighted, which of course have been real for us all.

Of particular focus was the character Chantelle Atkins who we have seen cope with a domestic abuse storyline for some months. It was clear that the situation had become significantly worse for Chantelle during the lockdown as we saw her husband (a lawyer) place a tracking app on both her and the children's phones in a bid to tighten his control over her. We also saw Chantelle meet a solicitor outside to discuss how she can leave her abusive marriage. Sadly, Chantelle's situation reached a tragic climax in Friday's episode.

Harper-Macleod-legal-updates-for-individuals-and-families-FB-violet.png

How do you go about choosing and contact a family lawyer?

Although EastEnders is fiction, the situation that Chantelle experienced is one that will be common to many people in real life. If you are experiencing what Chantelle was subjected to, then you are perhaps considering contacting a family lawyer. You might be thinking about how would you go about this and what factors should you take into account when deciding which family lawyer to instruct?

The first point to remember is that if and when you do decide to contact a legal advisor they should be able to speak to you in private and you will have confidence in knowing that anything you discuss with them is entirely confidential. Here are some factors that you may wish to consider when deciding how to choose a family law solicitor that is right for you.

  • You have to remember that you are likely to be working with them for some time so you should choose with caution. Instructing a solicitor should not be about them telling you what to do but instead they should discuss your situation, assess your legal options and help you make your own informed choices both about your next steps and how you wish to deal with matters going forward.
  • It is important that your solicitor is a family law specialist. This will give you confidence that your solicitor has the necessary experience and skill set to help you in your situation.
  • You should speak to your solicitor about the likely costs involved. A solicitor who quotes the lowest price or the lowest hourly rate is not necessarily the one that is best for your case or that it will necessarily end up as the cheaper option.
  • Discuss with your prospective solicitor how they would propose to resolve your case. Will they take a hard-line approach or one that looks to resolve matters as amicably as possible?
  • Finally, it does help if you like the solicitor that you are intending to instruct. It is not absolutely essential when choosing a solicitor, but it does help if you have a good rapport with them. Often you will be working with them for some time so you need to be able to feel comfortable about talking to them about your personal and financial circumstances.

Get in touch

If you require advice on options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our family law team by telephone or by submitting an online enquiry for a confidential and free chat. Our solicitors are available across the country to help:

Useful Links

FAMILY LAW SERVICES

DOMESTIC ABUSE LAW