We all know that 40% of marriages now end in divorce; making the odds that you will be one day sitting in front a lawyer… well, you do the maths. So, while we fervently hope that this will never happen to you (unless of course you are married to an arse who makes you cry), it just might.
And then cometh the lawyers. We have a list of brilliant, fierce lawyers who will help you navigate the divorce waters here. But how to handle these hotties? We asked Sandra Davis and Alex Brereton at Mishcon de Reya for some very smart advice:
- You absolutely want a lawyer who is going to be up-front about the challenges you face, rather than simply telling you just what you want to hear. There can be few worse feelings than being told by a judge that your expectations are unrealistic.
- So no to “yes” lawyers… If, at your most fraught moment, you don’t have somebody who’s prepared to argue you away from making a rash decision, you may live to regret it later on. Ditto a lawyer who wants to ‘win at all costs’.
- Here’s a boring money tip: Think about the practical steps you can take to make sure your lawyer is using their time efficiently. Remember, their value comes from their strategic advice, not their ability to trawl through mountains of financial statements. So if you can bear it – and we say this with heavy hearts – try to do the more formulaic work yourself. By doing so, you’ll save on costs, and free your lawyer up to work on the more substantive matters.
- Get it all laid out crystal-clearly: Your lawyer should explain at the outset the various options available to reach a resolution; consider these carefully and keep them in mind throughout the process.
- There may come a time when you feel the strategy isn’t working. If this is the case, don’t sit on it – communicate your feelings to your lawyer. Then ask them to explain the alternative options to you.
- And last, but definitely not least, keep on top of your lawyer’s costs and request regular updates.