The best time to seek legal advice is before you make any decisions or take irreversible action. If you are thinking about separating from your spouse or asking them for a divorce, or if the tensions between you have reached near-breaking point, this is the ideal time at which to seek advice.
These are the reasons why early advice is advisable.
You can assess all your options
Divorce is rarely straightforward, and although the end game is to reach a certain point, i.e. that you are legally no longer married or in a civil partnership, how you reach that point can happen in many different ways. Family law doesn’t always have to involve litigation and attending court – there are numerous more consultative methods of approaching negotiations, including mediation and collaborative discussion. A family law solicitor can explain all of the options that are available, giving you time to consider what would work best for you and any children you may have. There are also a number of different options in terms of costs, which again is beneficial to consider and plan for from an early stage.
Consider both the short and the long term
Speaking with a family lawyer early on can also help you think about what you want for both the short and the long term. Many people’s initial focus is on the short term and finding a way out of their unhappiness. However, acting rashly at this point can effect the long-term relationship you have with your spouse, which is usually worth keeping civil – especially if there are children from the relationship.
You’re not already in a corner
We can help people whatever stage they are at and it isn’t uncommon for people to only consult a solicitor once they have already separated from their spouse. Unfortunately in these cases, if a significant action has already been taken, such as one person moving out of the shared home, the options then become more limited. The benefit of seeking advice at an early stage before any firm decision have been made is that you still have all options available to you.
You can find out where you stand
There is a great deal of hearsay around family law and a number of perpetual myths prevail. Family law is also evolving and modernising – albeit at a relatively slow pace. Therefore, what you thought you knew about divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution may not be factually correct. Finding out where you stand from a legal perspective can provide you with peace of mind, or at least allow you to take the next steps in an informed way, with the benefit of knowledge.
Start from a point of calm
Divorce can quickly become emotionally charged and the stress involved often leads people to act outside of their normal character. Seeking advice early on means you can remove some of the emotion and assess the situation calmly, focusing on resolving issues rather than letting your emotions influence your actions. Starting off this way may hopefully mean this approach can continue throughout your case, ultimately helping to achieve a swift and successful resolution.
If you would like to discuss the options available to you regarding your marriage or civil partnership, please get in touch.
Anthony Jones is head of Family Law at O’Donnell Solicitors and can be contacted on 01456 761320 or 07444582804 or email@example.com.
O’Donnell Solicitors are offering virtual consultations by phone or video call and are also seeing clients at a safe social distance by appointment in our Covid-secure offices.