/ Divorce / Picking the best divorce solicitor

How do I pick the best divorce solicitor for my case?

The best divorce solicitor for your case is not necessarily the one who has the most specialist knowledge in divorce law in Northern Ireland. 

It will also be someone you trust and have confidence in, and will be someone that you feel comfortable talking to.

Disclaimer

This guide outlines general topics you should be thinking about if you want to get a divorce in Northern Ireland. But it is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact a specialist divorce solicitor for advice on your specific circumstances.

How do I pick the best divorce solicitor for my case?

In our section on DIY divorce, we said that if you and your spouse don’t agree about how to move forward after your divorce (arrangements for children, money, etc), it is a good idea to get advice from a divorce solicitor.

It goes without saying that divorce is a stressful and emotional experience. So your divorce solicitor must be someone that you are comfortable with, you trust and can confide in.

And of course, it also goes without saying that they should be a specialist in family law and the legal procedures around getting a divorce in Northern Ireland.

It’s quite possible that you have to meet with a number of divorce solicitors before you choose which one is best for you and your case.

It’s also possible that the best solicitor for you is not necessarily one you already know or is based locally.

(In fact, due to the sensitive nature of divorce proceedings, sometimes people prefer to instruct a solicitor that they don’t know – it keeps things private).

Before you meet the solicitor for the first time, think about a list of questions that you will want them to answer.

This will help you assess if they are the person you want to represent you at this sensitive and difficult time.

Here are some ideas of things you could ask:

  • how long have you been practising divorce law?
  • who exactly will be dealing with my divorce? Will it be just you or will other people be involved? Are they experienced, qualified solicitors? Can I meet them?
  • how often will you update me on the progress of my divorce - will it be by phone, email or letter?
  • how quickly do you respond to phone calls or emails? (Remember: the most common complaint made against solicitors is nothing to do with a lack of knowledge or expertise. It’s lack of communication.)
  • do you have other divorce clients that I can speak to?
  • do you personally review all documents relating to my divorce?
  • will a barrister be needed in my case? When will they be instructed?
  • how much will my divorce cost me in total? When do you send me the bill and when do I have to pay it? Can I pay as I go along, or in instalments?
  • can you confirm that I’m not entitled to any other sources of financial help (e.g. divorce legal aid, etc.)
  • what other expenses will there be and how much are they? (e.g. divorce court fees, etc)
  • how long will the divorce process take? What factors could make it take longer than anticipated?

If you ask the above questions, and any others that come to mind during your consultation, you will get a good idea if the solicitor is someone you can have confidence in, and someone who would like to have fighting your corner.

Divorce is difficult enough – you will have plenty to deal with as you go through it – you don’t want to be worrying about your solicitor on top of everything else!

So if you have reservations about the first solicitor you meet with, don’t be afraid to keep making appointments until you find one that you like and have confidence in.

The above article is part of our guide on how to get a divorce in Northern Ireland.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you should get in touch with a Northern Ireland specialist divorce solicitor who will be able to provide advice tailored to your own personal circumstances.

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to get in touch.

All the best,

The Team @ Lightlaw
Every effort is made to keep this guide up to date. Although it is not to be regarded as legal advice, we strive to make sure the information is helpful, accurate and practical. If you are a Northern Ireland divorce solicitor and have spotted an inaccuracy, you can submit a suggested change.
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