Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'The Relationship with Your Solicitor Is Very Important - You Need Someone with Experience Who You Can Trust'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'The Relationship with Your Solicitor Is Very Important - You Need Someone with Experience Who You Can Trust'

Article excerpt

WHEN your marriage is over the next relationship you should focus on is with your solicitor.

Finding a lawyer you can trust, who you have confidence in and who has empathy to your situation may make all the difference in achieving the outcome you want as you journey towards divorce.

Andrea Hewitson, a family solicitor with BHP Law based in Newcastle, says: "We recognise how scary it can be for clients coming to us for the first time because they are seeking a divorce.

"They have found themselves in a situation they never expected to be in and often don't want to be in. They may be a very private person but now have to lay their personal life on the table. It can be a struggle for some people.

"A good solicitor should not take instructions from a client but must also give the client the advice that is necessary. They should be objective, but also have empathy and understanding.

Divorce isn't just a legal process; it is generally an emotional experience as well with impacts beyond the parting couple.

"The relationship with your solicitor is very important; you need someone with experience who you can trust."

Andrea is a collaborative lawyer, offering a specific kind of representation.

In cases where divorcing parties are splitting amicably or at least can maintain civility, they can sign an agreement not to go to court and instead come together with their own collaborative lawyers to discuss arrangements around the table.

"When parties can cooperate like this it becomes a less traumatic experience, and many people don't want to have to go in front of a judge. We are very lucky in the North East to also have trained family consultants who can assist and keep the parties focused," adds Andrea, one of a team of family solicitors at BHP Law led by partner Terry Hamer.

Of course collaborative law may be unrealistic for other couples, with arguments over money, assets and children the most common sources of conflict. …

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