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If you are contemplating seeking legal advice from a family solicitor, the chances are you will be doing so under considerable emotional stress.

Where possible it is advisable to seek a non-contentious resolution, be that through counselling or mediation, particularly where there are children involved.

There are a number of organisations who can help you including http://www.resolution.org.uk/, http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/ and http://www.nfm.org.uk/.

Arbitration is also an option and it may be worth contacting http://ifla.org.uk/

Finding the right Family Solicitor for you and your family

A good family solicitor will be sensitive to you and your family's circumstances and will be experienced in supporting and advising o your legal position.

The following are the key areas of focus for family solicitors.

Divorce

Divorce is the formal legal process under which a marriage is bought to an end. Where there is mutual consent to divorce the process is relatively straightforward albeit the process does take time.

However if the divorce is being instigated by one partner only, there will be a need to establish that there has been unreasonable behaviour, adultery, 2 or more years of separation (5 years where there is no consent) or 2 or more years of desertion.

In all cases you will need to have been married for over a year before commencing divorce proceedings.

A family lawyer will probably spend more time on divorce work than any other type of family law.

Separation

Married couples experiencing relationship problems sometimes choose to separate rather than go through the pain and expense of divorce proceedings.

Although more straightforward tan divorce, separation still requires a number of areas of formal agreement to be addressed. Typically these relate to financial and asset circumstances and children.

A family solicitor will advise the drafting of a separation deed which sets out each parties obligations and rights in relation to these issues.

Pre-nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements (sometimes referred to as a 'pre-nup') are becoming increasingly common in all probability due to the increase in couple getting divorced. Although most couples intend to be married for life there is increasing acceptance of the benefits of a setting out what happens to the couples assets if things do go wrong, . Partners wishing to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before getting married should approach a family solicitor for advice.

Mediation

Mediation is a process designed to help families resolve issues and disputes by finding a solution that works fro all family members. It is well worth attempting mediation before contemplating a legal solution and many solicitors practices employ professionally trained mediators to help find a solution that avoids legal proceedings altogether.

Arrangements for children and custody

Ensuring that a children's interests come first when a relationship breaks down should be of paramount concern to all parties.

However this is not always possible particularly under such emotionally charged circumstances. A good family solicitor will endeavour to negotiate an amicable and pragmatic solution with court proceedings being an absolute last resort.

Abuse within the family

Sometimes family solicitors are contacted by people who have suffered abuse as a child. It may also be that there is a suspicion that a child or even elderly family member is or has been the victim of abuse and another member of the family is acting on their behalf.

Whatever the circumstances , any form of abuse is harrowing in the extreme. A family solicitor will need to be compassionate and understanding of these circumstances and will be able to advise you how to take the fist steps towards seeking justice.

Domestic Abuse

Family solicitors often advise victims of domestic abuse. If you have or are being abused by a partner you will need to be able to approach a family solicitor in complete confidence.

Often victims of abuse find a sense of immediate relief when speaking to a professional family solicitor who will be experienced in moving quickly to help protect the victim.

Injunctions can be obtained in as little as 24 hours and many solicitors maintain close working relationships with relevant police departments as well as counselling services.

Solicitors will also recommend contacting refugee: http://www.refuge.org.uk/

How Does the Good Solicitor Guide Help you find a family solicitor

The Good Solicitor Guide lists thousands of family solicitors based throughout then country who will be able to help whatever your circumstances. Previous client reviews and ratings along with the solicitors' accreditations and contact details help you make an informed decision when taking the first steps into resolving a family issue.

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