Divorce solicitors tend to report an increase in new enquiries in the New Year.

You may be considering the end of your marriage but don’t know where to turn for good legal advice. How do you decide which lawyer to represent you if you end up on the path to relationship breakdown? The best place to start is to ask those you trust. Friends and family may have used a solicitor

The best place to start is to ask those you trust. Friends and family may have used a solicitor before or may have friends and family who can give their personal seal of approval.

The national family lawyers’ organisation is an excellent website where you will find lots of helpful information about family law and family lawyers. Central to Resolution’s philosophy is to help clients in relationship breakdown in an amicable and constructive way. This is how any good family work will do their job. The website contains a ‘find a lawyer’ resource, as well as details of those lawyers who are accredited as specialists in certain specialist fields.

Have a look at the firm’s website. Does it give you the right feel? Does it look as if you will feel comfortable with the lawyer and how they say they work?

Call the lawyer for an initial chat. A good lawyer will be prepared to have an initial chat with you at no cost. Meet a couple of lawyers before making a decision. Most lawyers offer a free initial meeting or a fixed cost for the first meeting. This is an excellent opportunity to get some practical and sensible advice, as well as meet the lawyer for the first time without the anxiety of being presented with a big bill before you have made a decision about your future and any work has got under way. The lawyer should also be able to give you a good idea at that stage about the work involved and the costs and help you weigh up your options. Prepare for that first meeting by drawing up a list of questions, and perhaps email details of your situation to the lawyer ahead of time. This will also save valuable time and allow you to use the meeting to focus on the main issues, rather than treating it as a fact finding session. www.legal500.com and www.chambersandpartners.co.uk are also widely used directories that survey lawyers nationwide and rate the lawyer in geographical and

Prepare for that first meeting by drawing up a list of questions, and perhaps email details of your situation to the lawyer ahead of time. This will also save valuable time and allow you to use the meeting to focus on the main issues, rather than treating it as a fact finding session.

www.legal500.com and www.chambersandpartners.co.uk are also widely used directories that survey lawyers nationwide and rate the lawyer in geographical and specialist sectors. Using these directories is a good opportunity to back up what you have seen and heard before making your final decision as to who to instruct.

Your lawyer is going to support you as you move forward with your life. As with making any choice about important things in life, it’s just as critical to do the research before making the right choice that will affect you and your family.