It is unlikely that in any other area of law, you would trust the advice of someone in the pub, or base your own decision on what your friend’s aunt’s neighbour says they did ten years ago. However, often when I see a new client they have concerns or queries arising from such sources of “wisdom”.
At least the clients I see have realised that they do need expert advice, which is not always apparent in the most private area of our lives, the domestic realm of our partners and children. It can feel difficult and even disloyal to consult a solicitor about such matters, even where relations with your partner are strained or have already broken down, because we tend to believe that these are problems that we can or should be able to sort out for ourselves.
One of my favourite parts of the job is reassuring new clients who often come in with unfounded concerns which arise from the myths of family law, which I will now set out to explain and dispel.
Of course, some clients may be disappointed where the advice is not what they wanted to hear. However it is much better to know at an early stage rather than later on if you are on the wrong track, as getting it wrong can have serious consequences for you both financially and emotionally.
So to get you on the right track, I will be tackling a series of common misconceptions. Keep an eye out for the first instalment!