How do you know if your family lawyer is really up to scratch?

There are many solicitors who practice family law, which includes handling divorce cases, financial matters arising on marital breakdown, as well as disputes over children. However, the old adage that “You pay for what you get” is not always true. What really matters is not, for example, how much you are paying your solicitor but, instead, having a way to gauge or measure their experience and legal knowledge, as you, the client, sift through the minefield of legal services available today.

One way of verifying whether your family solicitor is both experienced and up to date on legal matters, is to check whether he or she is Accredited by Resolution within the family laws area they practice in.

Resolution is an independent body comprising over six thousand family lawyers and other professionals who are its members, committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Resolution members follow a Code of Practice promoting a non-confrontational approach to family problems. They encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, and in particular the best interest of children.

Aside from Resolution’s main aims, it offers its solicitor members the ability to gain Resolution Accreditation within their chosen area of family law. Accreditation essentially means the solicitor has achieved and has maintained the highest professional standards and can demonstrate experience in their chosen fields, as well as a detailed knowledge of the law and legal remedies available to their clients. Accreditation can be granted in, for example, financial disputes arising from relationship breakdown, disputes over children or in domestic violence cases.

Accordingly, some family law solicitors are not members of Resolution at all, whilst some are members of Resolution but are not accredited in this way. In general family law solicitors are not required to seek accreditation in order to be able to handle family law cases and those that seek this mark of competence do so voluntarily.

The accreditation process is demanding and requires the family solicitor candidate to undertake an examination which can take several months to complete. Each candidate will be required to submit detailed case accounts of specific cases they have dealt with over the last 12 months which illustrates the level and depth of their experience. In addition, the solicitor will be examined on their knowledge of the law and will be required to answer detailed legal questions which are likely to be encountered by the lawyer in the legal office when acting for family law clients.

Only upon passing the entire course will they be declared an Accredited Member of Resolution. Such recognition is therefore a clear indication the solicitor is competent, experienced and up to date in the relevant law.

Our family lawyers at Leeds Day include Resolution Accredited solicitors specialising in financial matters on relationship breakdown, including complex financial cases, as well as disputes over children. The family team comprises Simon Thomas, Lisa Leader and Lee Bailham and all are highly experienced solicitors exclusively practising family law. In addition Simon Thomas also specialises in collaborative family law. To find out more, contact the family team at Leeds Day on 0844 567 2222, or send an email to Our team is able to offer a full range of dispute resolution options, all of which can be found on our website at Quote this article before the end of November 2018 and your first 30 minute consultation will be free of charge.

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