What I do
A divorce consultant can serve many different purposes, but the focus is to provide support and guidance with both the personal and legal challenges of the client’s family breakdown.
My work complements that of the family law solicitor, and I can assist with non-legal issues as well as the client’s questions that do not require formal legal advice. This helps them to save on legal costs as they are not using their solicitor unnecessarily.
Like me, many divorce consultants have previously worked as a family law solicitor. This allows me to ensure my clients understand what to expect in the legal process, and help prepare them for meetings, mediation sessions and/or court hearings. Practical help is also available to assist them with paperwork, e.g. the financial forms and documents, as well as help to effectively communicate their wishes with the other parties involved in their case.
As a trained coach, I support my clients with the challenging mental and emotional issues that can come up as they navigate through this challenging time in their life.
What I don’t do
Divorce consultants cannot provide legal advice and I cannot speak/write to the client’s ex-partner or represent the client in their legal case. That is for their solicitor. I also only work with one of the parties and not the couple together. It is worth remembering that divorce consultants are not qualified counsellors, and should the client require this additional type of help, I can provide details of appropriate counsellors for them.
What qualifications, memberships and experience to look for
I recommend choosing someone who is an ex-family law professional and who is also a member of Resolution. Knowledge and experience in family law will help ensure the client receives accurate guidance. It would also be helpful if the divorce consultant had undertaken some coaching training as well, so they can provide the client with emotional support and not just legal guidance. I suggest avoiding choosing someone who doesn’t have these credentials but has simply been through a divorce themselves, as they will be an expert in their own divorce, not the individual client’s.
Top tips for getting the most out of my profession
Working with a divorce consultant can save the client time, money and stress. To get the most out of working with a divorce consultant, I recommend:
- preparing for the calls/meetings by writing a list of questions and issues the client wants to discuss. This helps focus the client on what they want to get out of the conversation.
- Take notes during the calls/meetings so the client can look back on them afterwards. They then don’t have to worry about remembering everything and can also ask follow up questions if clarification is needed.
- Contact them before contacting your solicitor. They will direct the client to the solicitor if the help needed is outside their remit but if they can help, it could save the client quite a bit of money with their solicitor.