Supporting clients through a relationship breakdown Q&A

We participated in Solicitors Chat on Twitter answering questions about how we can help support clients through a breakdown in a relationship.

Luke Stephens, our Trainee Solicitor in our Matrimonial department, was on hand to provide some much needed guidance.

We’ve set out our answers out below:

  1. As a solicitor how do you ease stress for clients following the breakdown of a relationship?

The breakdown of any relationship can be an extremely stressful time for all parties involved and unfortunately clients often have an initial fear that solicitors and legal representatives alike are only there to escalate matters further. However, the reality of the situation is very different. By seeking legal advice from a solicitor as early as possible we can help individuals to focus on the most important matters that need resolving and seek to alleviate any unnecessary stress.

A solicitor can help a client to remain calm and focused and avoid being led entirely by the resentment of their partner. Therefore, the aim is to minimise confrontation wherever possible and to reach a pragmatic resolution. Often when children are caught up in the breakdown of their parents relationship, a solicitor can help to ensure that clients concentrate on the welfare of their children and in turn taking away much of the animosity between the parties.

  1. Why is it important to build trust with clients facing a relationship breakdown?

In order for Solicitors to achieve a pragmatic and amicable resolution during such a stressful time, it is crucial that clients have a strong degree of trust and confidence in their solicitor. This subsequently helps to facilitate open and honest communication between the client and their representative. Where such levels of trust are not in place, a client’s failure to disclose certain information can have a detrimental impact on reaching a successful and fair resolution as well as avoiding potential hostility.

  1. Do you find that there’s an element of providing emotional support as well as legal advice when it comes to family law matters?

In my opinion, expressing sympathy and sometimes empathy to clients who are going through a difficult time is part and parcel of being a good Solicitor. We are ultimately people first before Lawyers. It is also often the case that you are providing emotional support for clients through just listening and understanding their concerns. By acting in such a manner a Solicitor can build strong levels of trust and confidence with their clients.

  1. What advice would you give to someone facing a relationship breakdown?

As I alluded to above, it is vital that clients understand that Lawyers are not instructed to intensify bad relations between the separated parties – but are there to think logically and practically about the situation and in turn produce a fair and successful outcome.

  1. How do you feel your advice brings value to clients during a relationship breakdown?

When a client is caught up in the stressful and often hostile circumstances that can follow the breakdown of a relationship, it is hoped that upon seeking legal advice from a Lawyer we can give a client clarity in terms of the next steps. In having expertise in such matters, we can help to tailor an effective resolution most suited to the client’s particular circumstances.

If you would like more advice or information regarding the breakdown of a relationship, call our Specialist Family Lawyers on 0800 158 4147 to book an initial consultation.

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

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