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Buckles Solicitors poised to launch new family law project with Relate

Date:9 SEP 2015
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Law firm Buckles Solicitors has teamed up with relationship experts Relate to launch an exclusive initiative to try and keep divorcing couples out of the courtroom.

The new partnership – which is thought to be the first of its kind in the country – will aim to ease the impact of any relationship breakdown on children and other family members by simplifying the legal process.

The service is being introduced next month, and will be available to people in the Peterborough and Stamford areas, offered through a collaboration between Relate and Buckles’ Family Department.

As part of the Buckles’ divorce package, it will offer the client three counselling sessions with Relate whilst they are going through the legal process.

Partner Lyn Brisley heads up the Family Department. She explained:

'Having canvassed what a divorce means to people, we have seen that it inevitably strikes fear in people for many different reasons.

There is the terribly harsh pain of loss and betrayal of a loved one. Then there is fear and insecurity for the future. Naturally there is deep concern about the way the split will affect the children.'
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Lyn is keen to dispel the myth that the divorce procedure centres around ‘scary lawyers and court room drama’. 

She believes the new partnership approach will also ease the burden on the courts, in cases where people who cannot afford a solicitor represent themselves. 

The partnership was born following a talk by experts at Relate to Buckles family lawyers about the extent of its work, and the different circumstances and people using the service.

Lyn added:

'As a result, Buckles Solicitors and Relate have agreed to adopt a clear partnership which we see as a win/win situation.

We are very aware that our clients are going through shock, anger, grief, fear, and a whole spectrum of emotions that get in the way of them being able to make measured decisions.

The decisions that we ask our clients to make are vital, difficult, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and yet they are probably in the worst place emotionally to be able to make those sensible decisions.

As lawyers we cannot fall into the trap of giving anything other than legal advice. So with Relate being able to support a person’s emotional wellbeing at this time can be highly beneficial to the client, and also to us – the instructions that we receive from our client become more co-herent and measured, making their experience more meaningful, and in turn our own job more meaningful.'

In preparation for the launch, staff within the Family Department will undergo a Relate training course to help them explore necessary skills for managing difficult and emotional interviews, help with their own communication skills, and practice managing a variety of emotions.

A series of supervision sessions to provide support to the lawyers will also form part of the initiative.