Did you read Nicholas Lezard’s article in The Times on Saturday 6th July? His “Ten Things Every Man Should Know” about divorce? His first item is “Avoid Lawyers.” It is worth looking at why he says that. He says that when he was “thrown out of the home” he sought out “someone with the ethics of a shark”. In which case it is hardly a surprise that he was disappointed.
But of course he says more about himself – or at least how he felt at the start of the separation – than his lawyer. So, instead Mr Lezard recommends that you “take several deep breaths”. Sound advice, but how he then concludes that you would be better without a lawyer is beyond me. He admits that “muddling along without involving lawyers” may take years. That is because couples find it hard enough to deal with a detailed agenda of serious issues when they are getting on well, let alone when they are not. One rather wonders if Mrs Lezard agreed that it was great to muddle along for years after separating.
Experienced family lawyers recognise that clients often do feel angry and would like an aggressive approach; they also know that it is important to remind the client to get things in perspective. But the advice to avoid lawyers is just plain wrongheaded.