There’s an old saying at Fathers4Justice, that the solicitor supports a dad like the rope supports the hanging man.
Given solicitors costs are around £20-£30,000 in a normal children’s proceedings (and can easily go into six figures), it’s worth considering whether you need to use them in your case.
Around a third of our casework involves trying to assist fathers who have been caused devastating financial harm using solicitors, with nothing to show for their outlay.
Then there are the double standards.
Solicitors are poacher and gamekeeper. In one call they are assisting mothers deny dads access to their kids, and in the other they are offering ‘help’ to you.
Worst still, we get calls every day from dads whose solicitors have failed to warn them about the costs, processes, risks and outcomes for them, including the risks of hair strand testing, finding of fact hearings, and domestic abuse courses.
We believe fathers should be told up front about the reality of how the family courts operate.
This means giving you honest, plain-speaking advice, based on our 20 years experience of the family justice system.
If you are prepared for the worst, you can plan for the best possible outcome.
12 reasons why separated dads should NOT use solicitors
1. The average costs for a solicitor in children’s proceedings are between £20,000-£30,000, but can reach into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Most dads are overpaying for poor service.
2. For over 20 years we’ve seen the devastating financial harm caused to thousands of dads by solicitors. Many have lost everything, with nothing to show for their outlay. In some cases dads have been left bankrupt, destitute, and suicidal.
3. Solicitors are both ‘poacher’ and ‘gamekeeper’. They represent mums denying dads access to their kids in one case, then act for fathers desperate to see their kids in the next. Many find this amoral double standard, deeply troubling.
4. A solicitor’s business model is parasitic, and based on maximum conflict and case duration. The greater the conflict, the greater their income, draining your precious savings and your children’s inheritance.
5. Solicitors are ‘reactive’ not ‘proactive’. Countless dads tell us their solicitors fail to warn them about the process (and pitfalls) and allow mothers and their representatives to control contact and their cases, instead of adopting robust, proactive strategies in and out of court. Many rely on writing countless and expensive letters to mothers solicitors which are legally worthless and not worth the paper they are written on. Worst still, solicitors consistently fail to inform fathers of court procedures and processes, costs, risks involved or work involved.
6. Solicitors work normal office hours, yet many dads need urgent help in their cases out of hours, often because of disputes at contact handovers or because of Police involvement. Dads should be able to get help when they need it, not just when it’s convenient for solicitors.
7. A solicitor’s first duty is to the court, not the father. They are officers of the court and their overriding duty is to the court. They maintain the family justice system is fair and just, and does not discriminate against dads.
8. Solicitors oppose what many of their clients are seeking – 50/50 shared parenting. They say a presumption of shared parenting would undermine the ‘child’s best interest’s principle’.
9. Every time you use a solicitor you are funding the family justice system which discriminates against dads – a staggering 97% of residencies are given to mothers.
10. A third of Fathers4Justice casework involves dads who have been left in financial distress by solicitors who gave poor advice, or worse, simply didn’t care.
11. Fathers4Justice does not assist in cases where solicitors are instructed. Our support is father focused, proactive rather than reactive, and encompasses all aspects of a case, not just the legal aspects.
12. Finally, our dads ‘DIY’ their cases with our support. With an 85% success rate*, F4J delivers results at a fraction of the costs of solicitors. We want you to conclude your case as, economically, pro-actively & successfully as possible.
*85% success rate in obtaining orders where children regain and retain contact with their fathers, Fathers4Justice Internal Statistics, March 2020