An Interview With Our Family Solicitor, Farzana Naz
We discuss today Resolution family law. Is it possible to have a good divorce? We think so. Harsh, needlessly aggressive divorce negotiations make for good TV drama, but this is not a constructive strategy for real life couples.
Especially when children are involved.
Ending a marriage does not have to involve emotionally draining tit-for-tat tactics, which further drive hostility between two people who once cared deeply for each other. The best, long-term results occur when each party feels heard and has the support available to work out arrangements between themselves.
A strong belief in this ethos led the head of our Family Law department, Farzana Naz, to become a member of Resolution, a group of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in the UK who believe in resolving family matters in a non-confrontational, positive manner.
All members of Resolution must adhere to a Code of Practice which promotes a constructive approach to resolving family law matters, considers the needs of the whole family and puts the welfare of the children first.
The Code of Practice states that members shall:
- Reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation; for example, by not using inflammatory language.
- Support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first.
- Act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.
- Help clients understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions.
- Listen to and treat everyone with respect and without judgment.
- Use their experience and knowledge to guide clients through the options available to them.
- Continually develop their knowledge and skills.
- Use the Resolution Guides to Good Practice in their day-to-day work.
Farzana kindly agreed to give us some of her time to explain why she became a member of Resolution and the benefits that working under the organisation’s Code of Practice offers couples who are going through a divorce.
Farzana, what made you decide to become a family lawyer?
During my training I did a lot of family and immigration law work. I got a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction in helping families resolve issues. I believe it is crucial that both parents are involved in their children’s lives (unless it is unsafe to permit this) and I get a lot of fulfilment in helping families as a whole move on to a positive, happier future.
When and why did you join Resolution?
I became a member of Resolution upon joining Saracen Solicitors in 2014. Resolution encourages parties to resolve matters between themselves rather than taking the matter to court, a philosophy that I agree with. When I am representing a client, if I can get them and their partner talking, they often come to a quicker settlement regarding finances and children. Not only does this mean they can move on with their lives quicker, the divorce process is a lot more cost-effective than battling each other in court.
Did you have to under-take any training to join Resolution?
Yes, all members must participate in a course during the first year of the membership, which covers the Code of Practice. As a member, I must also continually attend training courses to enhance my professional development and ensure I am up-to-date with changes in family law.
What do clients experience when they instruct a Resolution family law solicitor?
One of the biggest advantages for a client is that not only will their solicitor not employ an aggressive approach; they will make strenuous efforts to diffuse any aggression from the other party’s family lawyer. When I am faced with a confrontational approach by the other side’s lawyer, I can be tough in response, but in an assertive, calm manner, making it very clear my client will not be bullied. More often than not, this results in the other party softening their stance and agreeing to work constructively to resolve the issues.
Being a member of Resolution requires me to listen to my clients, getting them to focus on what’s important in the long-term and giving them the confidence to make the best decisions for them and the rest of the family. By using this approach, clients are more inclined to talk to each other and will develop the skills they need to civilly resolve any issues that crop up in the future as circumstances change.
I can also recommend other avenues of support to my clients, such as the names of counsellors and financial advisors.
Is the Resolution Code of Practice appropriate in cases involving high-net-worth couples?
Absolutely. Because Resolution’s ethos is aimed at getting parties talking, either through a round-table meeting or mediation, matters usually conclude more swiftly that if an adversarial approach is used. This means clients are less likely to face large legal bills and may receive a larger settlement as a result.
How does Resolution benefit children?
Under the Code of Practice, a Resolution family lawyer must make their client aware that the children’s needs should come first. In times of high-stress and anger, clients often need a gentle but firm reminder that although their marriage may have ended, their role as parents never will. I will often recommend that each party attends the Separated Parents Information Program. This course is designed to help separating parents understand the effect of divorce on children and the steps they can take to put their children first when managing disputes.
Ultimately, my clients feel safe knowing that myself and my team follow the Resolution Code of Practice. It is clear from the beginning when they instruct us that we are not interested in dragging out the case to collect a large fee; we have an obligation to ensure the matter is resolved as quickly as possible, so long as it is in the client’s best interest to do so.
Saracens Solicitors is a multi-service law firm based opposite Marble Arch on the North side of Hyde Park in London. We have years of experience representing high-net-worth individuals in divorce proceedings and have the resources and expertise available to achieve swift, fair financial settlements and arrangements for children. You can contact Farzana and her team on 020 3588 3500.
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