Closeup of a man signing  divorce papers.

A closer relationship with media – the answer for divorce lawyers?

The current divorce rate in the UK is 42%. There are a vast array of reasons why couples file for divorce but one of the main causes is often considered to be financial challenges. As we continue to battle through a cost-of-living crisis and financial uncertainty many experts are predicting that the divorce rate may increase further.

Despite the divorce rate remaining high, it’s interesting to see that according to the latest Government figures there has been a significant increase in the number of divorce cases taking place where neither party was represented by a lawyer. The figure where neither party has a solicitor has now reached 40%, up, from 13% since 2013, and 3% since 2021.

These statistics make for troubling reading for family lawyers and specialist divorce law firms alike. This isn’t the only instance of the general population taking legal matters into their own hands; think DIY wills which have risen in popularity in recent years as people try to keep costs down.

Family lawyers find themselves in an interesting position. Even though appointing a lawyer to oversee divorce proceedings is more likely to lead to better outcomes, there is currently a lack of education on the value that lawyers can add, which is leading to the exponential increase in couples thinking that they can go without.

Family lawyers, or those firms where family practice is a significant part of the business, need a way to showcase the value they can provide, before people begin to even consider divorce, or else run the risk even more people choosing to proceed without them.

Unlike conveyancing, where there’s plenty of information about the benefits of choosing a lawyer, and a plethora of people willing to make recommendations and discuss their experience, as a more emotive topic divorce is rarely discussed in a public forum. This means that those looking for education are often left in the dark. How then are family lawyers meant to educate prospective clients?

This is where the media can provide a significant opportunity. The right Legal PR strategy, and agency partner, can enable family lawyers to seed messaging about the value that they can add to what is an incredibly stressful process. Media coverage is subtle enough that those considering divorce have a way to consume content around the topic without being overt, and it gives family lawyers a way to showcase their expertise on a public platform, without a hardline sales message.

Helpfully the fairly recent changes to divorce law, with the introduction of no-fault divorce law in 2022, and the eagerly anticipated changes to the Matrimonial Causes Act, not to mention the vast number of high-profile divorces, give family lawyers a perfect platform to showcase their expertise and educate potential clients.

The question is, are family lawyers willing to engage with media, or risk a conscious uncoupling from their clients?

Get in touch with the team