Seven Things To Know About Your First Meeting With Your Family Law Solicitor
Whether or not to begin the divorce process is a difficult decision, and deciding to consult a family law solicitor can be the hardest step to take. Even if you are not sure what you want to do, we can offer valuable, impartial advice in an initial meeting which will help you work things out.
These are some things to consider, when coming to see us, to make sure you get the best out of the meeting.
- Make time
There will be a lot you wish to discuss, and there will be a lot to take in. Leave plenty of time to get all of your thoughts together and make sure you don’t have to rush off anywhere. You will find it difficult to focus if your eye is on the clock. Also, allow yourself some time after the meeting to reflect on what’s been said. Maybe sit down for half an hour to look through your notes, make additional ones and give yourself time to think.
- Be prepared
There are a lot of factors to consider in getting a divorce and having as much information to hand as possible will help us give you the best advice in your initial meeting. Write everything down if you need to, including dates of marriage, children’s birthdates, the value of your home and mortgage and any other financials that could be useful. These could include your current or previous earnings, savings and pensions policies of both you and your partner. The more details we have the better our advice can be.
- Ask questions
Take some time beforehand to write down anything that you want to know. We will talk through the divorce process with you and every client has different concerns or priorities, so make sure you ask if something isn’t clear or you need more information. There are lots of options and things to consider. You may decide on mediation as a way forward, or you might want to get a better idea of what contact arrangements could look like (what we used to call child custody)
- Ask for support
We try to make our clients feel as relaxed as possible. We know that this is an incredibly emotional process, and we fully understand that our clients maybe nervous or emotional. You are more than welcome to bring a friend or family member with you, and they are often very useful for taking notes or talking things through with afterwards. If you do decided to come alone, don’t worry, we will be there to support you.
- There’s no need to decide
Some people come to us with the mind already set on getting a divorce, whilst others just want to know their options. Either of these is fine. If you want to start divorce proceedings straight away, we’ll let you know the next steps. If not, that is absolutely fine and entirely your decision. We won’t contact you to follow up, and the decision rests entirely with you. All our meetings are strictly confidential and an initial meeting with us is not the start of something if you don’t want it to be.
- Information to take away
We’ll let you know if there is anything you need to do. Often we recommend having a will prepared, checking your legal ownership or limiting access to joint bank accounts or debts. We will go through all of these with you and advise on what your actions should be.
- Know your costs
In this meeting, we’ll estimate what we think your costs will be. We offer a fixed fee divorce service which provides piece of mind. If the courts need to be involved, the costs can be harder to predict. However we will give you an indication of fees, solicitors charges and any other fees or disbursements which might be incurred.
We are specialists in Family Law and a member of Resolution. You can find us on the lawsociety.org.uk website, and on Resolution.org.uk. If you’d like to talk to us or ask for guidance, get in touch by email or call us on 01788 555042.