You may feel daunted by the prospect of your first meeting with your Family Solicitor. It may be something you have been putting off for some time and it's natural to feel anxious.
You can be assured that our advice is always personal, practical and tailored for you. We will clarify your issues, explore your options and find the approach that's right for you.
We want to ensure that you come away from the initial meeting with knowledge and understanding you have gained from speaking to a legal professional. In order to make the most productive use of your time the key is to be prepared. We have put together some guidance to give you an idea about what to expect during the initial consultation appointment and the type of information we will ask for. It has been modelled on an appointment for a client who is considering or going through a divorce, but the general principles apply to all appointments.
We will usually start the appointment by asking you a little bit about why you have come to see us and the events leading up to you booking an appointment. Do not worry - we are not expecting a perfect account, just an overview of the situation which has caused you to consult a solicitor.
After this, we will ask you a number of questions about yourself, your spouse and your children, including names, dates of birth and addresses.
The next thing we will do is talk you through the divorce process, should this be something you are considering. We will explain the different grounds for divorce, letting you know which are applicable in your case, as well as detailing the procedure and any potential liability for costs.
Once you are happy with your understanding of the divorce process, we will proceed to talk to you about finances and to give you some advice regarding how a financial agreement could be reached in your case.
We will explain the different factors that a court would take into account when deciding what an appropriate settlement would be and give you an indication of how that division would look in your case. In order to do that, it will be necessary to put a value on your assets and liabilities. We may therefore ask you some questions about yours and your spouse's financial situation such as:
We are not expecting perfect answers and we do know that in most relationships, one party tends to be more involved in finances than the other. We will take that into account and provide the best advice we can on the information you provide us.
We will then talk about the procedure for exchanging financial information and how to negotiate a settlement. This will involve a discussion about Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, to help you reach an agreement in a swift and non confrontational manner.
Last, but most definitely not least, we may ask you some questions regarding the arrangements for your children. If you are struggling to have contact with your children following a relationship breakdown then we can advise you of the best way to proceed to re-establish a pattern of contact.
This is just an example of the sorts of topics we cover during our initial appointments and the information you can gather in preparation. It is by no means an exhaustive list and we recognise that every case is different.
Download a copy of this guidance by clicking HERE.
If you would like to book a consultation with a member of our family team, please contact us by calling 0330 0945 500, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or complete out Contact Form and we’ll get back to you.