Preparing for a first meeting with your divorce solicitor banner


Preparing for a first meeting with your divorce solicitor

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Divorce clients say that the thought of meeting a divorce solicitor for the first time is something they dread, thinking that an appointment to see a top family lawyer is worse than going to see the dentist. However, the family team at OTS Solicitors find that after meeting a divorce client for the first time , clients invariably says that the meeting “was not as bad as they thought”.

Good family lawyers are used to putting people at their ease so they feel comfortable discussing personal and financial matters. However, the best family solicitors will also help a client prepare for their first meeting with their divorce solicitor. That means that not only does the client know what to expect but also they can get the best outcome from the meeting.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

The friendly and approachable family law team at OTS Solicitors advise on divorce proceedings and all aspects of family law, including children law and financial settlements.

To discuss how the family law team at OTS Solicitors can help you please call us on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors.

Meeting your divorce solicitor

Prior to meeting your divorce solicitor for the first time, you may have already done your research on your chosen solicitor or have spoken to them about preparation for and what to expect at the first meeting, but here are a few tips:

1. If you want to do so, you can bring a friend or family member with you to the first meeting with your divorce solicitor. Make sure you chose your friend or family member with care because personal information will be discussed at the meeting. Furthermore, you may not want your companion to “take over” your meeting with their agenda or questions. Friends and family can provide invaluable support even if they wait for you whilst you go into the meeting or for you to use as a sounding board afterwards.

2. Meetings can run on so if you are down to do the school run and collect the children or if you have a work meeting to go onto it can be an idea to give yourself plenty of time, so you do not have to rush your first meeting with your divorce solicitor.

3.  Your divorce solicitor will need some basic information at the first meeting. Top London divorce solicitors will be happy to take the information from you at the meeting if that is your preferred option. Alternatively, you can email them or bring the information to the meeting with you. If you do not get chance to write the information down or email it, then do not worry, you should still attend the meeting.

The sort of basic information required to discuss a separation or commencing divorce proceedings is:

  • Your full name, address, occupation and date of birth and that of your spouse;
  • The full names of your children/ stepchildren and their dates of birth and, if they are in education, the names of their schools or nurseries. It is helpful to know if the children have any disabilities or special needs;
  • If you have already separated from your spouse, the current living and contact arrangements for the children. If there have been any previous court proceedings for child arrangements orders or other children act orders in relation to the children or step-children then copies of the court orders are helpful;
  • If you or your children are not British citizens, information about your nationalities / dual nationality and immigration status is necessary. That is so your divorce solicitor can give you the best advice on court jurisdiction and how a separation or divorce may or may not affect your immigration status or that of your spouse;
  • The date and place of your marriage. If you have your marriage certificate, it is helpful if you bring it to the meeting. Your divorce  solicitor will also need to know roughly when you met your partner and when you started living together;
  • Information about any previous divorce proceedings and the stage the divorce proceedings reached. If you have the paperwork it is useful to bring it to the meeting so your divorce  solicitor can take details of the divorce court number and give the best advice on whether the previous divorce proceedings can be revived or whether they will need to be restarted;
  • If you have been attending family mediation, any mediation summaries , statements or memorandum of understanding prepared by your family mediator;
  • If you signed a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement it is helpful to bring a copy if you have one available;
  • If you have a Will, then bring a copy of your Will. It does not matter if you cannot locate a copy of the Will before your meeting with your divorce  solicitor;
  • If your pension or financial advisor prepares annual reports for you on the value of your pension or investments, then a top London divorce solicitor will want to see  a copy of the last available report;
  • If you have information about yours and your spouse’s income and financial circumstances (gross and net income, property values, mortgage details, bank accounts and investments, pensions etc.)  then it is helpful to bring the information to the meeting. Do not worry if you have very little information about your spouse’s financial circumstances as your divorce solicitor can discuss financial disclosure with you;
  • You should bring a list of your concerns and questions. At your first meeting, your divorce solicitor will want to address any immediate concerns, for example, if you want to know whether you can change the locks to the family home or stop contact. Your divorce solicitor will also want to go through your list of questions and answer as many as they can. At a first meeting, it usually is not possible to answer what the childcare arrangements or financial settlement will be precisely in the long term, but your solicitor should be able to tell you what additional information and paperwork is necessary, the best options for you to reach a family law resolution and the potential timescales.

Most people should come out of a first meeting with a top London divorce solicitor with a clearer understanding of what the family law process will entail. This will depend on whether court proceedings are thought necessary or if mediation or arbitration is the best option for you to reach a family resolution. In addition, you should have a good understanding of your divorce solicitor’s next steps, how they will work with you, and what further information or paperwork, if any, you need to provide so that your divorce solicitor can start work on your behalf.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

The top family and divorce law team at OTS Solicitors can help you with your divorce, children law and financial settlement questions.

The family law team at OTS Solicitors will listen to you and to what you want, and will explain your options clearly, and help support you throughout the divorce proceedings and children and financial settlement negotiations or court proceedings.

Please call us on 0203 959 9123 for information about how we can help you or to arrange an appointment to see a London divorce solicitor.

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