When you’re considering separation, getting started is often the hardest thing to do. So if you’ve taken that first step and made an appointment to see a solicitor then well done.
Your initial meeting can help you to think about what method of separation might suit you best – whether you choose mediation, arbitration, collaborative family law or court divorce. Your solicitor will be able to offer advice and guidance on your options and what to expect from your situation.
Once you’ve arranged to meet with us you’ll receive an email confirmation of the time and date and which solicitor you will be seeing. The first half an hour with one of our expert solicitors is free of charge. If there is a charge this will be at a reduced rate, and we will ask you to pay at the end of the appointment. Details of costs will be included in your confirmation email.
What happens next?
First, it‘s important to understand that just because you’ve made an appointment to discuss separation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up in court or even get divorced. Some couples find that the act of considering separation is a catalyst for making big changes, seeking relationship counselling and fighting to fix their relationship.
Your solicitor will not try and pressure you into doing anything at all if you don’t want to. This first meeting should be an information gathering exercise for you and your lawyer. Use it as an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about divorce and separation, such as: how long it will take, what will happen to your children, how you should go about dividing your assets, how much child support you will receive, will you need to sell the house, or will you need to make a new will. We will do our best to give you all the information you need and advise you on your best options according to your circumstances.
And if you decide you’re not ready or are unable to make your appointment we would ask you to let us know as soon as possible. (We are really very nice and won’t hold it against you!)
What should you bring to the appointment?
You will need to bring a form of photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and a recent utility bill or bank statement which includes your address.
You don’t necessarily need to bring any other documentation unless you’ve received any information from your partner’s solicitor or have any particular issues about property or finances you’d like advice on. In this case, bring along any admin that will help make the best use of your appointment time.
If you are intending to start divorce proceedings please bring your original marriage certificate. A photocopy is not sufficient. If you’re worried about losing your original certificate you can order a copy here.
If you’d like to bring along a friend or relative for support, that’s absolutely fine, but you can’t bring your spouse or partner.
Frances Lindsay & Co provide expert, down-to-earth family law services across the Thames Valley, including Maidenhead, Henley, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Marlow and Windsor. Let us take the weight off your shoulders and get in touch at www.franceslindsay.co.uk.Tags: divorce solicitor Thames Valley