Taking the first steps to arrange a meeting with a family lawyer can be a little unnerving and at Tees Law we fully understand this. If you are ready to move forward and have booked your first meeting with one of our family lawyers here is some information on what you can expect.
As your lawyer, our role is to reassure and guide you, as well as give you legal advice. We understand that these meetings will be daunting which is why many people like to have a friend or family member to accompany them. If you would like to have somebody accompany you make sure you’re happy for that person to hear the details of your situation (if there are private matters, you can always ask them to leave the room for that part of the meeting). Having a friend there can be very useful for discussing what was said afterwards. Please note, the person cannot be anyone who is directly involved in the proceedings, such as your estranged partner or children.
In your first meeting with one of our family lawyers they will talk you through timelines and likely costs of any work that will be undertaken by Tees on your behalf. It will be a very open conversation and they will look to get a good understanding of your background, the events that led up to your decisions and where possible our team will look to give you initial advice and deal with any immediate concerns you may have. Once more relevant information has been reviewed more detailed advice can be given out.
You don’t need to bring any documents to the initial meeting as we understand that this might be difficult in doing so, we can gather further information as we work together moving forward. If you are able to bring documents and information with you this will help with the process. The documents and information that is useful to bring or have to hand would be:
List of questions
Please prepare a list of questions you want to ask for you to refer to during the meeting. It’s so easy to forget questions you wanted to ask, during the course of discussions about your situation. It’s never too late though, you can call us after the meeting to ask further questions.
Relationship key dates
Write out a brief chronology of your relationship, to include events such as: when you met, when you started living together (if this occurred before your marriage), when you married, when you separated (if this has already occurred) and the dates of birth of any family members (your estranged partner or children).
Letters or documents from estranged partner
Bring with you any letters or documents you may have received from your estranged partner’s solicitors or the Court. This will enable us to understand what if any legal action has been undertaken and how we may best assist you.
In respect of your own financial position, you will be asked about your understanding of your current income, savings and assets. If you can also prepare an outline schedule of the financial position of your family, so far as you are aware of this, please try to do so. You’re more than welcome to bring financial documents with you, whether by way of assets in your sole name or jointly held with another person.
We have strict rules about how we may view or use another party’s documents. If you have documents such as these in your possession with the full consent and knowledge of the other party, then this will probably cause no issue. However, if you’re uncertain as to whether you should have these, we must discuss these rules with you before you bring them to us. If you’re in any doubt, just give us a ring and we will talk you through it.
Estimated property valuation
If you are looking to divorce, the matrimonial home or any other property in the relationship is likely to be an important part of the overall assets of the marriage and it would be helpful if you have a rough idea of the value of the property. This can generally be achieved by speaking to local estate agents or looking online.
If you’re seeking advice about starting a divorce, it would be helpful for you to bring your original marriage certificate or an official certified copy (a photocopy is not sufficient for the purposes of commencing divorce proceedings). If you’re unable to locate your marriage certificate, please let us know and we will help you to get a certified copy from the church or registry office where you were married.
Tees is here to help
Our specialist lawyers are based in:
But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales
Chat to the Author, Sally Powell
Executive Partner, Families and Divorce, Bishop's Stortford officeMeet Sally
- Areas of expertise
Legal 500 UK 2022
'Sally Powell is bright, tactical, has brilliant client care and is a superb all-rounder. A leader in her field and a go-to for difficult private law or financial family disputes'
'Sally kept me fully informed at every stage of the process and undoubtedly went ‘the extra mile’ to complete the matter on time. Overall a very professional service for which I am extremely grateful'