Kerry Graham Partner and Head of Bristol Family Department
Visiting a Family Solicitor for the First Time
It is going to be a daunting experience regardless of attempts to “sugar coat” it.
This will be the first time you go to see a solicitor to talk about the person you lived with/ married/ had a child/ children with perhaps over a significant number of years and the relationship is now over. There will be a whole mix of emotions ranging from anger to remorse, resentment to sadness.
We are not here to judge on what you have or have not done. Our role is to listen and advise as best as we can and our advice will be tailored to your circumstances to help find a solution.
Once you have made that first call to a solicitor, you are halfway there. The next step is the meeting.
Preparing for the first formal meeting
- Bring all Court documents with you if there are proceedings already before a Court;
- Bring all solicitors’ correspondence with you;
- If your first meeting is to talk about the finances (incomes/ property/ savings/ pensions) arising from the relationship, it would be helpful to have a breakdown of what there is with your own documentation, either before or at the outset of the meeting. Try to bring along current and up to date figures in the form of bank statements, mortgage redemption statements etc;
- Draw up a list of questions you would like answered at the first meeting as it is frustrating to remember something after the event;
- Bring ID with you in the form of a passport/ driving licence/ recent bank statement as we will need your ID to open a file.
Our family clients tell us that the most nerve wracking part is walking through the door of our offices into the unknown but thereafter they feel in safe hands.
A recent client informed me that although the thought of the initial meeting was “just awful”, I was “brilliant”. This is what we want to hear. It means that we are making the process just that little bit easier.