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Meeting a Family Lawyer for the first time – The Expectations
Deciding to take the plunge and meet with a family lawyer for the first time can be a hugely daunting experience.
The family team at Tozers are committed to supporting you every step of the way and making you feel as at ease as possible. We understand that every situation is unique and of a personal nature to you. When discussing finances and children, we aim to address your concerns in a sensitive and empathetic manner.
How can I help myself?
Meeting with a family lawyer for the first time can feel a little overwhelming, to overcome this we have included a few suggestions on how you can be fully prepared prior to your meeting.
- We recommend that you write down a list of questions that you would like to have answered. It might not be possible to have these answered definitively, but we will try to provide you with various scenarios so that you are fully aware of the possible outcomes.
- If you are seeking a divorce, it is useful to have your marriage certificate as this is required to commence divorce proceedings.
- If your matter is likely to include consideration of your financial position it is important to make a note of assets, income and expenditure.
- In addition to your finances, it is also advisable to contact your pension provider and obtain your Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) as this can be a lengthy process. Requesting this early will avoid any unnecessary delays.
- If you own any properties, it is useful to have details of how you own this property whether as joint tenants or tenants in common and the approximate value. You could enquire about the value through a local estate agent or by an online search.
- We also recommend that you provide details of the mortgage provider and the outstanding balance on the mortgage.
- If your matter involves children it would be useful to think about the practicalities of them spending time with you and the other parent. This includes, living arrangements, holidays and birthdays etc. Think about what you consider as a reasonable expectation and how those expectations might be put into best practice.
You can also consider bringing a family member or friend to your appointment if you would like further support. A family member or friend can be useful to write down points which are discussed in the meeting so you have a point of reference to return to.
In order to help you
Prior to meeting with us we will speak with you over the telephone and ask you a series of questions, this will usually take between 5 – 10 minutes and is used to assist us in building up a picture of your current circumstances.
Following on from the telephone call you will be sent a client information form. This will usually take between 15 – 20 minutes to complete.
Once completed we would ask that you return this document to us in readiness for your appointment.
During the appointment
We will work with you to clearly identify and understand your issues and establish the best process for you. We will also use this time to select the most appropriate member of our experienced family law team to deal with your case and discuss with you the likely costs involved, payment options, including any fixed fees and the timescales for the work.
Please note that unlike most firms there is no charge made for your initial meeting. We will not put pressure on you to proceed with our instructions, as we know that not everyone is ready to proceed, but we will be here for you when you are.
What are my next steps?
It is our responsibility to provide you with practical advice and support in an objective manner. What is discussed with us will remain entirely confidential, we will not pass judgement or be shocked by what you say.
You will be telling us some very personal things and we want to you be able to trust us in the knowledge that we will support you, understand your concerns and manage your expectations accordingly.
If you would like to speak with one of our family law specialists, regarding supporting you with advice on divorce, separation, civil partnerships, finances, pensions, children, parental responsibilities, grandparent’s rights and any other family related matter please contact us on 01392 207020.