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What to expect at your first meeting with a divorce solicitor


We understand that meeting with a solicitor can be a daunting and unusual event for many. With the added uncertainty, stress and emotion of a relationship breakdown, the lead up to an initial meeting with a divorce solicitor can result in a significant amount of apprehension.

At Steele Raymond, it is our aim to provide a ‘safe space’ in which you are free discuss these matters in way that is most comfortable. In doing so, it is our hope that your first meeting with one of our divorce solicitors is tailored to your specific needs and is as unimposing as possible.

How to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce solicitor

To ensure that you and your divorce solicitor get the most out of the meeting, it is crucial that the circumstances of your relationship and family life are fully and accurately understood. With this information, your solicitor will be able to assess your options and provide you with the best possible advice both at the beginning and throughout the divorce process.

In preparation for your first divorce consultation, you should consider the following:

  • When you and your spouse were married
  • When you and your spouse began cohabiting
  • When you and your spouse separated (if applicable)
  • Are you and your spouse at a point of agreement with regards to your divorce?
  • Do you foresee any contention or acrimony as a result of the divorce application?
  • Have you already considered, or ruled out mediation?

Consider how your divorce will impact upon your children

When children are a part of the divorce process there are a number of additional considerations to make.

These will be explained by your solicitor at the initial meeting. In order to protect your children, it is of great important to highlight any potential issues with regards to their care. Alternatively, you should make your solicitor aware of any childcare plans you may have already made to make with your spouse.

What will be discussed at your first divorce consultation?

  • The details of your marriage (including any previous marriages)
  • Any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements (if applicable)
  • Information with regards to income, assets and debts which will form a part of the divorce
  • The details of your children (if applicable)
  • Any information with regards to pending legal proceedings or court dates
  • The details of our spouse’s solicitor (where applicable)

What questions might you ask your divorce solicitor?

A good divorce meeting or consultation is underpinned by a two-way conversation. Not only is it beneficial for you and your divorce solicitor to build a solid rapport, but sharing as much information as possible, from both sides and confidentially, will help the efficacy of the process.

There are a number of frequently asked questions you may wish to ask your divorce solicitor:

  • Reason: do I have the right to a divorce?
  • Duration: how long will my divorce proceedings take?
  • Outcome: how likely am I to achieve the desired outcome?
  • Point of contact: who will be my solicitor and how do I keep in touch?
  • Cost: how much will my divorce cost? Who will pay and when?
  • Filing: once I have filed for divorce is there anything which could negatively impact on the outcome?
  • Conflict: what if my spouse contests the divorce?

Consider what a ‘good’ divorce would look like to you

The concept of a ‘good’ divorce may seem strange, but if you decide to proceed it is important that you have a firm idea of the desired result and to make this clear during your first consultation.

For instance, if there are children involved, it may be that your priority – and thus the best possible result – is to agree on arrangements for their care and how their time will be shared between you and your former spouse. Alternatively, there may be financial considerations, such as income provision, property interests, investments or business ownership, which you wish to prioritise in your consultation.

Whatever you feel is a ‘good’ outcome, it is important to make this as clear as possible to your divorce solicitor from the outset in order that your solicitor understands your goals and so that they can advise you about seeking to achieve them.

Video transcription

I’m Daniel Sanders and I am a partner and head of the Family team at Steele Raymond. So at a first meeting for family law advice at Steele Raymond, it will usually take place at the offices here.

It’s a completely confidential meeting, which provides you with the opportunity to tell us your story. It provides me with the opportunity to listen to that story and give you some advice on exactly what’s happening in your life. The environment here is quite natural and relaxed. So, it really lends to a clear discussion about your circumstances.

You always appreciate that it could be very difficult to talk about sensitive subject areas, such as items to do with marriage or divorce but we’re very keen to ensure that you feel comfortable in a meeting. That we’re able to actually get the information that we need, and the information-gathering process is very important. It enables me to give you advice on the circumstances arising, it enables you to feel at ease in providing that information.

That in turn builds the solicitor-client relationship, which is equally very important.

Contact us

To speak to one of our solicitors or to arrange an initial divorce consultation, please contact Daniel Sanders or a member of our family team on 01202 983999. Alternatively, you can enquire using the form below. 

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Call us now on 01202 983999 or request a call back from one of the team.

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