Preparing for a meeting with a family lawyer

by Chris on January 14, 2013

Meeting with a solicitor for the first time can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re dealing with a sensitive case and require the services of a family solicitor. Putney to Glasgow, Manchester to Cardiff – wherever you are, it’ll always be a bit scary. However it doesn’t have to be, as long as you prepare properly. Yes, the situation might be upsetting (often, family solicitors deal with custody or divorce cases), but getting your head straight beforehand can make the meeting go smoothly.

So, what should you do to prepare for your first meeting with your family solicitor?

Gather any important information
Any information that you think will be pertinent to your case should be gathered and kept in a file or folder. This can anything from the timeline of events throughout a marriage, or documents relating to any previous custody arrangements that were drawn up. Whatever it is, it could help build your case and fill your solicitor in on the situation’s finer details, so don’t be scared to take it with you. Do draw up a list of questions you have for the solicitor too, as these might escape your mind when you actually get there.

Consider if you need any support
If you’re really scared or worried about the appointment, don’t hesitate in asking a friend or family member to attend it with you. They would probably much rather that you asked them than sat worrying yourself. What’s more, they may remember the details of the meeting better than you, as you could be stressed or anxious. They could always takes for you, particularly when it comes to the advice issued by your solicitor. Either way, just remember your loved ones are there to give you support – so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Prepare yourself to open up
There’s no use heading to a solicitor for help then not sharing all of the intimate details of your situation. Your solicitor is not there to judge you. He/she wants to help and in order to that, needs to know all the information you have. Everything you say is kept entirely confidential; between you and your solicitor, plus any of your friends or family members that are present. Likewise though, they are not there to counsel you in an emotional sense – so don’t go in thinking they’ll be able to offer personal advice. They are likely to be sympathetic, but ultimately their focus is on the legal case.

Sort your finances
Solicitors don’t come cheap – but they do provide a very worthwhile, necessary service. However it’s still wise to sort your finances out before you attend the meeting. They aren’t going to provide their services for free, so you should know how you’re going to pay for the bill and where that money is coming from. You should also prepare an extra pot of money for expenses you hadn’t thought of. For example, some solicitors will charge you for them writing a letter and sending it, or for talking to you on the phone for a half hour. Do your sums before you get there and you’ll be fully prepared for any related fees.

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