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Your first appointment with your divorce Lawyer

A checklist of things that your divorce lawyer will need to know

Divorce, living together and family issues

The following checklist will be helpful to prepare for your first appointment with a lawyer who is helping you get divorced. You do not have to bring anyone to your first appointment with your divorce lawyer, but some people do like to have a family member or close friend available for support for the first meeting. However, do remember that you will have to discuss some quite emotional and sometimes private things. Your lawyer will have to ask you why you want a divorce, so for this reason it’s not a good idea to bring your children, especially if they are young.

They might ask you for some other things, but this is a good start point:

  1. Date and Location of your marriage and the marriage certificate.

2.     Your spouse's full name, address, date of birth and contact details.

3.     Details of your spouse's solicitor if they have one.

4.     Details of all assets owned by you and your spouse, whether alone or jointly. This could include things like bank accounts, house, investments, etc.

5.     Details of all debts owed by you and your spouse, jointly or alone. This could include things like credit cards or mortgage.

6.     Details of all children, including their dates of birth.

7.     Details of you and your spouse's incomes and outgoings.

8.     Details of any prenuptial or post nuptial agreements.

9.     Any pending compensation claims or inheritances. 

It is worth getting what paperwork you can together on all of this before you speak to the lawyer so that you can, for example, give a good idea of what bank accounts there are and how much is in them. However, don't delay in instructing a lawyer while you do that because much of it will be obtained during the divorce process. The first discussion with the lawyer is just to give them the basic details and an idea about the family.

You will also need to be able to tell the lawyer why you want to get divorced. There are only a certain number of specific reasons allowed for a divorce so if you tell the lawyer why you want a divorce, they will be able to tell if it is possible and how it can be achieved.