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A first meeting with a lawyer in connection with a divorce is often a very daunting prospect for many people particularly if they have never had cause to seek legal advice before and especially when it relates to a very personal and often sensitive topic.

At Mincoffs, we will put you at ease and will do our best to make the first meeting as straightforward and helpful as possible.

We offer a free no obligation initial appointment to give us the opportunity to get to know you, understand your situation and offer our advice on how you might wish to proceed. This also gives you an opportunity to get to know us, the way that we work and to consider whether you feel we would be the right person to support you and represent you moving forwards.

How do I prepare?

Try not to worry.

We ask that you are open and honest so that we can give you our best advice, tailored to your individual circumstances.

Feel free to bring along a list of important questions that you would like to ask and if possible, give some thought to your priorities and what it is that you would like to achieve.

What do I bring?

We will ask that you bring along two forms of ID to any initial meeting which is required for our internal processes and procedures. This will need to be something photographic such as a passport or driving licence and something showing your current address such as a bank statement or utility bill not more than three months old.

It would be helpful if you could bring along any correspondence or documents that you may have received relating to your matter such as court documents or letters/emails received from a lawyer on behalf of your partner.

It will also assist if you could come prepared with brief details relating to your marriage such as when you first met, date of marriage, age of the parties, dates of birth of any children and date of separation.

In addition, it will assist if you are able to give us a brief understanding of the finances of the marriage. This includes details of any property that you have, to include the value and any outstanding mortgages, details of any other capital such as savings, money in the bank, shares and investments etc along with information on any businesses, details of any liabilities, pensions and also roles of employment and associated income. You should only come with that you know – you shouldn’t go looking for information or documentation and must certainly not bring along any documentation that doesn’t belong to you.

You should not worry if you do not have any knowledge or full details concerning finances at the initial appointment stage. We will discuss this with you and talk about how best to establish and understand the finances of the marriage in due course.

What can I expect?

We will first need to understand from you your position and why it is that you are seeking advice from a lawyer. It is important for you to have the opportunity to explain your circumstances and we are likely to ask you some questions to ensure we have the information that we feel we need in the first instance. We will highlight any immediate issues, if there are any,  that we feel need to be addressed as a priority. We will talk to you about the options that we consider are available to you and the points that we consider need to be addressed in more detail in order to progress your matter. In some cases, if we have sufficient information, we may be able to give our view on likely future settlement prospects. We will do our best to deal with any questions that you may have and we hope that you will leave the meeting feel informed and with a course of action, should you choose to take it.

Next steps

It is important to be clear that a first meeting does not commit you to taking further action. Arranging to discuss matters with a family lawyer does not have to signal the end of your relationship and nor should it mean that you cannot consider a reconciliation if you are newly separated. Early advice from a specialist lawyer can help you understand your position and can help you make informed decisions.

During the meeting, we will outline the options that we believe are available to you. It will be a matter for you as to whether you wish to act on those options immediately, or at a later date.

Cost

The first meeting will be free of charge. Thereafter, our costs will be based on our hourly rates which range from £180 – £310 plus VAT within the team. Our overall costs are determined by the time that we are required to spend on your matter. We would hope to be in a better position to give you an indication on potential likely costs at the conclusion of our first meeting with you when we should hopefully have a better understanding of your position and the likely work that may be involved.

If you would like to book a free initial appointment, please contact Emily Cannell on 0191 2127718 or email ecannell@mincoffs.co.uk

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