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Getting the most out of a meeting with your lawyer

Relationship breakdown can be complex and often money is tight, therefore getting the most out of a meeting with your lawyer is important. In order to get the most effective use of your time and your lawyer’s, here are some key things you may wish to consider:

  1. Get your financial information up to date and in order.  Start collating bank statements, tax returns, pay slips, P60’s and account details and ideally have these to hand.
  2. Prepare a chronology of key dates and events in the relationship, particularly where relevant to your finances.
  3. Make a note of what you want to discuss and what your lawyer may need from you.
  4. Ask your lawyer to give you an estimate of fees for each stage or the case, and if you are not clear, make sure you ask. Think about how the costs of your case may be funded – legal aid is not available to deal with the finances on divorce save in very specific cases. Funding options might include the use of savings/capital, your spouse paying a contribution towards fees, 0% credit cards or third party funding through a litigation loan. If monies are being loaned from a friend or family, make sure that you enter into a formal loan agreement to show that it’s repayable and on what terms.

At Hawkins Family Law, we use software to enable prospective clients to submit (safe and confidentially) a full brief of their information, which it summarises for our lawyers. The system can be accessed via our website. The system begins with 8 basic initial questions to ascertain the key elements of a client’s situation. Based on the client’s answers, the system instantly generates several pages of information that is bespoke and personalised for the client. It does not provide legal advice. Instead, it helps clients understand where they stand, and how we can help them so that they feel that they are getting the most out a meeting with a lawyer. For more information can be found on the side bar to the right, under ‘Find Out Where You Stand’.

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