Meeting your family solicitor

At Barker Gotelee our family department recognise that whether you are going through a relationship breakdown for the first time or the fifth time, the first meeting with your family solicitor can feel daunting. Many emotions will be swirling around along with a multitude of questions and you will want to get as much as you can out of the first meeting whilst not feeling too overwhelmed.

Our initial consultation process is for a set price and the meeting usually lasts 45 minutes. As there can be a lot to get through, here are our tips on how to best prepare for the meeting:

1) What outcome do you want to achieve?

Our team will focus on working together with you to reach your desired outcome and settlement wherever possible. So for example, if your goal is to retain the family home after separation, this is something key our team need to know at the first meeting so we can advise you on what information you will need to obtain to see whether this outcome can be achieved.

2) Come prepared

When meeting your family solicitor, it is always helpful to know as much detail as possible about your financial situation and that of your ex-partner. Discussions will usually be focused on the value of your family home, any mortgages, and the details and value of any assets and liabilities (debts) you and your partner have. Exact figures and documents are not required at this early stage but having a good overview will help.

3) Bring a list of questions

At this time of uncertainty it is normal for you to have a host of questions. We are here to guide you through the process and no question should ever be considered silly or trivial. If you are worried about anything, ask! If there is anything that you do not understand, or legal jargon that you would like explained, ask!

4) Make sure it is a convenient time

Seeking legal advice about your family matters is always beneficial, whether it concerns divorce, arrangements for your children, financial matters or any other family law concerns. By its nature it does involve sharing personal and sometimes sensitive information with your family solicitor in order to discuss and achieve the best possible outcome. The initial consultation is an information gathering and option exploring exercise so it is essential that you are comfortable and in an environment where you can speak freely.  Ensuring you have the privacy to speak openly is key, so if you need to rearrange your initial meeting for a more convenient time, just let us know.

If you would like to book an initial consultation with the family team, please call 01473 611 211.

Tina Kingsbury is a solicitor in the family team at Barker Gotelee, solicitors in Suffolk.

Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email