When a relationship breaks down, it can be an extremely stressful and uncertain time. There are often legal implications when a relationship ends:
- What will happen about the house?
- How will I manage on my own financially?
- What about the children?
Legal advice should be sought at an early stage so you can know “where you stand”.
For solicitors, it is important when we meet with our clients that we get a comprehensive picture. We need to ask about the reasons for the breakdown of the relationship and get important information about financial affairs so we can advise our clients.
For a married couple, we need to know about how the relationship began, how long it lasted and the circumstances that led to the breakdown and the date of separation. The most common petitions that come before the courts are based on the other party’s behaviour. We need to establish that the other person has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them. We will ask you to provide an account of the incidents of behaviour.
Sometimes, finances will get forgotten about but it is extremely important that these are considered. Useful information for solicitors can include details as to the couple’s respective incomes to include any benefits. We will need information regarding all the assets including property, cars and savings, details as to values for any pension you may both hold and any debts.
Where there are children, we need to know whether there are any issues relating to alcohol, drugs, mental health, violence, police or social services involvement. If there are previous proceedings, we will need to see a copy of any court orders.
Taking a few moments to get together the above information will help your legal team to give you the best possible advice, and give you the options you need to go forward.