There is a common misconception that a trip to the solicitors for some marital advice is the beginning of the end when a couple is going through marital difficulties, with Divorce proceedings following shortly thereafter. However, this simply isn’t true. For many of the clients we deal with, they just want to know what their options are should they decide to go down that route. They want to know “Where they stand” – and we can help with this.
A lack of understanding about the Divorce process, and relevant considerations as part of that process, can lead to unnecessary stress on an individual. Prompt legal advice at whatever stage of a couple’s relationship is extremely useful to ensure that the right course of action is followed.
An advice appointment is the most straightforward choice for an individual to obtain the appropriate advice when deciding the best option to take going forward.
For us as legal practitioners, it is useful if a client can provide information relating to their own, and ideally their spouse’s finances, such as:-
- Details of their earnings?
- Details of any assets they hold?
- Is any property owned, and if so how is this held? Who is the mortgage with and what is the value of the property?
- Do they have savings?
- Do they have debt, whether joint or in their own name?
- Do they have pensions, and if so how much are these worth?
Having all of the above information helps us to give a more accurate idea of how best to resolve marital finances.
It can be helpful for clients to have a list of pre-prepared questions. The reason for this is that a lot of information is provided at the appointment and this ensures that there is the best use of the time. Also, we actively encourage our clients to make notes and, if attending an appointment by telephone, to have someone with them to provide both emotional and practical support during the appointment.
These initial advice appointments can be extremely useful to determine if Divorce is the right option for an individual. We can provide an important information resource to help our clients know what the law says, should the worst happen, and Divorce seems to be the best option to resolve matters.