A Family Law Solicitor could help those thinking about divorce. Separating from your partner is never easy, regardless of the circumstances. It is an emotional time for both individuals and when there are children involved, it’s tougher. Talking to a solicitor can be daunting, especially when it comes to making a separation final. So, what questions should you ask a solicitor?
Who’ll get custody of the children?
There’s a presumption that mothers automatically get custody of their children, but that’s not entirely true. Courts base this decision on the child’s welfare and what’s in their best interests, among other factors. For instance, a stepmother is unlikely to get custody of a child, although visitation could be maintained if parties agree to it.
Is it necessary to go to court to finalise a divorce?
Court can be avoided if both spouses come to an amicable agreement. Of course, this depends on several factors, including whether other issues must be finalised by the court. You should always ask your Family Law Solicitor this question as it’ll help you understand what’s likely to happen next.
Should I avoid speaking with my spouse during the divorce?
It depends on the circumstances of the divorce and how amicable things have been. For instance, if domestic abuse has played a part in the marriage, it’s probably easier to avoid communication without the presence of a solicitor. This is something your Family Law Solicitor will discuss with you. Also, you or your spouse might not want to communicate for whatever reason.
How long will it take for the separation to be finalised?
Unfortunately, this is an open-ended question because you never know how a divorce will play out. For instance, an amicable separation could be over within a few months and without any court proceedings. On the other hand, if the separation wasn’t wanted by both parties – and there are many issues to resolve – it could take several months, if not years.
It truly depends on your specific circumstances. A Family Law Solicitor should give you some indication of this, however.
What will the settlement be?
If you choose to go through with a divorce, a settlement can vary considerably. Courts will take several factors into account, such as who is the primary breadwinner, marital assets, property, savings, and more besides. A Family Law Solicitor should review the specifics of your circumstances.
What happens if the divorce goes ahead?
Solicitors should typically explain the basics of a divorce, including the step-by-step process. This is an important question to ask a solicitor because you need to be prepared for the months ahead. It’s also a difficult time and knowing what happens next can prevent a nasty shock.
Do you have much experience handling divorce cases?
A solicitor doesn’t need to have fifty years of experience to be competent, and you may even be happy with a newcomer. The reality is that you should know a solicitor’s experience so that you feel reassured by them. It’s your choice at the end of the day. Just know a little more about them so that you are sure they’re the right solicitor for your separation.
Can joint bank accounts be used during a separation?
This is a grey area in separation. Some will say it’s fine to use joint bank accounts during a separation while others say it’s totally wrong. Your Family Law Solicitor should discuss this with you and advise you on what should be done. Ideally, both parties shouldn’t use funds from joint accounts until the separation has been finalised. Again, this is something to discuss with your solicitor.
How much will it cost to use your services?
It’s hard to put a price on a solicitor’s time, but most should discuss how their fees work. This is an important question to ask so that you know how much you’ll pay the solicitor. You should ask if they’re able to take on a legal aid case (if you’re entitled to free legal help).
Will you personally handle the case?
It’s important to know who exactly your Family Law Solicitor is. You need to know if the person you originally meet with will handle any court proceedings or if it’s passed onto another. Whether it matters to you or not, it’s important to know who’s in charge of your divorce proceedings.
Always question a solicitor before you hire them
You probably feel unsure about bombarding a solicitor with a dozen questions, but it’s good business sense. Separations are not easy and can be made worse with the wrong legal help. That’s why you should always take the time to ask family law solicitors questions before you hire them. A Family Law Solicitor won’t mind and may even be a reassuring presence.