Help from a solicitor

Last updated: 24/01/2020

You may want or need to use a solicitor when you are separating from your partner. They can help with legal matters like getting a divorce, dividing property, protecting you from abuse and making arrangements for children.

Using a solicitor

Choosing the right solicitor is important. Get personal recommendations from family or friends who have used a family law solicitor. It is important to try to get this right from the start as changing solicitors ‘mid-stream’ can be difficult.

Choose a solicitor who specialises in family law if possible.

You can check for solicitors who practice family law in your area at the Family Law Association website.

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to legal aid to help with the costs.

Not all solicitors offer legal aid, you can find those who do through the websites of the Family Law Association and Scottish Legal Aid Board.

When you go to your first meeting with a solicitor you will need to take with you two forms of identification showing your name and address. One form could be a council tax statement, bank statement or utility bill (within the last three months); the other should be a form of photographic identification such as a passport or driving licence.

Without this information, your solicitor may not be able to proceed.

You may also want to take your marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates if you have them (originals, not photocopies).

You should be prepared to provide your solicitor with the following information:

  • Details of all children in the home (even if not from this marriage), their dates of birth and schools they attend.
  • Contact details for yourself and your husband/wife.
  • Details of employment either of you have.
  • An estimate of the value of your property and mortgages/loans secured together with details of the lender.
  • Details of any other matrimonial assets including pensions.
  • A list of your debts if you have any, including credit and store card details.
  • A brief summary of your financial expenditure. You don’t have to provide many details at this stage but it will help your solicitor to gauge your current situation and lifestyle.
  • If either of you have been married before, details about the divorce and any court orders made.