Using a solicitor

Last updated: 16/03/2022

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.

Finding 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.


Paying for a solicitor

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.

For more information see Help to pay for legal services.


Meeting with your solicitor

When you go to your first meeting with a solicitor you will need to take two forms of identification showing your name and address. One form could be a council tax statement, bank statement or utility bill dated 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.

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
  • Details of employment
  • An estimate of the value of your property and mortgages/loans with details of the lender
  • Details of any other assets including pensions
  • A list of your debts including credit and store card details
  • A brief summary of your financial expenditure
  • If you have been married, details about the divorce and any court orders made.