What will a divorce lawyer ask me?
What will a divorce lawyer ask me?
Consulting a divorce lawyer can be a worrying prospect for some.
So exactly what information will your divorce lawyer want from you?
Well, apart from basic personal details like names, addresses and dates of birth, the answer depends of course upon what your case involves. We will look at some of the possibilities in turn (note that we are only giving examples of the information your solicitor may require).
Information relevant to the divorce
If you are instructing your solicitor to issue divorce proceedings, then they will require details of when and where the marriage took place. Provide your solicitor with your marriage certificate, if you have it.
Otherwise, your solicitor will need information to prove to the court that your marriage has broken down irretrievably (this will no longer be necessary once the Government introduces a system of no-fault divorce). What information is required depends upon how you intend to prove irretrievable breakdown.
If you are alleging that your spouse has committed adultery then your solicitor will need to know the date when you first become aware of the adultery and, if known, the dates and places where the adultery took place. They will also want to know if your spouse is likely to admit the adultery. They will not, however, usually need to know the identity of the other party involved.
If you are alleging that your spouse has behaved unreasonably, your solicitor will need some examples of that behaviour, including the worst and most recent incidents.
If the divorce is to be on the basis of separation, your solicitor will need to know the date of the separation and the date upon which you came to the conclusion that the marriage is at an end. If the divorce is to be on the basis of two years’ separation, your solicitor will also require confirmation that your spouse consents to the divorce.
Information about your children
If there is any dispute about arrangements for any dependent children then your solicitor will need full details.
These will include the children’s personal details, with whom they are living, what schools they attend, what arrangements each parent is proposing and why, any special needs that the children have and, if they are old enough, whether the children have expressed any preferences about what the arrangements should be.
Your solicitor will want to know whether you have agreed financial arrangements with your spouse.
If arrangements have been agreed then your solicitor will still want some basic details of the financial circumstances of yourself and your spouse, including your incomes, the value of any assets, what is to happen to the former matrimonial home and whether either party has a pension.
If arrangements have not been agreed then your solicitor will want full details of all financial matters (note that if you have to ask the sort to sort out finances then the court will require both parties to disclose full details of their means).
Where there has been domestic abuse
If either party is alleging that the other has abused them then your solicitor will require full details of any such allegations, including what happened, when and where. If you have needed medical treatment for injuries suffered at the hands of your spouse, then your solicitor will want details of the treatment.
As stated, the above is not an inclusive list of everything your divorce solicitor will ask you – it is just intended to give an indication.
As will be seen, your divorce lawyer will not generally want intimate personal details of your marriage, as the court will not usually require such details. Your solicitor will only request the information that the court will require, and sufficient information to allow them to properly advise you.