What to expect at your first meeting with a family lawyer at Gilson Gray

What to expect at your first meeting with a family lawyer at Gilson Gray

At Gilson Gray, we recognise that the first meeting with a family lawyer, whether in relation to the breakdown of a relationship with a spouse/partner or a dispute over child-related matters, can seem daunting and a source of stress in an already challenging situation. It needn’t be. Our dedicated, professional and experienced family lawyers are ready to listen, support and provide trusted advice tailored to your needs.

What should you expect at your first meeting?

Firstly, we will tailor the format of the meeting to suit your needs. With offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and North Berwick, a face-to-face meeting in comfortable surroundings can easily be accommodated. Or, if you would prefer, a virtual meeting as a first step can easily and quickly be arranged.

At the first meeting, our aim is to ascertain your needs. We will ask you to explain the factual background to your particular problem in order for us to identify the pertinent legal issues and advise you on next steps and solutions. We know that sharing personal information in such circumstances can be upsetting and stressful but our experienced team of family lawyers are empathetic and understanding and will move at a pace comfortable to you.

It may be that you simply wish to know your options, so that you can making important decisions about your relationship, or it may be that you have already made decisions and have a clear idea about your requirements. Regardless of your circumstances, we will not pressure you into any particular course of action but will set out and provide clear and straightforward advice on the legal options available to you.

In some situations, for example, time-limited claims such as financial claims on the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship, or urgent child-related matters, we may need to move quickly to protect your interests. Whatever the next step, after the meeting we will set out our initial recommended next steps, timescales, advice on costs, and the information needed from you to progress matters.

What information might we ask you for?

The information we need from you depends on the particular circumstances of your case, but commonly includes:

  • Marriage certificate and date of separation;
  • Children’s birth certificates;
  • Any pre/post-nuptial agreements;
  • Information about your marital assets and debts, for example details about your house and mortgage;
  • Pension information;
  • Information about the circumstances of your separation;
  • Information about your child’s circumstances for example with whom they are currently residing/contact arrangements and their needs.

If you decide to instruct us, we will advise you on next steps. That might involve corresponding with your partner’s lawyer as a first step or might involve raising a court action if that requires to be urgently progressed, or defending your interests if a court action has already been raised against you. We may recommend a joint meeting with your partner’s solicitor or mediation.

Whatever the stage in the process, we will provide clear guidance and a recommended next step that seeks to both protect your position but also to resolve any dispute as quickly and as amicably as possible.

We look forward to working on your behalf, whether that is securing advice on a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement or to help you move forward on the breakdown of a relationship.

If you are experiencing any of the issues raised in this blog or wish to discuss any of the above topics, please contact one of our Family Law solicitors and view more of our Family Law services here

Our Family Law Team are experienced in assisting clients through difficult separations/divorces and would be happy to discuss all of your options with you.


Fergus Johnston
Senior Associate
Email:  fjohnston@gilsongray.co.uk



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