At Forrester Sylvester Mackett we offer our clients a free half-hour initial appointment. There is no obligation on you to instruct – it may be that some advice is all you need.
The initial appointment is free and after that our work is chargeable. But there are many things you can do to help your work to proceed as smoothly as possible. We only charge for the work we do. The more organised you are, the less we may have to do!
Find your marriage certificate.
We will need your marriage certificate to draft the divorce petition. We will send the original (not a copy) to the court. If you cannot find your original, you can order a replacement from the government website.
There is a £550 fee payable when you send the divorce petition to court. Do you have this money? You may be eligible for help with court fees. Check the government website and let us have the reference number before we draft your divorce petition.
Get your finances organised
You may need to provide 12 months’ banks statements for all your accounts. Start looking for these now, and put them in chronological order. You may need to request replacements from your bank or building society.
Even if you do not want to sell your property, you will need to know how much it is worth. You may be able to obtain a written market appraisal from a local estate agent without charge.
Don’t forget the mortgage
You will need an up-to-date mortgage statement, showing the balance outstanding on your mortgage. If you don’t have one, you may be able to request one from your lender.
What about your pension?
You will probably have received a statement about your pension at the end of the financial year. You will need it. You can also request your Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) from your pension company. These can sometimes take a long time to be delivered, so start early. If you have more than one pension, you will need the CETV for each fund.
You will need to find your last three pay slips and your last P60. If you receive benefits, find your benefits letter. Print out details of your universal credit payments.
You may have to provide a schedule of your present outgoings and your income needs. Start keeping records. What do you really spend on food each month? On travel to work? Utility bills? Check back through your bank statements to see what you spend.
Be financially aware
Your credit score is important. Find out what it is! You may wish to check your credit history, to see if your credit score is being pulled down by something in the past.
Finally – bring identification documents!
We can’t start working for you until we have completed our anti-money laundering checks. Providing your ID at the first meeting means we don’t have to wait before we start our work.
If you would like to arrange a free 30 minute initial appointment with our family department, get in touch with your closest office for more details.