I’ve received a letter from my estranged husband or wife’s solicitor. What do I do next?

Reading a solicitor’s letter for the first time can be difficult. It will bring up a range of emotions, uncertainty about the future, confusion over the legal terms used, anger that you do not agree with what has been written. It may also bring a realisation that the marriage has come to an end after what may be weeks of talking or it may be a total shock.

Do not ignore the letter

This will not make the situation go away and will only result in further letters being sent.   If you do not engage with the process there is also the risk of family court proceedings being issued.  When a marriage has broken down decisions need to be made.  There are financial decisions such as what will happen to the house, savings and pensions along with what income will each person have. There are also decisions about where the children will live and what time they will spend with each parent.

Do not reply immediately to the solicitor or to your spouse in the heat of the moment

It is tempting to email or phone your spouse’s solicitor to tell them your side of the story but it is important to take time to consider your response and the key points you should make.

Do seek your own legal advice

This is important so that you can get advice on the issues raised, advice on the options for the future and on the best way to respond. Your solicitor can also respond on your behalf.

Do take the opportunity to engage with the process

A negotiated settlement where both parties have input into the decisions made about their own future is preferable for the parties and in particular, any children rather than a Judge in a Court deciding what should happen.

How can Browells help?

The Family Team at Browell’s can assist you with all aspects of family breakdown. If you require advice and assistance then please contact our Family Team on 0191 691 3418 or by email at family@browells.co.uk.

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