All you can get really is a sense of whether you can trust your solicitor, are confident in their advice, and are comfortable with them.
Ask them about their experience. How long have they been qualified? Membership of professional panels (look for either the Advanced Family Law Panel (not the bog standard one) or a Resolution Accredited Specialist). Ask about what they specialised in to get their accreditation. It stands to reason that you'll pay a bit more for someone more experienced.
Unfortunately Collaborate, none of my friends have been through this so don't know who I'd ask for recommendations. I'm not looking to get free advice or even on the cheap, I just thought that the 30 mins initial appointment would help me decide who I would be better instructing but I suppose you don't find that out until you hand over £200 cash for them to draft an initial letter informing H that they have been instructed
Ask around for recommendations. The first full meeting with your solicitor is often the most useful/informative meeting you'll have. I don't understand why you'd want to get it for free/do it on the cheap.
Thank you, I have had two separate 1/2 hr sessions with different solicitors, both seemed more intent on advising me of the costs involved as opposed to any initial advice. I know they aren't going to just dish out free advice but I'm really stumped as to how start to get things arranged. I suppose I have so many questions but how do I know the solicitor is going to fight my corner within 30 mins and without handing over oodles of cash
H ( dropped th DH sometime ago ) and I separated in November and all has been quite amicable. Relationship was over years before and really we have just been going through the motions for a long time now, I suppose for the DC's. But I realised in Nov that I wasn't prepared to sacrifice having a loving and intimate relationship with someone and was far too young to settle for the life we had- basically he lives a selfish single bloke lifestyle with no responsibilities whilst i function like a single parent anyway. I now realise that I must cut all ties financially and can just afford to pay the mortgage, bills etc on my own. BUT, what am I entitled to ask him to contribute towards ? I know he should pay 20% of his net salary in child maintenance, however he is self employed and takes a salary via dividends so ultimately I could end up with nothing from him if he choses not to declare his take home pay. BUT and again it's a big one this time, if it does stay amicable should he be contributing to anything else ? From my calculations I'm likely to be left with about £60 a week to feed, clothe and run the car etc for the three of us and the dog, while he will have around £400, doesn't seem entirely fair. Thanks in advance for any advice