How to Prepare for your Family Law Consult
Your first meeting with a legal professional is vital, and we know that it can be a stressful first step in resolving your legal matter. In a family law case, you are dealing with a multitude of difficult issues: separation, divorce, child custody, possession of the family home.
Here’s some useful tips to help you prepare:
Write down your questions
The stress of family law and divorce matters can sometimes see people forget to ask important questions. So, write them down! It will help you streamline your concerns and keep you on track to make the most of your time. Some of the questions that might make your list:
- How can I resolve issues regarding children?
- How can I protect money in shared accounts?
- Can I resolve my legal matter through mediation or negotiation?
- What are the next steps I should take?
- Is there anything that I should or should not do?
- Are my expectations realistic?
- What will my costs be?
- What are my legal rights?
- How long does this process take?
Communication is key when building a solicitor-client relationship, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and be honest.
Everything is confidential
Lawyers and paralegals are bound by privilege, meaning documents and communications related to your matter are private and confidential between a legal professional and their client. They are there to help you through this difficult process, that help is dependent on your provision of all the relevant information required to properly assess the situation’s legal context. Knowing that the information shared will remain confidential provides you with the confidence to share your story, thus enabling your lawyer or paralegal to look at all the options and outcomes.
Prepare a Summary
Be ready to tell your story in a clear and logical way, and with as much detail as possible. This includes relevant dates – when you started living together with your partner, the date of separation – and any details concerning your children and their associated support. Additionally, gather all the paperwork important to your case: court documents, marriage certificate, tax documents, key text messages, employment contract, and, if available, any recent letters from your ex-spouse’s lawyer. Often, clients feel information may be too embarrassing or not relevant enough to mention – push past these feelings. Share everything – a detail missed could be very important to your case.
Voice your concerns
A lawyer is an expert in the law, so take every opportunity during your meetings to voice any concerns you may have. These concerns could include:
- Your ability to meet your expenses.
- Your partner’s ability to parent your children.
- Creating a parenting schedule that is in the best interest of the children.
- How family debts will be paid.
- Personal risks such as family violence.
At Coach My Case, our family lawyers are the best in the business. For more info on whether a lawyer consult is right for you, chat with a Legal Navigator at Coach My Case for your free initial consult.