Whether you are preparing for a divorce or separation, struggling with child custody or considering adoption; undergoing any change in family arrangement can be an overwhelming experience. Under such circumstances, having a qualified matrimonial or family law attorney on your team to help you understand and navigate the legal process and take appropriate action on your behalf can alleviate a great deal of your stress.
The first meeting with your family lawyer is inevitably crucial; it not only gives them a comprehensive overview of your situation so they can formulate the best plan of action, it also sets the tone for all future interactions and their outcome. Following are a few tips that can help you better for initial consultation with a family law attorney.
1. Note Down your Circumstances
Every first meeting has a significant amount of uncertainty and anxiety associated with it and chances are that you might skip out details that are important to your case. Therefore, it is highly advised that you make brief notes that summarize your legal situation and that can be conveniently conveyed to your legal representative. If your case involves a certain sequence of events prepare a timeline of these events to share with your attorney so they can better the context of your situation.
2. Gather Relevant Documents
Before meeting with your attorney, make sure that you gather all the important documents that may be associated with your case. This can include, but is not limited to, financial statements, tax returns, domestic contracts like prenuptial agreements and child custody or support agreements, court documents and any other legal documentation that may be relevant. Naturally, you may not be able to produce all the documents, as some might pertain to your spouse. Make sure that you make note of what needs to obtained through discovery and communicate this information to your attorney.
3. Jot down your Questions
As mentioned earlier, your first meeting with a family attorney is bound to trigger nervousness and forgetfulness. Simultaneously, you will have quite a few questions to ask your lawyer, regarding the legal process, the expected outcomes and any concerns that you have about the case. It is good practice to note these questions down, to avoid forgetting them and to keep your thoughts organized during the meeting.
4. Know your Goals
Before you walk into your first meeting, make sure that you have some degree of clarity regarding the goals of your case. Are you trying to protect your assets in a divorce? Gain physical custody of your child? Or attain a certain level of spousal support? Communicate and discuss your goals with your attorney, as they can best guide you on how to accomplish them.
5. Be honest
Lying or withholding information from your matrimonial lawyer, out of fear of humiliation or embarrassment, can prove to be detrimental to the success of your case. It is crucial to understand that your attorney is there to help you, and being truthful can help them provide you with the best advice and representation.
At DelleFave Law we excel at resolving the most complex family matters with the help of our experienced family lawyers. Our success-driven approach and expertise ensure favorable outcomes, in every case, every time!