The initial consultation with a Family Law lawyer is the most important step in the process, as it is when you and the lawyer are able to connect on the process you are about to go through. Having all information available for the lawyer to review is of the utmost importance not only for you but for the lawyer, as well. This allows the lawyer to provide you with accurate explanations of your legal rights and what you might expect from your case. For the different types of Family Law cases, you will want to bring the following:
The necessary information for a consultation for divorce is how long you’ve been married, whether there are children, the parties’ income, and assets/debts. Dividing assets and debts is a large part of the divorce process and having a full understanding of you and your spouse’s assets and debts, such as retirement accounts, allows the lawyer to provide you with the best advice. Having documentation of all assets, whether purchased during the marriage or before the marriage, allows for a more thorough conversation to happen between you and the lawyer to explain your legal rights.
For an unmarried couple that has children, you will not need to worry about assets and debts, and the main focus of information will be your child. This information includes, who is on the birth certificate, school, extracurricular activities, and health insurance. The lawyer needs to know everything about your child’s life and your relationship with the child and the other parent to properly explain your legal rights.
Child support is calculated based on your gross monthly income and any fixed monthly child-related expenses such as health insurance and daycare. The lawyer can best advise you if this information is provided at the consultation.
If you are a relative of a child and caring for that child, it is important to have a timeline of events that led to your current situation. Kinship Guardianship depends largely on the history of your relationship with the child and the status of the child’s parents. Providing as much as you know about your care for the child and the status of the child’s parents will allow the lawyer to provide you advice on the viability of your Kinship Guardianship case.
The rule of thumb for a consultation with a Family Law attorney is it is better to be safe than sorry when providing information. Allowing your lawyer to have access to everything necessary from the beginning will lead to better advice. Being upfront and honest with your lawyer should always be your focus and will benefit you.
Please get in touch with our office if you have any questions about what to bring to your initial consultation with a lawyer.