Marriage is typically viewed as a union for people who love each other and want to spend their lives together. Unfortunately, not all stories have happy endings. The many unknowns of a divorce from your partner can be stressful, especially if you have children.
Fortunately, healing begins when you book your first meeting with the family lawyer. They can answer your legal questions and reassure you that you’re doing the right thing to resolve your family law issues.
This article will tackle the importance of the first meeting with your family lawyer and how to prepare for the first consultation.
Why Is the First Meeting Important?
The first consultation with your family lawyer is crucial because it allows you to discuss your relationship, the relevant issues, and how you want to solve current family issues.
Your family lawyer will also ask questions so they can help you resolve the issues you face. They’ll educate you about the rights and obligations that arise from your marriage and its breakdown, along with the law, timelines and limitation periods relevant to your case.
7 Steps to Preparing for the First Meeting with a Family Lawyer
It’s never too early to reach out to a family lawyer for legal advice about your family law situation. Early consultation gives you more options to help resolve your case.
If you want a productive consultation, this section will discuss seven steps to prepare for your initial meeting.
1. Gather All Essential Information
Before meeting your family lawyer, gather all the essential information: the date you married and separated, your spouse’s full legal name, birth date, you and your partner’s income, and your children’s full legal names and birth dates. This information can help your family lawyer get the facts about your situation.
2. List Everything Under Your Name
Next, list all properties and debts, whether in your name, your partner’s name, or jointly owned. Your family lawyer must also know each listed item’s exact or approximate values. You should bring copies of any relevant paperwork, such as credit card bills, investment documents, bank accounts, and recent mortgage statements.
3. Present Other Relevant Documents
You should also present your notice assessment and income tax statements to your family lawyer for the three most recent tax years.
4. List All the Questions
To get the most out of your meeting with your family lawyer and ensure you get all the essential information, we suggest writing down all the questions you want to ask your lawyer. It will also help you understand all the legal information your lawyer will give you.
5. Provide Other Legal Documents
If your partner served you a Notice of Family Claim or other legal documents, you must bring all court documents to the consultation to the meeting. However, you must send them to your family lawyer’s email in advance if you’ll have the first meeting on the phone or through a conference call.
6. Bring All Signed Agreements
If you and your partner signed a Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Contract or have been discussing a draft agreement, we urge you to bring all drafts and signed agreements to the meeting with your family lawyer.
7. Bring All Relevant Orders
Lastly, suppose there are any restraining orders, emergency orders, interim court orders, or relevant reports or agreements to your situation. In that case, you must also present those to your family lawyer to help them gather as many facts as possible.
Pro Tip: Remember that the meeting with your family lawyer is confidential, so we encourage you to be transparent about your situation and ask questions.
Moving Forward to a Better Life
You’re never alone. Healing from a broken marriage begins when you book a family lawyer to help you settle your family disputes. Any reputable law firm will answer all your questions and ensure you’re on the right path.
Are you looking for a reliable family lawyer in Langley, British Columbia? Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP is committed to serving families’ best interests across the Fraser Valley area. Contact us now to get well-deserved justice!