Initial consultation- A critical first step in your family law case

Going through a divorce, child custody dispute, or other family law issue can be an incredibly stressful and emotional time. This is why the initial consultation with a family lawyer is a critical first step that sets the tone for your entire case. Here are some of the key reasons that initial consultation is so important:

Getting accurate legal advice

The main purpose of an initial consultation is to get advice directly from an experienced family law attorney.

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Determining child custody and visitation
  • Calculating child support and spousal maintenance
  • Understanding the divorce process and timeline

A lawyer can analyze your goals and priorities and explain your different options. Their legal expertise can help ensure you pursue the right strategy from the very start.

Establishing a client-attorney relationship

The initial meeting begins the client-attorney relationship. You want an attorney you feel comfortable with and who you can trust to have your best interests in mind. Likewise, the lawyer gets to know you as an individual. This is personal connection to better your needs and advocate for you throughout the case.

Asking questions and voicing concerns

When you first sit down with a respected family lawyers in markham, you likely have many questions about legal terms, court procedures, documents, and more. An attorney addresses concerns about costs, co-parenting challenges, paperwork, working with your spouse, and other issues. Family law cases involve many different potential paths forward. A skilled family lawyer will discuss options like mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation, or out-of-court settlement. They’ll explain the pros and cons of each approach based on the details of your situation. The initial meeting is key for outlining paths so you choose how to proceed. Experienced family attorneys will provide an initial assessment of your case at the first meeting. While they guarantee outcomes, this candid perspective sets realistic expectations upfront so you know what to expect.

Discussing costs and fees

It’s important to understand what you will pay in legal fees and costs from the very beginning. In the initial consultation, attorneys will explain their rates, retainer fees, billing practices, and other financial details. Having this information allows you to financially prepare. You want an attorney you feel comfortable opening up to and who you rely on fully during an emotional process.  Your lawyer will need various documents and evidence to properly handle your case, such as:

  • Financial statements
  • Records of assets and property
  • Documentation of debts
  • Tax returns
  • Pay stubs
  • Retirement/investment accounts

At the initial consultation, the attorney a list of paperwork they’ll need you to gather. This gets the fact-finding process started.

Making decisions with confidence

After an initial family law consultation, clients often feel a sense of relief and direction.  Scheduling an initial consultation promptly avoids unnecessary delays. The lawyer gets working on time-sensitive issues right away. Prompt consultations prevent lags in the case. Starting on the right foot with an experienced attorney sets you up for the best possible result. Be sure to schedule an initial consultation as soon as possible once you decide to pursue or defend against divorce or other family law action.