Meeting with a Family Lawyer

If you are contemplating a divorce in Ontario or have a family law matter that requires attention, it is best to consult with a family lawyer. The first consultation with a family lawyer is an important meeting you will have the lawyer in order for the lawyer to assess your case and advise you on your rights and responsibilities going forward. Listed below is a brief summary of what to expect during your first consultation and how you can better prepare yourself for this meeting.

Timeline of Events
It is recommend that prior to your meeting you prepare a detailed timeline of relevant events and dates. This will not only make the consultation with the family lawyermore efficient, it will allow the family lawyer to get a clearer picture of your situation and help advise you better.

For example, it would be helpful to make a list of the following dates: marriage, separation, children’s birthdates, spouse’s birthdates, periods of employment and unemployment, and any prior court cases involving your family. In addition, if domestic violence is an issue, a detailed list of dates of alleged threats, assaults, etc., including any dates when police were called.

Important Documents
With any family law matter, documentation becomes very important when trying to support a claim. It is highly advised that you bring with you any documents that may relate to your divorce or family law matter. Such documents may include your marriage certificate, previous court order, separation agreement, income tax statements and etc. While it is likely you will have to gather additional documentation in the future, bringing in as much documentation in the beginning will give the family lawyera head start.

Notes and Questions
During your first consultation the family lawyer will not only hear from you but will also be advising you on your scenario and will likely request information for any future meetings. For this reason it is important that you take notes during the session to keep track of what was discussed and jot down any questions you may have during your consultation.

This is your consultation so do not be afraid to ask questions and get a better understanding of your situation.

Disclosure of Relevant Details
Disclosure of all relevant details is extremely important. However, being open and honest about every aspect of such details is even more critical. Whatever your situation is, rather than being vague about relevant details, it is in your interest to be open and frank about all details to ensure that you get advice that fits your particular situation.

Remember, a family lawyer is bound by confidentiality and cannot disclose the details of your meeting with anyone. This is even true if you decide not to hire the family lawyer and hire someone else. Furthermore, a family lawyer is trained to assess your situation based on the law. Since family law is very fact based, minor details that you may not consider important may turn out to be very helpful to your case.

During your first consultation a family lawyer will tell you what to expect throughout your divorce and family law process. Managing expectations is very important for both the lawyer and client. For this reason, it is crucial that both you and your family lawyer are clear about what to expect in your situation and if you decide to retain a family lawyer.

For more information about obtaining a divorce in Ontario, please contact our Toronto divorce lawyer.

NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: The material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice relating to your particular situation it is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer.

Helpful Resources:

Divorce and Separation
Family Justice Services
Child Custody and Access
Spousal Support
Child Support
Division or Equalization of Family Property
Treatment of a Matrimonial Home
Enforcement of Support Payments
Child Protection
Child Adoption

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