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What Do I Need to Bring to a Consultation With a Family Lawyer?

Posted on May 15th, 2023

Consulting a Family Lawyer

Family LawyerA consultation with a family lawyer can be a critical first step in resolving your family’s legal issue, whether it is a divorce or a child custody case. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss your case with a legal professional to obtain legal advice and determine whether they are a good fit for your case.

To ensure the initial consultation is productive and effective, it is essential to prepare yourself adequately. This means gathering relevant documents and preparing questions for the family lawyer. By taking time to prepare, you can make the most of your free consultation and increase the likelihood of a successful case outcome.

If you are considering consulting a family lawyer, here’s what you need to bring to the initial consultation.

Personal Identification

When you arrive at your consultation, the lawyer will request you to provide your identification. This can include a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification. This information will assist your lawyer in verifying your identity to ensure they are communicating with the right person.

Your Spouse’s Information

If your case involves your spouse, you should also bring their contact information, such as their full name, address, and phone number. This information can help your lawyer if they need to contact your spouse to discuss the case and gather more information.

Factual Details of Your Situation

It is essential to provide your lawyer with as many factual details as possible. This includes critical dates such as marriage, separation, or move-out dates and each spouse’s roles in the household. Information about your spouse’s career, such as their job title and salary, can also be helpful.

In addition, if one spouse stepped back from their career to support the other spouse or to care for children, this should also be brought to the lawyer’s attention. These details can help your lawyer understand the case better and help strategize the best outcome.

Copies of Relevant Financial Documents

If your case involves property division or spousal support, it is essential to bring copies of relevant financial documents to the consultation. These documents may include three years’ worth of tax returns, recent (three-month) pay stubs, investment accounts, and business or partnership agreements.

You should also bring any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that may have been signed.  These documents will help the lawyer have a complete financial picture of your family and can come in handy in negotiating a fair settlement.

Legal Documents

If you have any existing legal documents related to your case, such as separation agreements, court orders, children’s birth certificates, or parenting plans, you should bring them to your consultation. These documents can help your lawyer understand the current status of your case and provide crucial information about your situation.

List of Assets and Debts

If you anticipate that property division will be one of the legal issues in your case, prepare a list of all assets and debts that you and your spouse have and furnish your lawyer with the list. The list should include assets owned individually before the marriage and those acquired during the marriage.

Specifying any personal property obtained during the marriage through inheritance or as a gift will also provide valuable information. Your lawyer can use this information to determine how the assets and debts can be divided fairly.

List of Questions

Finally, it is essential to come prepared with a list of questions for your lawyer. This can help you ensure you get all the information you need. Some possible questions to ask your lawyer include the following:

  • What is your experience with cases like mine?
  • How long will it take to resolve my case?
  • What is the likely outcome of my case?
  • What are my legal rights and responsibilities?
  • What are the potential costs of my case?
  • Will you be personally working on my case?
  • What happens if we cannot settle?
  • How will we be communicating?
  • What are the next steps from here?

Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorney in California Today

Family disputes can be emotionally draining and overwhelming, so having an experienced family lawyer by your side can ease the anxiety and stress.

If you are going through a family legal dispute in California, contact the experienced family law attorneys at the Harris Family Law Group for a free and confidential case evaluation by calling 310-745-8644 today. Our attorneys can guide you during this challenging time and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

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