The first meeting with a divorce lawyer is to get more information about you, your family and soon to be ex-spouse. It can also be used as a touchpoint to see if your case will result in a lawyer representing you in a court proceeding, or if there is a greater likelihood of an out of court settlement.
Basic Contact and General Information
Aside from the basic information of address, occupation, income, date of birth and spouse’s biographic information there are other snippets that would be helpful to a lawyer. It’s important to bring anything that directly relates to your marriage such as marriage certificates, children’s information and any prenuptial agreements.
Each law firm might have slight differences in what paperwork is needed during the first meeting, so it is best to check beforehand and be sure you have all the right information compiled.
When meeting with a divorce lawyer you should be bringing any relevant financial documents so that the lawyer can gain a better understanding of your current financial situation. This can help prioritize what key points need to be included in the hierarchy of your case.
Relevant documents include approximate balances of all financial accounts, savings, RRSPs, investment accounts and anything other income sources. Other documents may include credit card balances, loans or lines of credit, mortgages, family or personal debts, stocks and bond portfolios and lastly information about current pension plans.
Be sure to confirm if you should bring any information on property purchases, mortgages, and any other assets owned outside of Ontario as they can sometimes be important.
Thoughts, Concerns, Risks
Depending on your current circumstances there will be different concerns you might want to address during this first meeting. Generally speaking, communicating any health, financial, or personal risks to your lawyer is very important. Since divorce is your topic of conversation, the basic reasons why your relationship came to an end is good to tell your lawyer as that gives them more insight into your case and creates a more well-rounded relationship between client and lawyer.
Do not worry if you have all the information right at your fingertips — usually, there is time to collect that afterwards.
Even before you enter the doors of your lawyer’s office, make sure you know how the payment plan is going to work. Here at Epstein & Associates, we offer a free thirty-minute consultation in order to determine if we have the best lawyers to represent you for your case.