How to prepare for Initial Consultation together
It can be said that the first appointment between a client and a lawyer is best described as a bit like a first date.
And, understand that this may be the first time that you have had to seek the assistance of a solicitor – let alone for something as personal as a Family Law matter. Because know this step can be quite daunting, popped together some handy tips to help the process to ease the nerves and anticipation for you, plus help the process run smoothly for both.
What to expect
Do not feel anxious about your first consultation with a lawyer. are here to help you through the process and are acting in your best interests. Everything you tell your lawyer in the first consultation (or at any time in fact) is confidential. So feel free to confide in your lawyer.
The initial consultation is usually a time to get to know your lawyer and to tell them what has brought you to them and to discuss your goals – that is, what you want to achieve at the end of the process. It is also an opportunity for you to ask the lawyer any specific questions you have (write down a list in advance so that you cover everything and you do not feel pressured in the consult to remember everything).
Being prepared on the outset will save you time and money. At Family Law have a questionnaire that send to all new clients for them to complete prior to their initial consultation. However not all solicitors provide that service, so it is recommended (however not a necessity) for you to bring along with you the following (mostly for financial matters):
A list of any specific questions you have.
A copy of your marriage certificate.
Children’s and former spouse’s names and dates of birth.
A copy of the children’s birth certificates.
The name of your former spouse’s solicitor (if they have one).
Any correspondence you have received from your former spouse or their solicitor.
A list of assets including the address of all real estate owned by you or your former spouse and any documents relating to their purchase or recent title searches.
Market appraisals of your home and any other real estate.
A list detailing all of the valuable property, such as cars, jewellery, appliances, cameras and electronic equipment and valuations.
A list of bank accounts, stocks, shares or other investments that you and your former spouse have, stating whether they are held singly or jointly and recent valuations (if any).
A list of debts including mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and charge accounts.
A list of monthly expenses.
Recent pay advice slips for you and/or your former spouse.
Copies of income tax returns for you and your former spouse for the past three years.
If you own a business or have an interest in a family company and/or trust, copies of the taxation returns and financial statements for the past three years.
Copies of medical insurance and life insurance policies for both you and your former spouse.
Copies of any superannuation documents for both you and your former spouse particularly the names of the superannuation funds in which either of you may have an interest.
If either you or your former spouse has been divorced, a copy of the divorce papers.
A list of your non-financial contribution to the household i.e. renovations, home decoration, child duties, garden work.
A list of assets owned by you and owned by your former spouse at the commencement of the relationship.
A list of any inheritances, gifts from family or friends to either you or your former spouse, windfalls such as lottery wins that you or your former spouse may have received during the relationship or following separation.
If you do not have any or all of the above, do not put off obtaining legal advice. An experienced Family Law solicitor will be able to properly advise you even if you do not have the documents, so as long as you are able to provide a rough idea of what is involved.
There are a lot of lawyers out there, and you might be wondering why choosing me is your best option. It’s a really good question – and one that you should ask yourself before you choose an attorney for any legal service. I’m not keen on bragging about myself, but I have a number of qualities that not only make me a good lawyer, but the right choice for a person in need.
An engaging speaker
Before I become an attorney, I worked as professional stage magician – and while I can’t make my legal opponents “disappear,” I’m exceptionally good at keeping an audience’s attention focused on what I am presenting. After more than 20 years in front of audiences, I’ve honed my communication skills to a tee, which means juries understand me and judges appreciate me, and these are the people you need to impress.
Willing to fight for you
I also hold a fourth degree black belt in American Karate, and a second degree black belt in Shotokan Karate-Do. I don’t back down from a challenge – in fact, I relish a good, clean fight. I’m not afraid to face off in the ring, and I’m not afraid to take on complex immigration, family law and criminal defense cases that other lawyers may deem unwinnable.
Am I going to work with you?
Sometimes. Sometimes, you’ll work with another attorney from the firm. Remember that part where I said I respect your time and money? I meant that. If all your case requires is the filing of some paperwork, then you’ll work with another attorney who’s overseen by me, because that will save you some bucks. If your case involves going to trial, then you best believe I’ll be right there with you.
Are you gonna be a bulldog?
Have you ever MET a bulldog? They’re the dopiest creatures on earth. They can’t even give birth without assistance because the puppies’ heads are too darn big. Trust me: you don’t want a bulldog.
How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Advice for Stay-At-Home Moms
Preparing for a divorce is a lot more than just picking up the phone and calling an attorney. There are the emotional aspects, financial, legal, and, of course, there are parenting issues. It means figuring out what life is going to look like when it’s all said and done and includes preparing your children for the transition. For the stay-at-home mom, there are additional concerns around income.
When you realize that your marriage is over, it’s normal to feel a variety of emotions. Over time, you’ll experience all of the stages of grief. You’ll be grieving not only the loss of your relationship but also the loss of the dreams that you shared and the life that you knew. Give yourself time to process each stage of grief throughout the process.
The Emotional Stages of Divorce:
The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Don’t rush through these stages as feeling and processing each of them is what will help you to move forward.
Have you felt like putting your head in the sand and acting like nothing is going on around you? That’s denial. Denial is your psyche’s way of protecting you from becoming emotionally overwhelmed. It’s a useful coping mechanism, as long as it doesn’t keep you from progressing onto the next stage.
When people are angry, they tend to lash out and to blame. Keep in mind that it’s completely normal. With that said, lashing out can do more damage than good. If you’re looking for productive ways to release the anger without further damaging your relationship, consider physical activity. If you don’t like to exercise, you may find writing angry letters to your spouse to get your feelings out to be helpful. You can always tear them up or burn them, but sometimes getting your emotions out of your head and down on paper can feel good. Of course, reaching out to a good friend who is willing to listen is always helpful.
How to Prepare for Divorce – Experts Share Their Best Tips
So if you’ve made the decision to divorce or are facing divorce proceedings because your spouse has stated their intention to end the marriage, you might be wondering what first steps you should take to get through this difficult process as quickly and amicably as you can.
We also asked a number of former clients who are now divorced what, if anything, they would have done differently to make their divorce more peaceful, fair, cost-effective and/or easier on their kids. And what divorce advice they have for others getting ready to start the divorce process with children.
“If you could offer your best tips on how to prepare for a divorce that’s peaceful, what would they be?”
Naturally, there are some differences of opinion, which we feel contribute to the authenticity of this resource.
But below are some of the most popular tips:
Get educated and do your research on how the divorce process works;
Learn about divorce mediation because it’s a peaceful divorce option;
Get organized financially;
Choose an experienced and competent professional to guide you through the proceedings;
Take responsibility and actively participate in your divorce negotiations;
Treat divorce negotiations with your spouse like a business transaction;
Get emotional support and learn how to lower your emotional reactivity;
Focus on your children and don’t badmouth your spouse in front of your kids;
Stay in your integrity;
Focus on the big picture.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIGH ASSET DIVORCE: Q&A WITH FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
Every divorce is emotionally and financially challenging. Cases involving high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) are especially complex as there is more to be divided and therefore, greater expertise required to reach a settlement. You’ve worked hard for what you have and without solid representation, assets such as your homes, businesses, investment properties and savings are at risk.
What are the common questions that clients ask at the early stages of divorce?
There are three big questions that all clients ask: Am I going to be ok financially? What am I entitled to? What will I have to part with? Clients want to know what this process is going to look like, so I always endeavor to quell some of these feelings of uncertainty by providing a roadmap. Our first step towards answering those questions is within the documents we ask clients to bring in for their initial consultation; they serve as a starting point and help us get a clearer picture of their current state of affairs.
Why are an increasing number of HNWI’s choosing mediation over trial?
I have been a family law mediator for 24 years. When I first began as a divorce attorney, I tried 40-50 cases per year (which is a lot). Since then, the process has changed significantly. In recent years, mediation has become the preferred method of resolution; especially in high asset divorces, where privacy is of chief importance. Some individuals do not realize that as soon as a case is filed in court, it goes on the public record, leaving anyone with the ability to take a look at your situation by paying a quick trip to the courthouse
How long does the process take?
divorce can be accomplished within a minimum of 90 days, however most high-asset divorces take upwards of one year to be finalized. This is largely due to the amount of data collection and expertise required. Because HNWI have significant and complex assets, the services of appraisers, valuators and forensic accountants are frequently sought out to ensure assets are accurately valued. Apart from real properties and businesses, there are less obvious assets that also require expert valuation. From comprehensive in-the-box Barbie dolls and rare guitar collections to bank accounts, everything you’ve acquired as a couple must have a number put on it, and to do it right does take time.
What changes in lifestyle can high-net-worth clients expect?
Clients often experience the biggest financial adjustment to their lifestyles when they look at their assets and realize that they’re going to have to divide it fairly and equitably (not necessarily 50/50). Both their net worth and income stream are going to be, without a doubt, impacted.