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Judith Holzman Law OfficesFamily Law, Mediation, Collaborative Law

Working with your Family Law Lawyer & How to Get the Most out of the Process

When you first meet with a Family Law Lawyer, you should bring a list of questions. Clients are often in an emotion state during the consultation, so having questions prepared may help you to understand your specific situation and also allow the lawyer to obtain more information about your case.

When you first meet with a Family Law Lawyer, you should bring a list of questions. Clients are often in an emotion state during the consultation, so having questions prepared may help you to understand your specific situation and also allow the lawyer to obtain more information about your case.

You may also want to bring someone with you who will listen and take notes. This person will also know your story, or parts of it, and could assist in reminding you to ask questions or relaying your story to the Family Law Lawyer. Obviously, the person that comes with should be familiar with your history or you should feel comfortable with them hearing what transpires during the consultation. If they are speaking on your behalf at any point, they should be honest and transparent.

You should also organize your documents when you go and see a Family Law Lawyer. If possible, you should bring your Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment for the past 3 years, as well as a recent pay statement. If you have your own business, bring the last couple of business statements.

Some people bring a written chronology to meetings which is often extremely helpful, not only during the initial interview, but to confirm timelines which can be very important.

In Family Law, the date of marriage or cohabitation date is especially relevant. It is important to know what happened to assets or liabilities between these dates and the time the parties separated, or to recognize when you may not know what has happened to family assets or liabilities.

In my experience, people will often come to see a Family Law Lawyer and are not certain if they are separated. They may already be in separate rooms or even separate accommodation, or may simply be discussing separation. The factors which are relevant to determining if and when a separation has occurred can be reviewed and discussed in the first meeting. If you bring a third party with you, they may be particularly helpful because they may view the situation differently and can understand how the community viewed the relationship.

If there has been physical, emotional or psychological abuse in your family, you should feel comfortable discussing it. Hiding it or minimizing abuse does not help you, nor does it help the Family Law Lawyer to help you.

If you are afraid of your spouse, have been terrorized or fear that things have changed and that you will be subject to abuse in the future, you need to discuss it it so that protective measures can be put in place. We often call this a safety plan.

If you believe that the other party may react negativity upon receiving a letter from a Family Law Lawyer or when you tell them you went for a consultation, this should also be discussed. The Family Law Lawyer's recommendation for a next step or safety plan after meeting with you may depend on how the other party may react to knowing about their involvement.

To learn more, contact my office online or call me at 905-303-1070 (Vaughan), 416-977-3050 (Toronto) or 866-233-0945 (Canada toll free).

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Issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support and property division are best resolved with the advice of a family lawyer. Contact our office online or call us at 905-303-1070 (Vaughan) or 416-977-3050 (Toronto) or 866-233-0945 (Canada toll free) to schedule a consultation. As divorce lawyers, Vaughan and York Region are among the geographic areas we serve.

We are available to our clients 24/7. Please call or email us any time with questions or for an initial consultation.
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Judith Holzman Law Offices 2126 Major Mackenzie Dr. Maple, ON L6A 1P7 Toll Free: 866-233-0945 Phone: 905-303-1070 Phone: 416-977-3050 Phone: 905-731-0347 Fax: 905-303-4364 Maple Law Office Map