To date, we have discussed various topics and provided top-notch advice regarding the most common family law matters, potential divorce issues, guides on how to pursue a peaceful divorce, and other relevant aspects. However, through our interactions with a number of families and couples seeking divorce and separation services, we have come to a conclusion that the source of frustration and confusion of our clients does not only emerge from the intrinsic negative characteristics of the divorce process.
In truth, the anxiety of what to expect in the first meeting with a reputed family lawyer is also natural. If you are worried about what your lawyer is going to ask you in the first meeting, do not worry because you are not alone. We do not know whether to call this mental state fear of the unknown or the anxiousness of saying something wrong, but it does exist. While you might not feel comfortable admitting it, we want you to know that it is okay to feel this way. After all, divorce and separation are not frequent occurrences in our lives.
Besides this anxiety, a lack of knowledge regarding what to expect from a lawyer may also result in inadequate preparation for the meeting. For instance, a lawyer’s question may take you by surprise, and you might find their queries invasive and hard to answer. Similarly, you might not bring along the required documentation, which may unnecessarily delay the process.
Thus, for the purpose of this blog post, we shall reveal the most crucial questions you should expect from a family lawyer and prepare ahead to diligently and carefully answer the said questions. The latter will allow the lawyer to obtain a complete understanding of your situation and prepare a solid case.
1. Why Do You Want To Get A Divorce?
This is the most critical question that lays the foundation of your case and paves the way for the divorce lawyer to take a suitable course of action. Depending upon the reasons behind the split, your lawyer will decide how to best handle the situation. For instance, if the reason for the divorce is a lack of intimacy or infidelity, the lawyer may suggest that an alternative dispute resolution method is the best way forward.
However, if the reason is domestic abuse or your spouse has defrauded you, then litigation may be necessary. Hence, it is essential that you do not hide important facts from your lawyer.
2. What Are Your Current Living Arrangements?
Your family’s current living arrangements also play a significant part in your case. First of all, an understanding of the living setup will allow your lawyer to provide advice on the actions to take if you or your children are experiencing abuse. Furthermore, the lawyer will also attain a clear understanding of the home’s ownership and relevant mortgages. This understanding is essential for asset and liability divisions.
3. Do You Have Children? If Yes, What Are Their Ages?
Once you and your lawyer indulge in a deep conversation regarding your living arrangements, it would be natural for them to ask whether you have children with your spouse. If you have children that are minors, the lawyer will have to understand your relationship with the kids and your goals regarding guardianship, parenting time, and child support. The clearer you relay these facts to your lawyer, the sooner they will be able to incorporate them into your divorce arrangements.
Read Also: How To Help Your Children Cope With Divorce
4. Have You And Your Spouse Undergone Separation?
Although there is no such thing as legal separation in Canada, staying apart for a year or more is undoubtedly one of the grounds for divorce. Separation for more than one year demonstrates the breakdown of a marriage and thus escalates divorce proceedings. Hence, you must clearly mention this to your divorce lawyer.
5. What Separate And Shared Assets And Liabilities Do You And Your Spouse Possess?
Now comes the tricky part – division of assets and liabilities. At this point, conciseness and transparency are absolutely vital. If you intentionally misrepresent the facts, your opponents may use the misrepresentation against you in court.
On the other hand, a clear understanding of your assets will help your family lawyer protect your personal assets that do not form part of the marital property. Likewise, they will also help you obtain your share of the marital property.
6. What Is The Income Of Each Spouse?
Each spouse’s financial standing and employment status affect critical issues like child and spousal support. Depending upon each spouse’s respective income, the lawyer will determine the recipient and benefactor of the payments.
7. What Are Your Goals?
Once all the technical matters are thoroughly discussed and weighed, the lawyer will finally ask you what you want to attain from this divorce. Do you want to achieve sole parenting rights over your children, or is shared decision-making a better option? Is there a specific property you are trying to protect? This is the time to reveal your expectations and wishes to your lawyer.
8. Would You Consider ADR Such As Mediation Services
Lastly, a good family law firm will always present you with an option to end your marriage amicably and quickly. At The Divorce Company, we shall always recommend that you pursue a hassle-free, quick, and affordable divorce by opting for mediation services instead of litigation.
About The Divorce Company
We are a team of diligent, seasoned, and friendly family lawyers working with the sole aim of making the divorce process as easy and frustration-free as possible for our clients. Learn more about The Divorce Company and our offerings.
Contact us now to attain a stress-free divorce.