Family Law Consultations
Family Law Consultations
Why Schedule a Family Law Consultation?
You may have many reasons for seeking family law consultations. A consultation may require only a single visit to obtain legal advice, or it may be wise to schedule a series of visits. Here are examples of some recent family law consultations:
- to understand a legal advice column from a newspaper or online chat room
- to receive feedback on a wish list compiled ahead of mediation where the client is unrepresented
- to understand the consequences of taking an action such as income splitting with an adult child or disposing of a second property before or during a divorce process
- to seek advice on how to move through a negotiation roadblock
- to meet a lawyer before retaining her
- to obtain a second opinion
- to have a court order explained in plain language
- to understand the interplay and tax consequences for financial child supportand spousal support
You need to be able to trust your lawyer selected to respond to the questions competently, confidentially, and at a reasonable cost. Requesting family law consultations for half an hour’s time often isn’t sufficient time for you to learn about what the lawyer has to offer, or for the lawyer to understand the background and context of your circumstances. As is often the case in family law matters, the response to one question is really only one piece of the puzzle. To respond properly, the lawyer may have to understand all the related circumstances, who are involved, and how their roles give rise to the current situation. The issues may require understanding ownership of assets or the ongoing health needs of a child. The lawyer should have the opportunity to explain to you the risks and consequences to you if you choose to remain in the present situation. Other times, though, a simple question really does have a simple response.
Conflict of Interest
A family law lawyer cannot act for both parties to a conflict. Until the lawyer is advised of the legal name(s) of the spouses or partners involved in the dispute, the lawyer will be unable to meet you for family law consultations.
Trust and Competence
Building trust with your lawyer at family law consultations means the lawyer:
- explains different possible approaches to resolve your dispute
- encourages you to ask questions and receive immediate answers
- listens to your dreams, needs, hopes, and beliefs as they are worthy of notice
- is prepared for the meeting
- provides advice directly to you without layers of staff
- explains the legal accounts process for legal services, not administrative tasks
- explains that significant instructions require your written permission to proceed
- immediately informs you of unexpected turns and the possible impact on cost, the approach, and the time to resolve outstanding matters
- keeps you in the loop even during inactive times
Urgent matters and long-term concerns require your lawyer experienced enough to know which approach will best assist you, and how to effectively bring your needs to the attention of the other spouse or partner. Your lawyer offers her good judgment and common sense, valuable skills and tools, to support you in making appropriate decisions.
Privacy and Confidentiality
From the moment you contact your lawyer for family law consultations, your identity is confidential and cannot be disclosed by the lawyer without your written permission.