Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I arrive prepared for my first meeting with you?
- Be able to explain what you want to achieve, what you want to avoid and what you want to preserve;
- Know and share your strengths, hot buttons, and fears.
- Bring notes of your family history including the period of cohabitation, date, and place of marriage;
- Be prepared to talk about the children’s health, interests and education;
- Identify any potential interruption in the near future such as schooling, job transfer, health issues, caregiving responsibilities;
- Offer how you learn so explaining your rights and obligations can be delivered in a way you’ll understand and be comfortable during the meetings;
- If you haven’t been able to think clearly about the future as the impact of what’s happening is overwhelming, make a list of questions or ask for a postponement of the meeting.
What are some of the challenges of a typical family law case?
- Distinguishing what are the legal problems from the perceived problems.
- Is each party is ready and emotionally able to proceed with negotiations?
- Timeliness: Does a statute of limitations impact resolution of some issues? What is the date of separation? What is the valuation date? Are there hard dates which need to be respected such as the closing date of the purchase of a new residence or the university fees being due in two weeks?
- Is each party willing to be transparent about their respective financial circumstances?
What can I expect during our initial meeting?
- Brief Informational Consultation (Meet and Greet): This is a free 15-minute session to present the scope of the work I am able to provide, discuss confidentiality, understand your current circumstances and consider next steps. No legal advice will be provided.
- In-Depth Consultation for Legal Advice: This is an hour-long fixed fee session to understand the legal implications of your current circumstances, your legal rights, and obligations, the best way for you to proceed, the current law on the legal issues you are facing, responses to your questions and a ‘next steps’ discussion.
Should I remove my social media profiles during the proceeding of my case?
- Scrubbing social media to remove vindictive posts about your spouse or family may be too late; don’t post them in the first place. There may be legal ramifications for doing so.
What if my partner/spouse’s lawyer contacts me during the case?
- If you have retained a lawyer, advise your spouse’s lawyer simply that you have a lawyer, provide the name of the lawyer and say goodbye. Do not engage with them.
- If you have no lawyer, it is ethically allowable for your spouse’s lawyer to communicate with you. To avoid misunderstandings and to allow you sufficient time to frame your responses and to ask questions of your own it is advisable that all communications be in a written and easily accessible transmittable format such as printed correspondence or emails. Know that communicating with opposing counsel does not guarantee privacy or confidentiality. They are not your lawyer; or the spouses’ joint lawyer. They are your solely spouses’ lawyer.
Can I speak to persons involved with my case without a lawyer present?
- What you say to those persons may be misinterpreted, may create false assumptions about your position, and may negatively affect your negotiation later on if and when you retain a family law lawyer.
Do I need to print/bring any documents with me during our initial meeting?
- I need to confirm your identity. To do so I need to meet you and make a copy of your original government-issued photo identification such as driver’s license or passport.
- Bring a list of questions and what you want to achieve, want to preserve and want to avoid. There are no guarantees that any or all of your wishes will succeed. The more you are able to share and fully express those needs the better your lawyer will understand what is important to you and offer different options to achieve those results or explain why not they are not achievable.
- Bring any recent correspondence, prior written signed agreements or other documents which demonstrate your family history or present.
Do you only meet clients in your office or are you willing to travel?
- I am willing to travel for settlement meetings, and four-way meetings; Certain client meetings will need to be held at my office.