Considering or following through with the decision to initiate a divorce or address another family law matter can be a daunting experience. While the prospects of a complex legal proceeding may seem frightening, choosing the right attorney to help you with the process, prioritize your needs, and protect your rights and interest at every stage can make all the difference when you need to start off on the right foot.
At Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC, our Boca Raton family law attorneys provide personalized and confidential consultations to residents across South Florida when they seek assistance with divorce or family law. During these initial consultations, we work to address all questions and concerns you have, discuss your rights, and explain what we can do to help. Because we want to establish the foundation for a successful experience, we place an emphasis on open and honest communication and being prepared.
If you are preparing for an initial consultation, or are currently considering making an appointment, we want to remind you that this is an important phase of your legal journey. While the idea of taking big steps in your life may seem daunting, remember that we are here to provide the step-by-step guidance you need. The first step is knowing what you can do to make the most of your consultation, and knowing what to expect.
- Come prepared – Being prepared to discuss your situation, needs, and goals during your first consultation can help provide an attorney with a better idea of where you stand and the options you have available. Take some time to think about what it is you want to achieve (a divorce, custody of your children, etc.), as well as any circumstances in your current situation that should be mentioned (i.e. high net worth, contested divorce and disputes, family businesses, etc.). It is also a wise decision to gather any important documents or information (i.e. marriage decrees, tax returns, statements, and financial information, premarital agreements or relevant legal documents, correspondence that may substantiate your case, etc.) for an attorney to review.
- Basic questions – Initial consultations are important for fact-gathering, which is why you should expect questions that ask for basic information, including contact information of the parties involved, and other questions relating to your marriage and situation. This may include the date and location of your marriage, whether it was a religious or civil ceremony, whether you had previous marriages, and more.
- Issues involving children – Family law prioritizes the best interests of minor children in divorce cases and other family law endeavors, which is why you should be prepared to discuss issues involving children if they are relevant to your case. This can include information about their names and ages, whether they have any additional needs, their current living arrangements, and you and your spouse’s parenting responsibilities. This can allow for a better assessment of their situation, and better evaluations of what to expect when it comes to custody and parenting plans.
- Financial circumstances – While not everyone is comfortable discussing their financial situation, it is an important matter in divorce and family law cases. Be prepared to discuss your financial circumstances honestly with a lawyer (remember, consultations are confidential and your information will not be shared). Doing so can help an attorney gauge what will be required of your case, especially when it comes to matters of property division and issues like alimony (spousal support). Questions from attorneys will tap into many financial issues, including the income and net worth of you and your spouse, questions about your current lifestyle, the ability of you and your spouse to earn a living, what assets are involved (such as a business, stocks, or retirement / pension accounts), and questions about any current debt obligations you may have.
- Personal matters – Family law represents the intersection of your life and the law, which means you may need to discuss personal matters. Although you may feel concerned about discussing personal issues, remember that an attorney is simply trying to obtain all the facts that may be of importance to your case, not to judge you. As such, you should feel open about discussing issues of your finances, marital problems, misconduct, or even domestic violence. Remember, you attorney is here to help, and they can only do so when they have all the information.
Our legal team understands the many concerns clients have when they attend their initial consultations, and takes the time to ease those concerns as best as we can. As caring and compassionate advocates, we are here to help from the moment you choose to begin your legal journey, and to collect the facts and information needed to provide our initial assessment of your available options, how your case may progress, and what we intend to do to guide you through the process. While being prepared to discuss your matter and answer questions is important, we also encourage you to make a list of any and all questions you wish to ask us. We are more than happy to answer them.
To get started with your initial consultation, contact us today!