We understand hiring a family law or estate planning lawyer can be an overwhelming process. The first step is to schedule an initial consult* - simply a conversation. The purpose for this meeting is to know where you stand with regard to your legal matter, and what your options are so you can make the best possible decision to move forward. Aside from having the knowledge necessary to resolving your particular case, the most important consideration in selecting a lawyer is that he/she are a good match for you and your unique situation. Planning for both death and divorce is a difficult experience for everyone - and good communication between the lawyer and client is essential. Your lawyer should be someone you feel comfortable sharing the details of your life with, and someone who can explain the law to you in a way you understand.
While it's impossible to predict what will happen during the divorce process, it’s important that clients leave their initial consult feeling they’ve been heard and understood. Initial prep work can help make that first meeting more productive. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
1. Bring your questions. While we may not be able to answer all of your questions immediately, preparing a list of questions will you think through your case and ensure you don’t forget to ask anything.
2. Review your finances.Before a divorce can be resolved, both spouses need to have a complete understanding of the couple's incomes, assets and debts. Be prepared to discuss general detail about your finances during that first meeting - for example, your combined household income and expenses. If you can, gather details regarding both party's incomes (e.g. copies of paystubs, prior year’s tax returns, etc.). If you don’t have this information, your lawyer can get it for you once proceedings have begun.
3. Bring any relevant paperwork.If you have already been served with paperwork, or if you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement, bring it with you so your attorney can review it and provide you with specific information. If you have been served, make an appointment with your lawyer as soon as possible, there may be deadlines for responding to the paperwork that may affect your rights.
Meeting with a family law or estate planning attorney for the first time can be an overwhelming first step but we're here to walk you through the process - and we take that job very seriously. If possible, being prepared, organized and communicating with the attorney will help you get the most out of the consultation. This first meeting is simply a confidential, information-gathering meeting with a lawyer to review the high-level facts of your case, ask questions, and receive advice to help you make an informed decision on how to move forward. Here are few divorce-related issues you can expect to talk through during your first meeting:
custody plan and/or child support of any minor children
the division of property and debts
We are confident that our breadth of services and combined expertise can guide you through any family legal matter you or your loved ones may encounter. We enjoy working with clients to help them move forward with a renewed strength, confidence and integrity.
If you are considering a divorce, family law or estate planning matter, we can help answer your questions and navigate the challenges ahead. Our team proudly represents families from many different backgrounds, living both locally or abroad. Whether your case is large or small, simple or complex; we help you protect what’s most important to you. If you are interested in speaking with a divorce, family law or estate planning attorney in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington please call our office today or leave us a note in the 'contact us' form below.