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What Can I Expect During My Divorce Consultation?

What Can I Expect During My Divorce Consultation?

We understand how important it is to know what you are getting yourself into before you meet with a family law lawyer – and how overwhelming the process can seem. Whether you’re here to get information about the divorce process, a custody issue, guardianship or a premarital agreement, we want our clients to feel safe and confident when they sit down for their first family law consultation. Here are some things to know about the process.

It’s Just A Conversation

A Family law consultation encompasses many aspects of life. Divorce, parenting plans, child and/or spousal support, estate planning, and potentially collaborative law fall under this umbrella. Making the decision to seek a family law attorney can be stressful. At Gevurtz Menashe, we pride ourselves on taking the time to thoroughly get to know our clients, and truly understand their unique situation.
Our family law consultations start with a simple conversation. The goal is to have a deeper understanding of our clients’ unique situation, and ultimately how that applies to the law. This helps map our options and chart a course for a desired outcome. Most importantly, for the client, this is a great opportunity to find a lawyer they can best connect with and feel comfortable as being the best fit.
Gaining the necessary knowledge for our client’s case is just one part of the family law consultation.
Issues surrounding family law can be difficult to discuss--death and divorce especially. Honest and open communication between clients and lawyers play an integral role throughout any case and the initial family law consultation is the building block of this relationship.

How To Prepare

Family law matters are impossible to predict, but it’s important that our clients leave the initial family law consultation feeling understood and supported. In order to get the most out of a consultation, preparation is key. Here are a few ways we suggest preparing for your time with a family law lawyer:
  • Create a list of questions and concerns. This helps to ensure you don’t forget to ask anything and gives our lawyers a better understanding of the unique situation. We may not be able to answer all of them during the consultation but our lawyers will do their best to answer what they can.
  • Review your finances. Before any family law matter can be resolved, we need a detailed understanding of your financial situation including incomes, assets, and debts. Be prepared to discuss finances at length during the family law consultation. Being able to provide copies of important financial documents is even better.
  • Gather relevant paperwork. Depending on the matter, paperwork may be involved prior to the family law consultation. For example if you have been served, our lawyers will review and be able to provide specific information regarding the documents.

What To Expect

Meeting with a lawyer for the first time can be a stressful experience, but it’s an important first step. Our lawyers are here to walk our client’s through the process. Preparation, organization, and communication is what helps our clients get the most out of their first family law consultation.
The first meeting is a straightforward confidential information gathering session. Our lawyers review the case and ask questions to help them better understand the situation. In turn, clients receive advice on how to best make an informed decision in regards to moving forward. Topics that may arise are:
  • Custody plan
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property and debts
It’s important to remember that at this point in the consultation process, the potential client has not entered into a fee agreement. This means that while attorney-client privilege still exists, no formal attorney-client relationship has been established. We are not yet technically “your” attorney. Please be assured that your privacy, maintaining the highest standard professional ethics and our ability to provide you with quality legal services are very important to us. If you have any remaining concerns, feel free to give us a call to learn more about our privacy policy. 

Next Steps

We are confident that our expertise in Family Law and Estate Planning can guide our clients successfully through any related legal matter that may arise. Our attorneys enjoy their work and helping individuals and families move forward in their lives.

We Can Help

If you are considering a divorce, family law or estate planning matter, we can help answer your questions. If you are interested in speaking with an attorney in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington please call our office today or fill out our contact form.