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What Should I Bring to My First Consultation with a Family Law Attorney?

Bring an open mind.

We know, we know.  There are things you want.  Things you are worried about.  Things you cannot do without.  Your world has been turned around and you are just learning to pivot to an entirely different life than you had planned for yourself and your kids.  You want to talk to an attorney who will tell you everything will be fine (by the way, unless there are pending felonies, everything will be just fine if you listen to your attorney).  You want to take all of these jagged, broken pieces of your life and have them melted down and welded into something new.  You bring the shreds of your former life and want to leave with an origami crane.

At Sweet Family Law we understand how much stress you are under.  And we are here to help, but first, to listen.

When you have your initial, free consultation at our law office bring an open mind.  Speak honestly (everything is confidential, unless you are a danger to yourself or others) but more importantly, be honest with yourself.  Consider a creative approach to reorganizing and reformulating your life.  Keep an open mind and consider this an opportunity for growth instead of a failure, and you can avoid years (if not decades) of regret.

Know what you want, and what you don’t.

In a divorce, the Family Court has before it a broken, leaking, glass jug.  The jug belongs not to Husband or to Wife, but to some silly third entity called The Marriage.  There is only so much water in the jug, and the water that is in there is quickly leaking out.

All a divorce judge can do is pour the remaining water in two glasses, one for the (ex) Husband and one for the (ex) Wife.  The judge cannot add to the jug.  You can only split up what you have.

And the longer your divorce takes, the more water that leaks out of the cracked jug and onto the hardwood floors.

Get your divorce done quickly, and properly; take what is owed to you from the jug and use that water to nurture your new life.  Then never look back, and never go back to court.

Bring your paperwork!

Lawyers love paperwork.  If you are scheduled to discuss a child custody case with one of our attorneys, bring a legible copy of the birth certificate of each child at issue.  If you are coming in to discuss a divorce, bring a legible copy of your marriage certificate.  If you are coming in to talk about a prior court case, bring any Order (even if it is only temporary) that came from that court appearance.  If child support is, or may be, an issue, bring your last three pay stubs, last year’s w-2, or your most-recent tax return.  The more paperwork you bring to your attorney the better the quality of counsel you will receive, and the happier your attorney will be (and thus the more likely that the attorney will want to take on your case).

For a gold star, know the name of the judge and the opposing counsel in your case.

Bring coffee or a snack.
Attorneys often skip lunch.  Bring snacks!  A hungry attorney is a grumpy attorney.

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