Preparing for Your Initial Consultation
If you would like, we can provide you with a Welcome Kit from our office prior to your initial consultation. The Welcome Kit is not required and Mark would be happy to meet with you even if you have not gathered the information asked for in the Welcome Kit. Included in this Kit is a short questionnaire designed to help focus your thoughts on the family law or dissolution process, and a personal survey to help us gather important facts. Please take the time to review these documents and bring them with you to your appointment.
If you need to reschedule your appointment, please contact us immediately so that we may rearrange our schedule and perhaps make an appointment more convenient for another client. Please be sure to provide us with a “safe” telephone number and/or email. A “safe” telephone number is a phone number that where I can leave a message that no one else has access to. A “safe” email address is an address where I can send you a message that no one else has access to.
There is no need to go on a “treasure hunt” at this point for financial or legal documents, deeds, stock certificates or insurance policies. Sometimes we find clients procrastinate in getting their cases started because they cannot locate, or do not have time to locate, all of these documents.Truthfully, your case can be started without these documents! Instead, spend the time before your appointment contemplating what questions you need answered about your case.
Understanding the Three P's of Family Law
#1 — People
Who are the Important People in your life?
Beginning with yourself, your spouse if you are married, children and grandchildren. For some,”Important People” could even include pets. Spend some time thinking about what issues are important to you and what issues will be important to the other people involved in your case. Are custody and visitation issues the most important thing in your case, or is support or property division the area you want to cover first?
#2 — Property
By Property we mean your assets in general.
Make a list of the assets you own or control. At this point, you do not need to exact dollar values.Rather think through your assets in terms of their nature (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.);their value in thousands of dollars; and your ownership interest: Do you own assets in your name only, in joint tenancy with someone else, or through a trust agreement or some other arrangement? Be sure to include often-overlooked assets like life insurance (the death benefit,not the cash value), business interests, and any inheritance you may expect to receive. Also, are there any special things to note about any of the assets. For example, did you inherit some of the property during the marriage and that particular asset should not be considered community property. It is important for us to determine what is community property and what is separate property.
#3 — Plan
After identifying the Important People in your life and your Property, the next step is to consider and to discuss is what you would like to happen regarding the People and Property. Are there any special issues that your attorney will need to know about in order to best assist you in this process? These are just a few of the issues to consider when approaching your family law matter.They are much more important than the “treasure hunt” for legal documents at this stage.