Are you meeting with your new attorney for the first time? Are you feeling nervous or unprepared? Don’t worry. At New Direction Family Law, we have represented clients for 20 years, and your feelings are completely natural and normal. But think about why you called an attorney: because you need help from a professional. Your attorney works for you, and wants to be successful in representing you. In order for this attorney client relationship to be successful, there are several steps you can do in advance of your initial meeting.
- If you are have been served with a separation, divorce, child custody, or child support petition, bring a copy of every piece of paper you have received. Your attorney will need this information in order to obtain records from the clerk of the court and to file pleadings on your behalf. It will also give your attorney notice of the exact nature of the lawsuit.
- Bring identification, such as a driver’s license and a copy of your birth certificate so your attorney can verify your identity and birthday. Several legal pleadings and forms will require your specific information.
- If you are seeking a divorce, gather all records relating to your marriage, including your marriage certificate, any pre-nuptial agreement, and any contracts between you. In addition, bring a copy of your wills and as many financial records as possible, including paystubs, bank accounts, investments, real estate, pension and retirement accounts, and valuables. The more information that you can gather early on, the better, as an attorney will seek orders to prevent the other spouse from raiding marital assets during the divorce proceedings.
- If there has been impropriety during the relationship, such as family violence, child abuse, criminal activity, substance abuse, or infidelity, bring any supporting documentation. This includes police reports, convictions, protective orders, medical records, and child protective services records. In addition, retain screenshots and documentation of any texts, emails, phone calls, voice messages, and social media messages that show impropriety. These will be significant for any alimony or child custody determination.
- If you are seeking child custody, it is important to establish what the roles of the parents have been regarding the care of the child. It is also important to establish the child’s age, daily schedule, school location, extra-curricular activities, doctors, and special and medical needs. Information regarding all of this will help your attorney establish what your parenting plan should look like to meets your child’s needs.
- Start an ongoing list of questions you have for your lawyer. Any question is fair game and your attorney will actually appreciate questions, as they indicate that you are taking this process seriously. Your questions will also help your attorney client relationship as you will be on the same page in the decision-making process.
If you want a lawyer who will take your separation, divorce, or custody dispute seriously, you should contact us. New Direction Family Law has 20 years of experience in family law and will work hard to protect your future. Call our office today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or online at our website. Our team serves Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties.