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What should I bring with me for my initial consultation with my divorce lawyer?

When meeting with your Edmonton divorce lawyer for the first time, you should consider bringing along the following documents:

  • Your Parenting After Separation Certificate, if it applies to you
  • Your marriage certificate if you are married
  • A photograph of your partner. Don’t worry, we aren’t interested in what they look like, but a photograph may be necessary during the process of serving documents upon your former partner
  • Yours and your partner’s disclosure if child support, spousal support, adult interdependent partner support, or property division is at issue. Given that the documents typically disclosed and exchanged between parties, prior to negotiation or litigation, could be vast, try to at least bring in your most recent tax returns (last 3 years), your most recent notices of assessment (last 3 years), and your last 3 paystubs or evidence of employment or other income. If you own a business, whether you are self-employed or have shares in a corporation, you should also bring in your financial statements or evidence of how much income you receive from such business. This will allow your Divorce lawyer in Alberta to provide you with more accurate advice
  • Most important is your statement. Free Initial consultations at the Edmonton Law Office are 30 minutes long. There is a lot to talk about in that short period of time. It is always best for you to come prepared. Therefore, you may want to consider preparing your answers to the following:
    • If you are married, when did you get married?
    • When did you start living together?
    • When did you separate or commencing living “separate and apart”?
    • Names and birthdates of your children or children you may stand in the place of a parent to. Not sure if you stand in the place of a parent to a child? Contact your Edmonton Divorce Lawyer at the Edmonton Law office for more information
    • If Spousal Support or Adult Interdependent Partner Support are at issue, then be prepared to answer questions like: what were you and your partner doing (work history) prior to your cohabitation, during your cohabitation, and after your separation date. Where were you guys residing at the time of cohabitation and, if you moved, why you moved. Educational background, ages, health, employability, yours or your partners need for support (preparing a monthly budget will eventually be required under the financial disclosure process), yours and your partner’s ability to pay support, whether one of you was a stay-at-home parent for a period of time, and several other factors are all relevant
    • If child custody or guardianship of a child are at issue, then a history of your role as a parent. For example, who was involved in making decisions respecting the child(ren’s) education, health, religion, social upbringing, extracurricular activities, etc. Also, if either of you has made a decision for a child that has very positively or negatively impacted the child(ren) then be prepared to discuss this with your Edmonton custody and guardianship lawyer
    • If parenting is at issue, your Edmonton family lawyer will want to know about the history of parenting. Where were the children residing at the time of separation and what parenting or access arrangements have been in place since the separation date. Your divorce lawyer at the Edmonton Law Office will also want to know whether prior arrangements or any agreements are in place concerning parenting of the children
    • If property division is at issue, you should be prepared to talk to your Edmonton matrimonial property lawyer about all the assets and debts each of you had at the time of your cohabitation and/or marriage, the assets and debts accumulated during the cohabitation and/or marriage, and the assets and debts accumulated post-separation. It is a good idea to bring in confirmation of registration of registrable assets like Certificates of Title for any real estate, vehicle registration papers for vehicles, bank statements with account numbers, etc. Your Edmonton property division lawyer at the Edmonton Law Office will also want to know if any assets were sold then when they were sold, and where the proceeds of the sale went. If any debts were accumulated or repaid during or after your separation, then we will want to know which debts were accumulated and for what purpose, and also who repaid them and where the funds came from to repay them
    • If there was or currently are issues relating to domestic violence, then your experienced Edmonton divorce and family lawyer will want to know the issues, whether the incidents were reported (bring in reports if you have them), what steps have been taken to avoid further violence, whether the children have been involved in any way, whether child and family services, the authorities, or the courts have been involved in any way etc
    • If your continued cohabitation is rendered intolerable and it is necessary that only one of you can continue to reside in the home, then you may need to consider dealing with exclusive possession of the home. Your family law lawyer in Edmonton will want to know whether you or your spouse have anywhere else to go, if you or your partner go elsewhere can that person afford to reside elsewhere?, if you or your partner stay in the home can you afford the carrying costs associated with the home? (or should you be considering bringing an application for spousal support or adult interdependent partner support?). What is the plan for the children, do they stay with you or with your partner, keeping in mind that the Court is likely to only do what is in the best interests of the children. Does either of you run a business out of the home? Who is the home registered to? Who is more likely to maintain the home and preserve its value?

Please note that the foregoing is not a complete list. Contact the Edmonton Law Office online, or call (780) 784-6666 and speak to an Edmonton Divorce Lawyer for more assistance and to book your free initial consultation.

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