Regardless of the reasons for your visit to a law firm, the steps which a lawyer will take to assess your situation will usually be the same. Below is a snapshot of an initial consultation with one of our family lawyers:
- Understanding your story
During the first part of your consultation, you will have the opportunity to tell your story. The lawyer will begin by asking you a series of questions with respect to the history of your case – this typically includes questions about your spousal situation, children, property which you own, and any other relevant questions which will give us insight. It is important to come prepared with a general timeline, for example, the date of your marriage/common-law partnership, date of separation, and birthdays, in order to provide the lawyer with a clear chronology of your case. If any proceedings have already been filed, it is important to provide them to the lawyer.
For example, Me Spunt often begins each initial consultation by informing her clients of the following:
“Transparency is key. The more I know, the more I can help you move forward. I do not want you to feel nervous and everything you tell me will remain confidential. Let’s start from the beginning…”
The goal is to create a safe environment for all clients where they feel comfortable and at ease. We understand that this is stressful and may very well be the first time you are sharing those intimate details. It is important to remember that all information given and discussed during a consultation with us remains completely confidential. Our lawyers are here to support you during this difficult period of your life and guide you through the legal process as pain free as possible.
- Explanation of the law
After we have a clear idea of your situation, we will break down the law for you. We will introduce you to relevant legislation which will be pertinent in helping you succeed in your case. In family matters, it is typical to refer to the Civil Code of Quebec, the Divorce Act, the Youth Protection Act and the Code of Civil Procedure.
- Application of law
Once you have been provided general information, we explain how we would apply the relevant legislation directly to the facts of your case. This will allow for a better insight into how to proceed with your file.
You will then have the opportunity to ask any and all legal questions pertaining to your situation. We will provide you with the answers to the best of their ability.
- Next steps
Once the previous steps are completed, we will explain the next possible steps in your case. These vary depending on your situation – we may offer guidance on how to resolve matters outside of court in an amicable manner, or they may explain to you the detailed process on how the file could proceed in front of a judge and discuss your chance of success.
Feel free to contact us and book an initial consultation with one of us and ask any legal questions you may have.