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416 967 6111

20 Eglinton W. #1305
Toronto ON, M4R 1K8

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How to Prepare For Your First Meeting With a Family Law Lawyer

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We understand that meeting with a family law lawyer can be an overwhelming experience during an already challenging time in your life. It is natural to have many questions, and we want to ensure that you come away from that first meeting with an understanding of your rights, obligations and, most importantly, the various options available to you.

In order to make the most of your first meeting, there is some information that you can pull together in advance to assist us in providing you with meaningful guidance:

  1. Collect and bring copies of all of the following financial information to which you have access:
  2. Your personal income tax returns, including all enclosures, notices of assessment and any notices of re-assessment, for the 3 most recent taxation years
  3. Any details and/or documentation, including but not limited to income tax returns, regarding your spouse’s income
  4. If you or your spouse own a business, copies of corporate income tax returns and corporate financial statements for the 3 most recent year
  5. If you are employed, 4 most recent pay stubs
  6. Statements for all bank accounts, investments, pensions, credit cards, lines of credit and/or any other assets and liabilities evidencing the balance of these accounts in the current month and, if available, for the month in which your relationship commenced and/or you were married

We are going to ask you several questions about the history of your relationship, your children and the financial circumstances. If time permits, it would be useful to prepare a journal that details all of the following information, which you could even send to us in advance of your appointment:

  • The history of your relationship with your spouse
  • Significant financial transactions/events during your relationship
  • Information about your children – names, ages, schools attended, nannies/daycare arrangements, any special needs/health issues
  • Details about the history of parenting
  • Incidents of violence and/or abuse

Lastly, we recommend that set up a new and private email account for us to communicate with you regarding your matrimonial matter. Try to avoid using names and/or significant dates as your password. Rather, use a randomized alpha-numeric password.

We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.

About the Author

Maneesha Mehra is an associate at Goldhart & Associates and joined the firm in February 2015 after practicing at several boutique family law firms in Toronto. She was called to the bar in 2006 after articling with a full-service law firm. Maneesha has experience in civil litigation, but has been practising family law exclusively since January 2008.

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