What do I bring to my first family law appointment?

An initial appointment with a lawyer is usually scheduled for 1 hour.  To make the most of that hour, it helps to be prepared.  Some people are just looking for summary advice about their divorce, separation or parenting conflict, while other want to retain a lawyer to represent them.  It can help to advise the lawyer so they can tailor their questions and advice to meet your needs.  Either way, we recommend you bring:

  • Government issued photo ID;
  • Your original marriage certificate, if you plan to seek a divorce;
  • Any court documents that you have been served with, or that relate to your family matter;
  • Copies of any court orders;
  • Copies of any cohabitation or separation agreements;
  • A pen and paper to take notes.

If you want to go above and beyond, and have not already provided these documents to the court or a previous lawyer, you could also gather:

  • Your last 3 years of income tax returns (T!);
  • Your last 3 years of Notices of Assessment;
  • A recent paystub.

If you don’t have all of the documents listed above, don’t let it stop you from coming to see a lawyer.  We can always help you make a list and track things down as we go along.