Your Consultation is a Strategy Session
Many firms offer a consultation. Generally, a consultation will provide you with basic information about the law in a particular area and some comments on your situation. Our consultation goes beyond that basic information – this is a strategy session. We will discuss your cases, your feelings, your objectives, what may be possible or not possible, and possible strategies for your case. You will leave with a roadmap for your case should you decide to move forward. If you come ready to tell us your story and get information, we can help.
Please read more about what to expect at your first meeting with us and possible issues to consider in advance.
What to Expect at Your Consultation
Before you come meet with us, you will get an email or text message telling you how to find us. If you have trouble finding us, you can call or text us at 206-659-6839 and we will help you find the way. Once you arrive for your meeting, you will have a seat in our lobby if you are early or be taken to a conference room for the meeting. A member of our team will offer you a beverage. Your consultation will be private and confidential. An attorney will be there to meet with you and discuss your case, answer your questions, and discuss possible strategy to achieve your objectives. We will also be sure to answer your questions. Part of the meeting will also be a discussion about our fees, anticipated costs, and what your options for representation are once we know more about your situation.
Preparing for Your Family Law Consultation
You need to take action. Making contact with people who have answers is the first step, but once you have taken that big step you do not know what to do next. How do you prepare for your first meeting with us and for your case? We will do the heavy lifting in your case, but for you to make the most of your initial meeting with us we have included some issues to consider before your consultation.
- Determine your objectives.
- Think about the issues that must be resolved in your case, including custody issues, property issues, debts, alimony, and any other issues that will need to be worked out. You may not know what issues exist or what your options are. This is where we come in. Here are some possible issues to think about and that we will discuss in detail with you.
- Divorce or Committed Intimate Relationship cases may include:
- Property and Debt Division
- Family Businesses
- Businesses Established prior to Marriage or Relationship
- Spousal Maintenance (alimony)
- Student Loans
- Credit Card Debt
- Separate or Premarital Assets and Debts
- Retirement Accounts
- Insurance settlements
- Property – Homes, Land, and Personal Belongings
- Domestic Violence
- Substance Abuse and Addiction Issues
- Mental Health Issues
- Immigration Issues, Work Visas, Green Cards, etc.
- Parenting Issues can be part of Divorce, Parenting Plan cases for unmarried parents, Parenting Plan Modifications, Relocation with Children Cases. Possible parenting issues include:
- Parenting Time
- Differences in religion
- Differences in education/schooling preferences
- Differences in medical treatment opinions
- Decision Making
- Vacation Time
- Holiday Time
- Domestic Violence
- International and Out of State Travel with Children
- Child support can be part of divorce, cases with unmarried parents, and modification or adjustments. Information and issues to consider include:
- All sources of Income
- Working Overtime
- Receiving Bonuses
- Childcare Costs
- Medical Insurance and Out-of-pocket Costs
- Extracurricular activities
- Spousal Maintenance/Alimony may be available and part of your divorce. It is not available in cases with unmarried parents or Committed Intimate Relationship matters. Issues and questions to think about include:
- Income of each party
- History and length of the marriage
- Whether one party relies on the other
- Thinking about your budget after separation
- Where the parties will live
Gathering your Resources
- Once you know what to expect when you come visit with us and the questions you have, you can gather your resources. When we talk about resources we are not just talking about finances; this refers to both financial and emotional resources.
- Financial Resources
- As a part of the discussion about fees and costs associated with representation in your case, at our initial strategy session we will help you consider how much you may need to be willing to spend to achieve your objectives and do a cost-benefit analysis associated with your best case and worst case scenarios regarding the issues we have outlined. Every situation is different. We want you to make smart choices about your future and how to save on resources and when to use them. For example, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake or custody issues surrounding your children, you may or may not know this before your strategy session. We will review your situation and if this is the case, you should be prepared to defend your position and make whatever short-term arrangements you need to in order to protect your future.
- We will help you evaluate your situation and help you keep costs to a minimum in order to ensure you do not spend more on fees than you would gain from the financial benefits of legal representation.
- Emotional Support Resources
- Emotional support resources are also an important part of your case. Whether it is a family or criminal case, dealing with a legal matter takes a toll. We care about your mental, physical, and financial health in this process. One of the reasons people often end up spending more money than needed in family law cases is that they tend to use their lawyer as a therapist, friend, or sounding board. We want to talk to you and we care or we would not do this kind of work. A certain amount of emotional support can and should be expected from your attorney. But we also want to make good usage of the financial resources you have for your case and will want to make sure you have other emotional support. If you feel alone, this is normal. We will help you identify and gather emotional support resources if you need them. If you have this covered, that is great, too.
- You may want to bring a friend, family member, or other emotional support person to your strategy session or later meetings. We are happy to include the person of your choosing and will discuss any implications this may have on confidentiality with you. This may also be a private issue for you and maybe no one knows. That is okay, too.
Preparing for Your Criminal Defense Consultation
- Being arrested or even contacted by police is scary. Reaching out to get an attorney on your side is the best first step you can take. Time is of the essence in criminal cases. Maybe you have never met with an attorney before – and maybe you had never been arrested before. Or maybe you have been in this position before and you know how high the stakes are. Maybe you have a court date coming up – or maybe you have no idea when it will be. Either way, this is overwhelming. We get it. When you come in to meet with us, we will make sure you know what to expect next. Please bring any and all paperwork related to your case. If you do not have any or cannot find it, that is okay – just come to your consultation ready to tell us your story.
- Some issues to think about prior to your consultation include the following:
- Do you have a court date coming up or are you waiting to hear about one?
- What is your biggest fear about the case or situation?
- Is your privilege to drive a concern?
- Does your family/partner/spouse know what you are facing? Is privacy a concern?
- Does your employer know and is this is a concern?
- Do you have any immigration issues?
- What questions do you have?