How Can I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
The more prepared you are for your Minyard Morris consultation, the more cost-effective and comprehensively your situation can be analyzed.
Seven Critical Action Items
We recommend doing the following things before you meet with us regarding your Orange County family law matter:
- Prepare a written list of your questions, issues and concerns. You may have specific concerns regarding business valuation, separate property, inheritance, commingling, child custody, support, division of property or domestic violence.
- Bring a financial statement or a list of your assets and debts. Examples of assets may include business interests, investments, bank accounts, homes, cabins, vacation properties, vehicles, collectibles, life insurance, club memberships and retirement plans. Examples of debts may include mortgages, pledges, lines of credit, credit card debt, pending lawsuits, taxes, contingent liabilities and student loans. Provide a rough estimate of value for each asset and the amount of each debt.
- Prepare a detailed statement listing any assets you owned before the date of marriage, received by way of gift or inheritance during or after the marriage, and any asset acquired after the date of marriage.
- Prepare a timeline of events. If you have questions about issues where past events are relevant, please prepare a timeline of the events. Examples where a timeline could be helpful include domestic violence, date of separation, formation and growth of a business or events related to child custody issues.
- Bring a very detailed statement responding to allegations contained in any court pleadings filed in Orange County family law court by your spouse. If you disagree with your spouse’s statements, explain your version of the events, point by point and include all facts, dates, places, witnesses and circumstances. Your response should not be a simple denial.
- Prepare a summary of your goals and objectives. What objectives do you want us to help you achieve? Do you want to keep or sell the house? Do you plan to stay in California or move elsewhere? What is your plan for a custodial time sharing? Do you or your spouse have a settlement proposal that we can analyze and evaluate?
- Provide us with your personal and/or corporate tax returns for the last three years, if possible.
It is not necessary for you to email these materials to us before the consultation. When preparing for the meeting, always be completely honest with your divorce attorney providing the good facts and the bad facts. We need to know both sides of the story. Don’t save the bad fact until the other side brings them up. Remember that our discussions are confidential. Giving your attorney a comprehensive picture at the outset will save much time and expedite the process and avoid needlessly incurred attorney fees.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
In your first meeting, you will learn about the California divorce process, the laws related to your specific issues, and the application of the law to your facts. We will review the material that you have prepared, which will allow us to provide thorough, targeted, tailored advice and answer your specific questions. Your initial consultation is billed hourly, so the more prepared and organized you are, the less time you will spend in the meeting and the lower your fees.
The Minyard Morris Difference
When you work with Minyard Morris, you work one-on-one with a divorce attorney who is selected specifically for your case. You will receive personal attention and the updates and the advice you would expect.
Our team of respected divorce lawyers has almost 300 years of experience and provides a unique approach to our cases that differs from other Orange County family law attorneys:
- We meet three times each week to analyze and brainstorm cases. You will benefit from the combined knowledge, experience and judgment of 19 respected Orange County divorce lawyers who limit their practice to cases filed in Orange County.
- We do what is necessary to understand the details of your matter and the entire big picture from the beginning.
- From the beginning, we proactively and creatively set out to put the pieces of the puzzle together in the most practical and cost-effective manner possible.
- We are motivated to achieve your goals and objectives (not our own) as quickly as possible; and
- We know how to get your Orange County case resolved through settlement of trial..