How Can I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
At Minyard Morris, we value both your time and your money. We will empower you to maximize the value and efficiency of your initial consultation. The more prepared you are for your conference, the more efficiently your case can be analyzed and the less time and money you will spend.
Seven Critical Steps
We recommend taking the following steps before you meet with us:
- Review our website pages relevant to your issues in the Knowledge Database of our website. Educate yourself before your initial conference so that you will be able to ask us more targeted questions and better understand our advice.
- 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 liabilities. 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 liabilities may include mortgages, pledges, lines of credit, credit card debt, pending lawsuits, taxes, contingent liabilities and student loans. Provide an estimated value of each asset and the amount of each debt.
- Prepare a timeline of facts. If you have questions about issues where past events are relevant, please prepare a timeline of the relevant events. Examples of such issues could include domestic violence, date of separation, formation and growth of a business or events related to child custody.
- Bring a very detailed statement responding to statements or 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 but don’t forget to bring them to your appointment. 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 later. Remember that our discussions are confidential. Giving your attorney a comprehensive picture at the outset will save much time and expedite the process.
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 situation. Your divorce attorney will review the material that you have prepared, which allows your attorney to offer targeted, tailored advice and answer your specific questions thoroughly. 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 fee will be.
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 information you would expect. Because our team takes a strategic and collaborative approach and meets three times weekly to brainstorm and analyze cases, you will benefit from the 270 years of combined experience and knowledge of our 16 family law and divorce attorneys.
Our team of divorce lawyers is unique in its approach to cases that differs from most other family law attorneys:
- We do what is necessary to see the details of your matter and the entire big picture 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 as quickly as possible; and
- We know how to execute and obtain closure.