4. Meet with your lawyer

Where can I find a lawyer to help with my family law issue?
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4. Meet with your lawyer

After you hire a lawyer, you will have to talk to them about your case in more detail. If you have an emergency, you may want to do this over the phone so that it happens as soon as possible.

The lawyer will ask about your situation to get a better understanding of the facts of your case. Write some notes about your legal problem before you meet. This will help you remember details.

Be ready to provide details about you, your family, and your story. Most family law lawyers will ask for your date of birth, your partner's date of birth, when you and your partner started living together, and names and dates of birth of any children.

You should also:

  • make a list of questions you have
  • think of what solutions you would like
  • bring your Legal Aid Certificate, if you have one

Be clear with your lawyer about how you want your issues resolved. Ask your lawyer if they think what you want is realistic. You may have to change what you want based on their advice.

Bring copies of important paperwork with you. Make sure you keep copies for yourself. These may include copies of:

  • any written agreements that you and your partner made
  • any court documents that you received or prepared
  • your last pay stub
  • financial documents that show you and your partner's assets and debts, like property, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, bank accounts, and investments
  • income tax returns, notices of assessment, and any notices of reassessment for the past three years for you and you partner

Lawyers must check that you are who you say you are. When you meet with the lawyer, you must show them photo identification, such as your driver's license, passport, or permanent resident card to prove your identity.

Generally, all the conversations you have with your lawyer are confidential, even if you decide not to hire them. This means your lawyer can't talk to others about what you have said without your permission. This includes talking to your partner. But, there may be exceptions where the safety of your child is an issue.

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Community Advocacy and Legal Centre
Legal Aid Ontario
Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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