From my experience of helping clients obtain a divorce in Calgary, I have learned that they are usually unsure of what things they should bring with them to the initial consultation.
Hopefully, such people will find this summary useful.
During an initial consultation, I like to take basic facts from clients. When they married, the date they believe they separated, the names of their children, the parenting schedule that has been in place since separation, what assets they have, etc. Usually, such information can be obtained by asking questions and this is usually the first thing I do to obtain such information.
Sometimes, clients have been to Court previously and have Court Orders that show how the Court has previously dealt with such issues. If that is the case, I will need to see those Orders.
Sometimes, the parties have agreed upon a number of issues and have executed a Separation Agreement or similar document. If so, that document will need to be reviewed too.
I also believe that the client attending with a list of questions written down is a good way to ensure that the client leaves the initial consultation with as many of their questions answered as comprehensively as possible.
Typically, what does not need to be seen at the initial consultation is pages and pages of text messages, or emails, that "prove" how badly the other party has behaved since separation. While such documents may be necessary at a later date, in my experience, going over who said what to whom at an initial consultation is not a good use of time for either the client, or the lawyer.
I suggest that clients use the initial consultation to discuss fees with the lawyer, to determine if the lawyer is a good "fit" for them, and to have any questions they wish to have answered, answered.
I suggest that clients meet at least 3 lawyers and make their decision about wish lawyer they wish to instruct once they have had the opportunity of comparing how each lawyer deals with the issues that the client raises with them.
If you would like to book an initial consultation with me, please email me using this link, or call me on 403-538-2105.