Even those who know little of Shakespeare seem to recall this quote. Why is it so? Well most people only have contact with a lawyer when they are buying or selling a house. This is normally a pleasant experience for all concerned. Then there is another time - the time when your life falls a part: infidelity, separation, physical and psychological violence against you, no contact with your children, false allegations made against you, lack of money, stress of going to court and you see your joint dreams turn into nightmares. It is hardly surprising that the quote from Shakespeare gets remembered, after all – it is the lawyers fault!
It may surprise you to know that lawyers often feel that way about their clients. My colleagues and I often see the same issues arise in each family law matter. Why is this so?
Sometimes, just obtaining the most basic of information can be time consuming and therefore expensive. Clients come to meetings ill prepared. They forget their wedding date, their partners full name, their partner’s birthday, their children’s birthdays and the address of where they live.
Believe it or not most family lawyers want you to save money and try to help you save money by telling you what to bring to the first meeting or even ask you to fill in a form and bring it to the first meeting (that is how Rivera Legal operate). If you can present detailed information in chronological order, your lawyer will love you even more and you will save money.
The basic information is also used in the start of an affidavit and looks like this:
I am the respondent wife in these proceedings. I set out the following background facts:
Wife: born 14 February 1980 in Sydney (now 35).
Husband: born 12 January 1980 in Moscow, Russia (now 35).
Relationship: commenced 7 September 2007.
Engaged: 14 August 2008
Marriage: 15 March 2009 Husband 29, wife 29
Children: John Wayne born 30 October 2011 (now aged 3 years, 3 months).
Separation: 30 October 2014 (relationship duration: 7 years, 1 month).
Your lawyer is already forming a picture of your case from just this basic information and so will the judge when he or she sees it.
In the next blog I will discuss what financial information your lawyer needs from you and why.