A divorce lawyer free consultation is an excellent first step to putting your divorce on the right track. Several divorce lawyers in Vancouver offer free consultations, but the “free” part can be a bit misleading. You will need to put in the work ahead of time to ensure that you clarify the important facts in your divorce case. Moreover, you’ll have to figure out which questions to ask ahead of time so that you aren’t lost during the meeting.

Those who keep a divorce lawyer on hand get an average of 50% more in their financial settlement compared with those who go it alone. That’s according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.

Thankfully, this article from Guardian Law, esteemed Vancouver family lawyers, will help you determine how to find the best lawyer and prepare you to cover the key points during your consultation.

What Can You Expect From A Free Consultation?

Considering that most lawyers will charge by the hour, and even include monthly retainers, the free initial consultation can be a bit of a surprise to some.

However, a free consultation actually works both to your advantage and your lawyer’s. By having a discussion with you, a divorce lawyer can evaluate whether they’ll be able to handle your case based on their experience in family law matters. For your part, you get to envision the lawyer-client relationship and understand what it will be like to collaborate with them.

And you’ll both have ample opportunity to ask your own questions. In our experience, clients like you will have dozens of points that they want clarified regarding their particular scenario, based on the research they’ve already done online, or through asking family and friends. You’ll learn about your legal rights, as well as what kind of outcome to expect from your case. You might even get to know the strategy for your case ahead of time.

The consultation could be in person or over the phone. Usually, it will last around 30 minutes to an hour.

Things To Consider Before Finding A Divorce Lawyer

While a free consultation should be free of obligations, you don’t want to waste your time with the wrong lawyer. Here are some principles to help you vet each lawyer and decide which ones to meet with.

Review Their Reputation & Experience

Look at reviews online in various legal directories to get a sense of how the typical lawyer in this field handles their cases. Pay close attention to reviews that provide a mix of positive and negative thoughts as those will be the most likely to reflect a real experience.

As for experience, you might have to wait for the call before learning the answer to that question, although the interview can give you some hints.

Ensure They Specialize In Family Law Cases

It might seem a bit obvious, but of course, you’ll want to get a family lawyer who is capable of dealing with all the important considerations in your divorce. In fact, a lawyer who exclusively hires divorce and nothing else might be one-dimensional if you need legal services like family law mediation, written child custody agreements, and so on. So make sure that you speak with law firms that fit your current marital, familial, and financial situation.

Understand Their Fees Ahead Of Time

To avoid an unpleasant surprise, it’s better to go into your meeting with a sense of how much this lawyer will charge, and how their billing is structured. That way, you can select the right lawyer for your budget ahead of time.

Make Sure They’re Local

Find references or testimonials from local people. You want a Vancouver family lawyer who can capably deal with the BC court system and the relevant laws.

How To Prepare For The Consultation

Gather Your Details

Before you go to the consultation, there are some important documents that you must bring with you. We wrote an article on the full list of documents that your divorce attorney would find useful. You can check out the full list there, but for now, let’s touch on the main ones.

At the very least, you want to bring your lawyer a list of all the assets you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage. That list must cover everything from bank accounts, and property to things like debts and pets.

In general, you need to bring:

  • Financial documents (bank, property, investment, retirement, debt, insurance, etc.)
  • Legal documents (prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, etc.)
  • Child-related documents (regarding expenses)

Outline Your Requirements

Those documents will help the lawyer understand the requirements of your divorce, but it can also be helpful if you explicitly state your family situation so that the lawyer can formulate a plan.

Furthermore, you’ve likely already built some expectations of what the divorce process will look like in your own head. Particularly regarding asset and property division, as well as child custody and spousal support payments. The lawyer can help you check your expectations to see if they’re realistic.

Prepare Your Questions

When entering a divorce, it’s natural to feel like you’re swarmed by uncertainties. For every uncertainty that you encounter in the research process, write down a related question. Later on, you can ask that question to your lawyer during your interview with them.

In general, the consultation will help you understand your rights and responsibilities. However, your questions can also keep your expectations in check.

Be Prepared To Share Personal Details

Divorce lawyers are there to offer legal guidance, but they can’t do so effectively unless they have all the relevant details.

As you know, some of those details can be pretty painful to recount. Your lawyer should be understanding of this, so feel free to share your story with them in a safe and private setting.

Of course, you’ll need to mentally prepare yourself ahead of time. With regards to some of the numerical details, review critical documents so that you get your story straight. And as for the more emotional ones, don’t hold back on details if you think it’s relevant to the case. Every fact matters, including painful aspects like infidelity or even abuse. Remember that the more critical details you share, the more you can come to a resolution and move on to the next stage of your life.

Book A Free Consultation

At Guardian Law, we are highly experienced in family law matters, including aspects like:

  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Spousal Support
  • Mediation
  • And much more

With a full team by your side that specializes in each of these matters, you’ll be far better equipped to handle your entire divorce, ensuring you get a fair settlement for your family.

We’ve demonstrated how a free consultation usually goes based on our experience, and if you want to be certain that you’re dealing with a competent lawyer, we recommend that you book a free consultation with us. Let’s get you to your next chapter sooner rather than later.