Hello, I am Shilpa Mehta of the Feldstein Family Law Group.
Today, I will be talking to you about the next steps you must take in your family law matter after having retained a lawyer.
Now that you have hired a family law lawyer, what happens next?
The first step your lawyer will take will be to contact your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer in writing, to advise that he/she has been retained to represent you. In this letter, your lawyer may also identify the issues in dispute, address any urgent issues and set out a list of financial disclosure that we require your spouse to produce by a specified date.
During the retainer meeting at the Feldstein Family Law Group, our office will have provided to you a blank financial statement and will have explained to you how to fill out this statement. Our office will also explain to you the documents that we require for you to produce.
Our staff will always be willing and able to help you in this regard and will answer any questions you might have.
You will also pull together the financial disclosure that has been requested of you. This is essentially all the documents you have in support of the figures you have listed in your financial statement. That is, if you are claiming to have a debt in the amount of $5,000.00 at your date of separation, you must prove it using a credit card statement or other loan documentation (depending on the sort of loan).
Once you provide all of this information, we will be able to complete a draft of your financial statement for you to review. When you are satisfied with the draft, you will come into our office to swear the statements. We will also put together a brief with all of your disclosure to be sent to opposing counsel, along with your sworn financial statement.
Meanwhile, your spouse has been doing the same with his/her own lawyer and will provide their own sworn financial statement and disclosure.
Once we receive them from opposing counsel, we will be able to do the following:
- calculate child support;
- prepare spousal support advisory guideline calculations;
- prepare a net family property statement;
- prepare an offer to settle; and
- ultimately prepare a comprehensive separation agreement which the parties will hopefully execute.
If you retain a lawyer with the intention of immediately proceeding with litigation, in addition to your financial statement, your lawyer will also be preparing your application and if you have children, your affidavit re: parenting, which are required by the Court.
If you retain a lawyer after having been served with court materials, your lawyer will immediately need to work on preparing your responding materials as you only have 30 days from the date you were served with an application to respond with your answer and financial statement. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate an extension of time to serve and file your responding materials.
Whether you are negotiating or litigating, at every point in the process, your lawyer should let you know the next steps to be taken and keep you up to date with respect to the process and procedure in your matter.
For more information on this and other issues or to make an appointment with one of our lawyers, please contact us at Feldstein Family Law Group at (905) 581-7222. Thank you.