10 Steps for Preparing for a Family Law Consultation
Schedule a Consultation. Contact our office and speak with a member of our group to schedule an appointment. This is the very first step to moving forward with your life.
Complete your Pre-Consultation Forms. Once you have scheduled your initial consultation, download and complete the Pre-Consultation forms found in printable PDF form on our website. In addition to completing these forms, you may also want to make a list of specific questions you have about the facts of your case prior to your meeting.
Make a Budget. The attached Income Expense Affidavit is a good guide to help you better understand your finances. Completing this form will give you an opportunity to clearly identify your expenses. Once you have a sense of the real costs of maintaining your family, you can create a budget to better manage your finances.
Find Financial Data. You should try to gather and copy as much financial data as possible. Tax returns, financial statements, real estate documents, account listings, statements from banks or investment accounts, retirement information and any other financial data regarding your affairs should be compiled. Debt information should also be identified so that a true financial picture can be developed.
Explore your Employment Benefits. An understanding of what is available in terms of hours, insurance coverage, benefits, advancement and other perks that may be offered by your employer is a real benefit as you go thru the process of a divorce. These factors could have an effect on your case.
Order Your Credit Reports. Credit reports can be ordered online, and the information obtained easily. You can then monitor all financial matters on your report. Make sure you obtain reports from more than one reporting agency.
Create a Calendar. Given that change is inevitable once you file a family law action, you should create a calendar or log wherein you can easily retrieve information about your case in a chronological manner. At the time of the consultation and depending on your case facts, we can provide guidance of relevant data to maintain.
Keep Good Records. Financial matters will be traced during the proceedings. If you keep good records which are easy to understand, it will promote efficient progress in your case.
Get Organized. Find a system to organize the data and documents related to your case. Organization will be crucial and invaluable when it is time to retrieve and produce documentation during the proceedings.
Keep Communication Open. Once you retain our firm, it is essential that you return phone calls in a timely fashion, check your mail regularly, review and assemble required documents upon receipt, verify and return pleadings timely to our office, and cooperate with us to keep your case moving efficiently. If you need more time regarding any element of your case for any reason, call us and work with us to ensure that all deadlines are complied with so that we can better represent you. Effective communication with our office will be one of the most critical aspects of your case. Every member of our team has a voicemail and the team has a central e-mail that is accessible to you 24 hours a day. Our Firm’s fax machine is always on, and we have a 24 hour Drop Box for documents.
Schedule your free initial consultation to see how we can assist you with your Illinois family law needs. Call us at 815-600-8950 or contact us online today.