You should certainly set goals for your divorce — both before you meet with your lawyer and throughout the process.
It’s important to think about what you might want to achieve in the divorce proceedings before meeting with your lawyer. Writing this down will assist you in expressing all of your initial goals to him or her. Your lawyer should be fully aware of your expectations — both at the outset and throughout the matter. Even seemingly minor issues may have significance in your situation.
Once your lawyer has reviewed the facts of your case, he or she can then provide an opinion about whether some or all of your goals are realistic or achievable within the framework of family law. The lawyer likely will point out issues that may not have occurred to you or suggest alternative options to the goals that you’ve expressed. Together, you and your lawyer will then prepare a revised set of objectives that will shape the initial investigation and strategy in your file.
As your case proceeds, your goals will likely change. You must make your lawyer aware of these changes and the reasons for them. Often, your objectives in a matrimonial matter evolve as you become aware of new facts. However, don’t alter your goals in response to an improper factor, such as undue pressure. Expressing your changing goals and the reasons behind those changes to your lawyer will help to ensure that you are treated fairly and that each goal has been satisfactorily addressed in the final resolution of your divorce.
Joe Sheridan practices family and estate law and general civil litigation with offices in west-end and uptown Toronto.