Step by Step - The Initial Consultation
If you are facing chronic marital relationship problems in Mississippi, or some type of discovery blows the lid off the married life you were living, turn to us. Most people end up here by referral from a non-family law attorney, a counselor, pastor, the friend of a friend or a simple Google search.
Once you find us, the best thing we can do to help is by having a consultation in person or over the phone. To set up this meeting, a potential client calls our office or submits an intake form online. We have to get some basic information to run a conflict check. We need to know the “players” to make sure none of our existing clients' interests will intersect with the new potential client. If we do not have a conflict, our client services coordinator will forward a more detailed form. We charge $300 - $400 to review this information and spend 1 – 2 hours in communication about money, kids, life, dreams, goals and the development of a plan about all of the above. The submission of this form with the agreement to pay for our consultation begins our confidential relationship.
We try to get a new client on our schedule within 48 hours of submitting the pre-consultation intake information. We know the mixed emotions associated with the step to sit with a lawyer about your private life, so we try to make you as comfortable as possible. Our office is in a quiet, residential setting, and our service-oriented staff understands the importance of confidentiality. The furniture, wall colors, artwork and even the fragrances are designed to set our guests' minds at ease.
Once it is time for the meeting, a team member will escort you into one of our conference rooms. In our meeting, we will discuss the biographical information of the family, family income, vocational experience, business interests, assets, liabilities, daily life, health issues, educational concerns and insurance coverage. Once we have the basics, we ask a potential client to simply tell us their life story. How did you get from what you imagined your marriage to be to what it has become? What are your priorities? How would you articulate a positive outcome to a less than positive situation?
We love free dialogue and seek understanding.
Toward the end of our meeting, we will provide you with a folder containing more information. The folder usually has our standard Employment Contract, financial declaration forms with instructions, information on co-parenting and the Mississippi custody factors (if applicable), tools to help organize and evaluate your life story as it relates to divorce and your dreams post-divorce. We may make referrals or recommendations at this point to a financial planner, private investigator or counselor. We may suggest you watch a certain movie or read a book or two. The goal of the first meeting is for us to have an overview of financial information and to begin understanding your life and marriage. Most of the time, we can help develop a plan for the accomplishment of a person’s goals, even if they lack full clarity, and often even if they are totally undecided about whether or not to take legal action.
Craig Robertson is a divorce attorney practicing throughout Mississippi.