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  • Laurie Wasserman

What to Expect: Meeting Your Family Law Attorney for the First Time

If you are contacting a family law attorney for the first time, your head is probably swimming with questions and concerns. I want to take some time to prepare you for what to expect at your first meeting with me.

To begin, most people I meet with likely have never hired a family law attorney. I understand that you are coming to me at a difficult time and that what you are telling me is intimate. I promise to treat what you tell me with the respect it deserves and to keep it confidential. I also will not judge you. As your lawyer, I cannot change what happened before you came into my office.

The first thing I will do is ask you to tell me your goals. Your answer helps me learn more about you, sets the tone for our meeting, and the advice I will give you. Then, I will ask questions to illicit important background information from you. I want to know about your family, your finances, and, if it is a divorce, what assets you have. It sometimes helps to bring paystubs, tax returns, or a list of your monthly expenses to the meeting.

Next, I want to hear your story. I need you to be honest with me about what happened to bring you to the point where you feel you need to hire an attorney. After hearing your story, I can then explain how Maryland law applies to the facts of your specific case. I can provide you with handouts explaining the process and what factors are considered in cases where there is a request for alimony, child support, or custody. Although you are welcome to take notes during the meeting, it can be helpful to have a document to look at after we meet.

Once I understand your goals, your background and your story, we can talk about a strategy for moving forward. I will give you multiple options to choose from, and we can weigh the pros and cons of each option. You can ask me a lot of questions. No question is silly, and I will answer all of your questions honestly. You are welcome to ask me about my experience and qualifications.

Finally, I will talk to you about what it will cost going forward. I cannot give you an exact amount from start to finish, but I will tell you how billing and payments are handled.

My goal for all first client meetings is that you leave with a better understanding of the law, process, strategy, and expenses. I have found that these first meetings can alleviate some of the anxiety you have and allow me to take on some of your burden. Hiring a family law attorney is never a fun experience, but it does not have to be a terrible one either. Finding the right attorney sets the tone for your case and gets you one step closer toward your goals.

If you are interested in meeting with a family law attorney, please contact Wasserman Family Law at 410-842-1070 or We practice in jurisdictions throughout the State of Maryland.

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