How Do I Begin?
Starting this process can be difficult and stressful. Our family law attorneys, who are trusted authorities in family law, are here to assist you and will guide you through the process.
- First Step: Determine what questions are important to you. Most questions fall into one of the following categories: custody and parenting time, holiday parenting time, child support, alimony, support pending the divorce process, division of assets such as the marital home, brokerage accounts, retirement assets, division and payment of debts such as the mortgage, home equity loans, credit cards and student loans, tax issues, life insurance and counsel fees. Take a few minutes to write down your questions. When you sit down with one of our family law specialists, you can reference your list of questions to make sure that we have answered all of your important questions.
- Second Step: Schedule a consultation. During the consultation, our attorneys elicit important information from you about your family’s unique circumstances. Based upon that information, our attorneys will share their knowledge and expertise with you and provide you with information and advice about your case. Our goal is for you to leave the initial consultation informed and educated.
- Third Step: Gather information and documents that are helpful to the family law attorneys who will handle your case. This information can be brought to the initial consultation, but it is not necessary. We suggest that you obtain the following documents for the last three to five years: income tax returns with all schedules, W-2s for both parties, 1099s, K-1s, last three paystubs, credit card statements, and bank statements. Additionally, compiling a list of your family’s assets and liabilities is also helpful. If you do not have access to this information, there is no need to be concerned. Provide whatever information that you have in your possession. Our attorneys can obtain other needed documents through the discovery process.
- Fourth Step: Sign a Retainer Agreement. Before a New Jersey family law attorney can begin working on your case, you will need to sign a Retainer Agreement and pay an initial retainer fee. A Retainer Agreement is a contract that defines the legal relationship between the attorney and the client. It addresses issues such as the legal services to be rendered, the scope of services, services not included, which attorney will have primary responsibility for managing your case, the amount of the initial retainer and any additional interim retainers, hourly rates and computation of fees, billing procedures and the client’s rights and responsibilities.
- To learn more about Pallarino and Bogan, L.L.P., family law specialists in Northern New Jersey, please call 973-539-1140.