3.  Gathering Necessary Information and Documents.

In order for me to fully analyze a person's case I must see all of the cards in the playing deck before we can attempt to enter into the settlement resolution process.  This phase is important and sometimes it may take some time to gather all the necessary information.  In discussing the case with my client, I will identify all of the financial documents and information that I will need.  I will send my client home with homework to fill me in on their monthly budget and to fill out a listing of all known property, (personal, real, retirement, bank and investment property) income and debts and the corresponding values of said property or debts.  Once my client can communicate what they are able to obtain on their own, we then discuss what all is needed from the other party.  Often times my clients have little or no access to very important financial documents that I need before proceeding to a settlement resolution.  Thus, with the help of my client, I will obtain a good list of what we need to request from the other side to get a complete picture of the parties' marital estate.  Once I have made the requests for income, financial, property and debt document requests and received the same, I will then update my client by giving them a full analysis of the their specific case considering the income, property and debts of the parties.  At this point, with my advice, my client and I will formulate a strategy to reach a successful separation resolution.
2.  Understand how the law applies to your case.

Knowledge is power.  This truism is such a crucial part of getting to a successful resolution in a divorce case.  As I get introduced to a client and their unique situation, I will always take all the time needed to explain the legal process first and most importantly each and every aspect of the law as it applies to their respective case.  It is important for an attorney to continue to be a scholar and study how the law can evolve and change through new statutes passed in Raleigh/Washington D.C. or through an understanding of new appellate case law from our Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.  Laws pertaining to Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Alimony and Property Distribution have some consistent principles and some evolving elements.  Analyzing each aspect of the client's divorce case, helps the client understand their situation and how best they can proceed.  Honest evaluation of a client's strengths and weaknesses in different elements of their case is also very useful when a client is faced with important life changing decisions.  Although I will always advocate for my clients and try to help them regardless of the facts, it is important that the client has a working understanding of the law as it applies to them.
Navigating to an Amicable Separation: Part 1

Often clients ask me how to avoid a long drawn out costly legal battle during a divorce. I routinely explain that each and every divorce case is unique and not all cases follow the same path. Some separated couples have such contentious issues that court action is unavoidable. However, for many others a civil out of court resolution to family law issues is an attainable goal. I believe that most of my successful out of court resolutions with clients have followed a similar path. The path has four parts: (1) Identify legal issues and client’s goals, (2) Understand how the law applies to your case, (3) Gather necessary information and documents from the other side, (4) Proceed to Resolution. In Part one of this blog, I will discuss the first part of this process.
Whitfield & Mock, PLLC
634 E. Center Avenue
Mooresville, NC 28115

Phone: 704-663-5350
Fax: 704-663-4001
Whitfield & Mock, PLLC, represents residents in Lake Norman and communities such as Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, Troutman, Concord, Statesville, Mount Ulla, Kannapolis, Iredell County, Mecklenburg County and Cabarrrus County, North Carolina.
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