Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
What to Bring to Your First Meeting with an Attorney Compassionate in Our Approach, Decisive in Our Strategy

What to Bring to Your First Meeting with an Attorney

How to Prepare for the First Meeting with Your Divorce Attorney

The prospect of meeting with a divorce attorney can be anxiety provoking, whether you’re initiating the action or you’ve been served with divorce papers. While your divorce attorney will leverage their experience and education when representing you, the information you provide helps them develop a road map to success.

Prior to your first meeting, it’s crucial that you spend time contemplating the end of your marriage and gathering information that will enable your attorney to move forward with the knowledge that their actions are aligned with your wishes.

When you meet with your attorney for the first time, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your Priorities: People going through a divorce have different priorities. Some people are focused on keeping the home they are living in, while others prioritize child custody arrangements or alimony. There is no right or wrong goal; you’re the only one who can judge what you need to move forward with your life. The more you communicate with your lawyer about what you want out of the divorce, the better able they’ll be to help you get it.
  • Questions: Every client has questions about the divorce process, about negotiation, and about potential outcomes. It’s best to write down your questions and bring them with you. Your attorney will let you know what to expect and will be by your side every step of the way, and you will gain peace of mind knowing that all of your questions have been answered.
  • Your Separation Story: The prospect of a divorce can trigger a multitude of emotions, ranging from sorrow to shame to anger. It’s important that you help your attorney understand what led to the end of your marriage. For example, if abuse or adultery was a factor, it could impact everything from child custody arrangements to how property is divided. Being honest with your attorney and bringing any evidence to your meeting will lay the groundwork for success. Your attorney wants – and needs – to hear your story so they can help achieve your goals.
  • Personal Details: Your attorney will want to know a variety of details about you and your family. You should be prepared to provide information about the date and location of your marriage, any previous marriages for either spouse, your current living arrangements, and your date of separation (if you’re living apart). In addition, you should bring a written document that includes both of your full names, work and home addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, and dates and places of birth.
  • Financial Information: Divorces involve many financial details, so it is helpful to bring as much financial information as possible to your first meeting. Start with documentation about your and your spouse’s assets and debts, including investments, retirement, employment, bank accounts, real estate, credit cards, loans, and so forth. You should gather retirement or pension plan statements, bank statements, stock certificates, property tax statements, mortgage statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. You should also bring copies of car loans, promissory notes, credit card statements for the past year, and evidence of other personal debts. It is also helpful to bring a budget that outlines how much you spend every month on housing, utilities, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation, and other expenses. Finally, if you signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or if you and your spouse are party to any lawsuits, bring copies of those documents as well.
  • Separate Property: California is a community property state, but couples seeking divorce can have separate property. If you or your spouse had assets prior to entering the marriage, or received gifts or inheritances during the marriage, bring relevant financial records to your first meeting.
  • Information about Children: if you have children and your divorce will involve custody, visitation, or child support issues, bring your ideal plan to your first meeting with your attorney. Also bring information about your children’s assets and what you spend supporting them each month.

Whether you’re ready to schedule your first meeting with a divorce lawyer or simply have questions, Griffith, Young & Lass is here to support you.

Our team is located in Carlsbad, California and we would be happy to meet with you when you’re ready. When that time comes, give us a call at (858) 371-5569 or reach us via our online contact form.

Meet Our Team 

Honest. Fearless. Bold.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
    John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
    Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
    Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS

    Associate

    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
    Shirin  Asgari, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.

    Associate

    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

    Eric  Cowdery, Esq. Photo
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq. Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.

    Associate

    Jeffrey Wittliff is extremely attentive to his cases and believes in thorough preparation and the value of regular client communication. Behind the scenes, he has an extensive background in research related to all areas of family law, propounding discovery when necessary, and negotiation to settle cases with opposing parties.
    Jeffrey  Wittliff, Esq. Photo
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
    Joshua  Yee, Esq. Photo
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.

    Associate

    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
    Shaudi  Malekzadeh, Esq. Photo

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Over 100 5-Star Reviews Throughout Our Social Media Platforms
  • I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers.

    “I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers (I would stress these are actually rare qualities within the legal industry and ...”

    - Scott G.
  • You cannot find a better law firm.

    “I cannot say enough good things about John Griffith and this law firm. Each person i interacted with was responsive, intelligent, thoughtful and professional. Attorney Griffith worked very hard to ...”

    - Michelle P.
  • It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.

    “She doesn’t back down from anyone. It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.”

    - Ian R.
  • Understanding, accessible, and I was very happy with the outcome of my case. If I could give a higher rating I would!

    “Easy to work with, forthcoming about the process, set realistic expectations, and always kept cost in mind.”

    - Jennifer P.
  • All three lawyers worked together on the issues surrounding my case, which helped greatly when I was in need of answers or support.

    “The GYL team is always prompt at returning calls & emails. From personal experience, I can tell you that they will not step away from your case until it's finished.”

    - Kelsey L.
  • I couldn’t have made it without them! I highly recommend them!

    “GYL has been an extraordinary support and backing in my divorce. Being a male in the military, the process for divorce and custody is difficult. GYL was extremely helpful, and I was able to full custody of my children. That alone is such a monumental feat.”

    - Frankie S.
  • Worth every penny! My custody case went as stress-free as it could possibly be.

    “I hate seeing anyone go through custody battles but if you’re in that situation and need someone who is trustworthy and great at what they do, then I swear this is the place to get the help!”

    - Emily B.
  • I highly recommend GYL if you are ever in need of a family law attorney.

    “No matter who I corresponded with they were always knowledgeable of my case and quick to respond.”

    - Kimberley F.
  • Highly professional and supportive in a very uncertain time in my life.

    “My clearance was granted without any additional issues. I'd recommend this legal team to any Soldier needing help with their clearance.”

    - K. Brooks
  • Always willing to listen to your concerns. I would highly recommend.

    “Compassionate and kind, however, he will fight for you and your best interests. He is calm and calculated and extremely smart.”

    - Ann M.
  • Extremely helpful, responsive, and reasonable and got the job done amidst tenuous circumstances.

    “She and her team were extremely compassionate, sensitive with me while concurrently advocating strongly on my behalf.”

    - Jeremy R.
  • I felt like she was practical and knowledgeable and most importantly, she listened.

    “The professional and succinct assistance was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the maze of hurdles and complications with our family law case.”

    - David R.
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Why GYL? 

Turn to a Team that Does It Best
  • We're Leaders in Our Field

    From case planning to preparation, to superior courtroom presence, our clients can be sure that they will walk into the Courtroom prepared and with the best chance of success.

  • Client Centered & Results Oriented

    Our representation is tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. We deploy the GYL strategic case trajectory dynamic to ensure the best chance at success at the most reasonable cost. 

  • Brilliant, Hard-Working & Honest

    We don't believe in wasting our client's time and money. Helping people is what drives us to excel at our craft. We first identify the goals and interests of each client, we then develop an efficient and effective case plan aimed at achieving those goals.

  • Responsible & Ethical Practices

    We believe in a responsible and ethical practice and stick to our values regardless of the situation. We're transparent and don't just tell our clients what they want to hear, unless it's what we believe, even if it may deter them from moving forward. We stand by our team's expertise and will always be upfront and honest with our clients. 

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