Rieger & Fried LLP

I Scheduled An Initial Consultation With a Matrimonial Lawyer In New York: What Should I Bring To The Meeting??? What Should I Expect???

Contemplating a divorce, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, child custody, child support or order of protection proceeding is a difficult and emotional decision. In fact, several clients have told me that the mere act of picking up the telephone and scheduling the initial consultation was one of the hardest tasks they had to undertake. This article is intended to take away the fear of the unknown and educate you as to how to prepare for a consultation in a matrimonial or family court proceeding and what you can expect during this initial meeting. Once you have decided to schedule an appointment for a consultation with me, you should be aware of the following:

  1. Be prepared to spend at least an hour at the initial consultation. If you have children, please make child care arrangements so you can focus on the consultation.
  2. During the first half of the consultation, I will be asking you many questions concerning your income, assets, liabilities as well as the emotional and physical health of you, your spouse, and your children including the names of any prescription medications as well as the dosages taken by you, your spouse and/or your children. While you may consider these issues to be intrusive and none of my business, they are essential in order for me to provide you with the most meaningful advice possible. It is important to be open, honest and forthcoming with your answers to my questions. The information that you provide to me is confidential and will not be discussed with anyone outside of the office.
  3. Prior to arriving at my office, you should write down any questions that you might have for me. Often during a consultation, a prospective client will forget important issues that he or she wanted to ask prior to arriving at my office because they are nervous and stressed. The purpose of an initial consultation is to educate you about the law and answer any questions pertaining to the law as they relate to your specific situation. Remember, there are no "dumb" questions.
  4. To assist me in the consultation, you should bring copies of the following financial documents: Tax returns (at a minimum, the last year's tax return and preferably three (3) years of tax returns), W-2 and/or 1099 statements for both you and your spouse, copies of a year's worth of checking account statements (which include miniature copies of the front and back of the cancelled checks if possible) and credit card statements, balances of all accounts such as checking, savings, brokerage accounts, life insurance cash surrender statements, IRA, 401(K) and pension statements, mortgage and home equity line statements, real estate appraisals (if available).
  5. If you have been served or you have filed any legal document such as a summons for a divorce, a Family Court petition for custody, support, order of protection or you are seeking to enforce or modify a Judgment of Divorce, Stipulation of Settlement or Order, it is important that you bring to the initial consultation copies of any and all legal documents and provide me with the date of your next scheduled court appearance.
  6. The final and most important reminder is to take a deep breath and RELAX. This is an essential part of the process. You are going through the most traumatic and stressful part of your life. However, you are not alone. Once I am retained, your problems become my problems. We will work together towards getting you through this most difficult time in your life. If you believe that this experience is emotionally overwhelming and you need to seek professional help, I urge you to find a therapist or psychologist who can assist you. There is no shame in seeking the assistance of a mental health professional. We will work together as a team. Towards that end, I will need you to be emotionally strong to provide me with the information and documentation necessary to resolve your matter expeditiously.

We represent individuals in abusive and deteriorating marriages who need to move on with their lives...If you have questions that need answers about your particular matter herein in New York, we invite you to call our office to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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  • "Rieger and Fried is the finest law firm to hire. I got the best outcome any client can hope for in a custody case: sole residential and legal custody of my two children. I hired the firm four years ago; my case was a highly contested interstate divorce and custody. The delay in my case was due to the opposing party. My case was handled by Michael Fried who is the most ethical professional I have met. Michael focused on facts of law and documentation to protect my children's legal rights. Michael is efficient, prompt, and helped me for years through the most difficult time of my life. The paperwork was filed on time. The motions were carefully researched and submitted. Michael made sure that he documented all communication with opposing counsel.

    Michael was involved in the evaluation of my ex-husband's medical practice, meeting with me and the forensic accountant. Michael is highly organized and detail-oriented. He tracked down the most important financial documentation to prove my ex-husband's income in order to determine child support.

    Michael prepared me for trial and was keen about details and how to highlight my role as the primary care giver for my children. I went through 16 days of trial during which Michael moved away from his family to stay in Brooklyn in order to meet with me daily before trial to review every single detail. He emailed me in the evenings to make sure all evidence was in place.

    When emotions ran high and opposing counsel was provocative during trial, Michael maintained his calm and represented me and my children wholeheartedly. Michael is the best lawyer any client can hope for, and I am ever so grateful that he handled my case."
  • So many people tell you, “Oh, I’ve got the BEST lawyer for you.â€? Or, “This guy is the absolutely the BEST lawyer to handle your case – the BEST!â€? When in a divorce situation, you hear a lot of this. But, when you are in a situation so foreign to any experience you have ever gone through, there is so much more that is important. It is not the lawyer, who may look great and have a career of flashy litigation. It all comes down to the entire TEAM of individuals working in your best interest. It comes down to their sincere dedication to every minor detail regarding your case, and, most importantly, understanding, and reacting to your mental frame-of-reference, sensitive to the fact that a divorce is one of the most traumatic events one can go through. This level of competence is the consistent apex at which Rieger & Fried operate each and every day. Not only is a successful outcome of the litigation an ultimate priority of the relationship — through over-the-top competence — but their understanding of a client’s well-being, who is probably completely out of their depth in a divorce proceeding, that really sets Rieger & Fried apart from all other firms. Hats off to Rieger & Fried… truly the BEST. SD
  • Kieth and Michael were instrumental in the positive and fair outcome of my case. From the start, they set realistic expectations. They fought hard on — and won — the critical issues that arose during the course of my case. I am extremely happy with their services; I highly recommend them! Melissa J.
  • Michael Fried was very professional and supportive during a very difficult period in my life. He worked very hard to look out for my interests while trying to come to a fair and equitable agreement. I would highly recommend him. Cathy C.
  • Kieth Rieger navigated my divorce with the expertise of a highly skilled negotiator. He is the consummate divorce attorney: determined, effective and compassionate. Rebecca H.
  • Keith headed the team that navigated me through the most difficult time of my life. My divorce was very lengthy and uglier than most. Keith litigated brilliantly and made certain the outcome would be just and fair. Karen D.
  • The Firm Rieger & Fried handled all my family concerns with the utmost respect and professionalism. Joshua Rieger is not just a attorney with the vast knowledge of Matrimonial law and Family Law, he is in tune with his clients , and understands the important challenges they face. The Firm Rieger & Fried protected my interests from start to finish ,and are truly a cut above the rest. Jason B.
  • Kieth Rieger is a superior attorney and I was able to benefit from his ability to process large volumes of information quickly and formulate effective strategy. Kieth was extremely accommodating and sensitive when he represented my case yet firm and commanding when warranted. Soo L.
  • Let’s face it, going through a divorce can be long and nerve-wracking process during which you can be excruciatingly vulnerable. Keith proved to be the sharp, savvy, efficient, frugal and empathetic attorney I needed to be able to achieve a timely and favorable outcome. Jay E.
  • As a fellow attorney, I was aware of your reputation as a skilled and highly regarded matrimonial lawyer. Your representation of my interests in my own divorce confirmed what I had heard; I received outstanding counsel. Thank you for your advice and guidance and for an excellent result. Richard R.
  • When I considered getting a divorce, I wanted to assert my rights while at the same time making sure I wasn’t being unfair to my spouse, and preserving the good relationship I had with my children. You took the time to understand what I was hoping to achieve, and dealt fairly with me and with my spouse. I understand that matrimonial law is inherently adversarial, but I felt that you helped keep it from being more adversarial than absolutely necessary. The end result: a settlement in which both sides got what we needed, in which my parenting relationship with my ex is a productive and civil one, and in which the children are comfortable and cared for. It’s hard to be excited about a divorce, particularly one that ends up in the courts, but you made it as fair and painless as possible, and I thank you for it. Jonathan W.
  • Kieth Rieger made me realize the divorce process is not about showmanship in the courtroom but simply the facts. Eric W.
  • Despite the reputation of divorce lawyers’ being heartless and all about the money, Kieth Rieger was kind, compassionate and willing to work with me financially. When I had a problem making a payment he didn’t threaten to drop me as a client but rather came up with a fair and reasonable payment arrangement. Sharon S.
  • Kieth Rieger and Michael Fried handled my recent marriage litigation. During the entire process both were very professional and always available to answer my many questions. I would highly recommend both if you have this type of litigation. Patrick P.
  • Faced with a contentious divorce 12 years ago, I turned to Kieth Rieger to represent me. I found not only brilliant legal advice, but strong support and calming guidance that came at a critical time. All these years later I returned to him to help me write a pre-nup agreement as I begin a new life. He is a trusted professional who I have recommended many, many times. Amy D.
  • Keith Rieger , My Superlawyer, who checked his ego at the door, rolled up his sleeves, fought for me and my girls, and won in the end. If you want a smart, honest, hardworking lawyer who really cares about his clients, look no further. Lauren L.
  • Going through my divorce was very draining and emotional. Kieth helped me through this time in my life, he made me feel comfortable and at ease that everything would be fine. He and his staff treated me as if I was family. It turned out just the way he said it would. I would recommend this firm to family, friends and anyone that needs a Divorce attorney. Mr. Rieger and associates are hardworking, caring and extremely intelligent. Thank you for giving me a new beginning! Sharyn S.
  • Keith Rieger helped me tremendously during a very difficult divorce. He worked with me financially, and had great empathy for my situation. Your great legal and personal advice were invaluable. Maryanne J.
  • Kieth Rieger guided me through my divorce with incredible professionalism, insight and expertise. Kieth worked tirelessly to achieve the resolution I desired and did everything in his power to realize that outcome efficiently. I highly recommend Keith and the team at Rieger & Fried LLP. Stephen E.
  • Rieger & Fried LLP helped me every step of the way in the process of my divorce. They were adept at walking me through all of the potential options that were available for me. They were focused on resolving our marital issues fairly and with a sense of dignity rarely seen in this field of law. Brian M.