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Preparing for judicial conciliation for custody... what to expect?

Pittsburgh, PA |

Can you tell me what/how to prepare to talk to a lawyer before my judicial conciliation for custody (Pennsylvania)? I want to be prepared so that my time with them is efficient and so that they get all of the information they need to best represent me. Is evidence needed at this step, or is that saved for trial? What can I expect from the judicial conciliation, as far as the actual process while I am there, possible outcomes, and what might come next before trial (or how long it might be before trial)? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


When you prepare to meet with your attorney, you should bring all of the legal documents, your evidence, and anything else you believe may be relevant to the case. If you're organized, it will go more smoothly. I find that one of the biggest time wasters in an appointment is when you ask the client to see a document and they start fumbling through papers, opening envelopes, etc. It can be helpful to have a list of questions. Bear in mind that the attorney may ask you about things that you didn't think were that important. When I meet a client for the fist time I often veer off into territory which may not seem relevant, but I'm usually trying to get to know the client, determine how she/he will react in a court room setting, evaluate his/her overall presence, and so forth. More goes into preparing for a court proceeding, whether it's a mediation conference or a trial, then just having a handle on the facts. Finally, pay attention to what the attorney tells you. As many cases are lost because clients don't do what they're told as are for all other reasons combined in my experience.

Be sure to click Best Answer if you found this helpful. Disclaimer: Please note that this response does not in any way an attorney-client relationship between Kathryn L. Hilbush and the recipient. My responses are general in nature. They do not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult an attorney regarding this and any other legal matters.


At the conciliation, allegations/positions will be articulated. The Pa Rules of Evidence don't apply. If you have kept a custody journal, take it to your lawyer and share it with him/her. Your lawyer will have questions for you and you should take a list of questions.

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