Meeting with an attorney for the first time to discuss the end of a marriage can be a stressful experience. Whether the marriage is truly over or if you are simply looking for guidance to better understand your rights and obligations in the event of a divorce, the following tips will help ensure a productive meeting with a prospective divorce attorney:
Prepare an outline. Before you meet with an attorney, prepare a short outline which includes important dates such as the date of the marriage, date of separation (if applicable), and dates of birth of the parties and any children born of the marriage. Also include basic financial information such as a list all assets and liabilities, whether held in your name individually, or held jointly with your spouse or any other individual. Likewise, it is helpful to provide income and employment information for both parties. If there are children, prepare a list of circumstances that are special and unique to your family, including any health or educational concerns. Finally, if there are any other special circumstances that relate to either spouse, also include them in your outline.
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, that is the reason you are meeting with the attorney in the first place. Each case is fact sensitive and no two divorces will be the same. In fact, as part of the outline noted above, you might consider preparing a list of questions for the divorce attorney such as questions about alimony and child support, questions regarding custody and parenting time, or questions relating to the division of assets and liabilities. Perhaps, most importantly, do not hesitate to ask about the divorce process itself and the attendant costs of hiring the lawyer.
Be candid. All discussions are confidential. Therefore, be open and honest about the facts of your case to ensure that you have a productive and effective consultation in which the attorney can obtain an accurate assessment of your case so as to be able to render meaningful advice.
The experienced Family Law attorneys at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP are here to help you. If you would like to learn more about our firm and the divorce process, we offer a complimentary session to see if we are the right firm for you. When you call to make the appointment, please mention that you read this blog and that want to schedule your “complimentary session”. We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.