Preparing For Divorce: Your Divorce Attorney Consultation
Once you’ve made the tough decision to pursue divorce, the next step for most people is finding a divorce attorney suited to you and your case. This starts with the consultation—an initial meeting with an attorney to discuss your legal matter and help both you and the attorney figure out of their representation is right for your case. This meeting is a very important step, as it serves as the foundation for your relationship with that attorney. In this post, we’ll go over the major topics that you should be prepared to discuss with the attorney during your divorce consultation to ensure you get the most out of your consultation and the attorney can provide you the most comprehensive advice on moving forward.
- Finances – Come prepared to discuss your finances, both in terms of what you do know and what you don’t. For most people, divorce is a major financial event resulting in the division assets with your spouse and which can include child support, alimony, and attorney’s fees payments. You should come to your consultation with information about your income, your spouse’s income, your assets, and your debts. If your spouse primarily controls your finances, any information you can provide about them is helpful, as well as any information you can provide about what you expect to need in the event of a divorce to support yourself, both during and after the divorce.
- Children – Custody can be extremely contentious. You should come to your consultation ready to discuss your hopes for your future custodial arrangements with your spouse, as well as any specific concerns you have about those arrangements. If your children have special needs or expenses, you should be prepared to discuss the details of those concerns as well.
- Existing Agreements – If you have made any prior agreements with your spouse about what should happen in the event of a divorce, provide those agreements to the attorney during your consultation. For example, if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that governs asset division or alimony, you should inform the attorney at the first opportunity. More informal agreements, such as childcare or child support agreements, could be important, as well. Make sure to make the attorney aware of any such agreements during your consultation.
- Immediate Concerns – If there are any issues that require immediate action, make sure to tell the attorney as soon as possible. For example, threats of family violence or a spouse cutting the other off financially may require immediate court intervention. Your attorney can help you, but only if you are prepared to discuss those issues in detail. In emergency situations, the courts typically require you to make a strong showing that immediate relief is necessary, so be sure to provide as much information as you can to your attorney to ensure the best results.
- Expectations – Perhaps most importantly, make sure to communicate your hopes and expectations to the attorney. Although it can be hard to guarantee a specific outcome, it is incredibly important that you and your attorney are on the same page about your expectations for the case. This will ensure that your attorney can advise you on how to work toward those goals and avoid anything that would hinder your efforts to achieve them.
Divorce consultations are a great opportunity to get to know an attorney and for them to get to know you. Make the most out of consultations by being prepared for the meeting so that you and the attorney can work toward your goals. If you are ready to move forward with a divorce consultation, the family law attorneys at Buckhead Family Law are here to help.