If you are planning to file for divorce or have been served divorce papers, you are likely trying to find an attorney to handle your case. After researching divorce attorneys, you may schedule an initial consultation with an attorney or firm that you believe can handle your case. In this article, we will discuss how you can best prepare for such a consultation with a divorce attorney.
Prepare to Ask Questions
During your initial consultation, you and the attorney are each determining whether you can work together. You will have to work with your attorney and should be able to trust their skills, experience, and process. While the attorney is deciding whether they can handle taking on your case, you should be trying to decide whether you believe they are a good fit for your case as well.
To ensure the attorney and firm you are meeting with is a good fit, you should get the answers to the following questions during your meeting.
- How much experience do you have handling divorce cases?
- Have you handled a divorce case similar to mine (i.e. a gray divorce, a case involving minor children, a divorce between business owners, a high-asset divorce, etc.)?
- Do most of your divorce cases go to court or are they handled outside of court?
- What would be your strategy for my case?
- How long do you think it will take to resolve my case employing that strategy?
- How much money should I anticipate allocating for my divorce (i.e. filing costs, retainer fee, expert fees, etc.)?
- How do you charge for your services (i.e. hourly or flat rate)?
- What experts do you believe I should hire in addition to your firm (i.e. a private investigator, forensic accountant, etc.)?
- How many people will be working on my case? If other people besides you will be working on my case, can I meet them as well?
- How often will you communicate with me concerning updates?
Prepare: What Things You Should Bring to Your Initial Consultation
In addition to a list of questions, you should bring the following items to your initial consultation with a divorce attorney.
- A completed intake form. Some firms or attorneys ask that you complete an intake form that has some of the information we suggest you bring included. However, not all firms have an intake form.
- A list of goals. Your attorney should understand what your concerns are and what you want as it concerns the case. Create a list of your priorities as it relates to property division, child custody, and other case-related matters. It may also be helpful to outline obstacles to these goals such as, the other being uncooperative, evidence your spouse may use against you, etc.
- Evidence. If you have emails, texts, photos, or other pieces of documents and information that can be used as evidence, bringing copies can be helpful as the attorney can review them and better strategize for your case.
- Financial documents. You should bring your tax returns, a list of your shared and separate assets, and other important financial documents (i.e .pay stubs, pension information, etc.) as these can also inform your case.
- Information concerning the other party. Compile a document that includes the name, contact information, date of birth, and social security number of the other party as well as your children (if you have any). You can also include details about their employer, income, and other relevant details. If the other party has a lawyer and you know their information, include that as well.
- Information concerning your divorce or separation. If you were served papers, you should bring that to your initial consultation. Even if neither party has filed yet, you should prepare a written summary of details concerning your divorce. For instance, if your spouse had an affair, that is relevant information as that can impact your divorce (i.e. wasteful dissipation of assets).
- Previously filed documents. If either party has already filed for divorce, has a restraining order on file, or has filed any documents concerning your case (a pre- or postnuptial agreement, a separation agreement, etc.), you should bring copies.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Firm Today
At The Neshanian Law Firm, Inc, we have been helping our clients achieve the best possible case results since 2005. Known for being compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced, we are dedicated to helping people navigate this transition. If you are planning to get divorced or have been recently served divorce papers, you can trust our attorneys to offer you high-quality, individualized legal counsel. We handle divorce cases as well as divorce-related matters, including:
- Child support
- Divorce mediation
- Domestic violence
- Legal separation
- Modifications to previous orders
- Restraining orders
To learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation, call (949) 577-7935 or complete our online form.