There is plenty on your mind already if you’ve reached the point that you need to meet with a divorce lawyer about your case. Here are some things to remember before your initial consultation.
Meeting with a divorce attorney for a consultation can be nerve wracking. You’re meeting with someone you don’t know, to talk about very personal circumstances, in hopes that they can help you limit the impact the case will have on your life. Whether you are consulting a family law attorney to protect your assets or time with your kids, the fact that those things are being put up for debate is unsettling for most.
Divorce Attorneys Exist to Help
Attorneys are advocates. Their job and purpose is to protect and advocate for the rights of their clients. You may go into the consultation with anxiety, but you should walk out with a better understanding of your rights and how the law applies to your situation. If you don’t need an attorney, they will tell you. If there is a simple solution, they will tell you. If your case is complicated and contentious, an attorney can help you navigate it (once you’ve retained one). Even if you don’t hire the attorney you’re meeting with, you should at least leave with a better understanding of what’s at risk and what you need to do.
Know the Purpose of the Consultation
The purpose of the consultation is for the attorney to understand the substance of your case and what you hope to achieve. Attorneys will know the applicable laws and how the courts handle the issues that are present in your case. If they do not think you need a lawyer they will not take your case.
Just as they are assessing you and your case, you should be assessing whether they are someone you want to represent you. Do they seem to know the law and applicable procedures? Are they listening to what you are saying and asking about your goals? Are they conducting themselves in a professional manner? Is this a person you want standing next to you in the courtroom? If the answer is no, meet with another attorney.
Be Prepared to Talk About Your Case
The most time consuming part of your consultation will be going over the facts of your case. You should prepare for this. The clearer the picture you can paint for the attorney, the better they will be able to assess your case. Stay on task with what you’re explaining to the attorney. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the story of your case, so make sure you’re conveying the pertinent information.
We’ve attached a document that you can download and complete (or fill out on your own piece of paper) before you meet with your attorney. This will help you stay on track with pertinent information and be a reference tool when the attorney has questions about your case. View the document here: Preparing for Your First Meeting with Your Attorney