Meeting with an attorney for any reason can be intimidating, but especially so when the subject is divorce. Unless you’ve been divorced before, you are probably wondering what questions to ask, what kind of papers you need to bring with you, how much this is going to cost, etc. You probably feel anxious about putting your future in the hands of someone you don’t even know yet. But don’t worry, you are far from alone.
Everyone who has ever been through a divorce has been through the first meeting with his or her divorce attorney. By choosing an experienced NJ divorce attorney, you can rest assured that you will be skillfully guided through the process and should leave your meeting feeling much more confident than when you went in.
What you can expect during your first consultation
Typically, your first consultation with a divorce attorney will last approximately one hour. During your meeting, the divorce attorney will want to know some specifics about your marriage, including:
- A brief history of the marriage
- General background information on you, your spouse, and any children
- Basic financial information, including employment status and property ownership
- Your current situation — if you are just considering divorce or if you are ready to file
- What your goals are in terms of seeking custody, child support, alimony, etc.
The advice you receive from your divorce attorney will only be as useful as the information you give him or her, so be as thorough — and honest — as possible. Every divorce is different, so the guidance you get will depend on your particular circumstances.
What information to bring to your first consultation
Prepare for your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer like you would for any other important meeting. Bring yourself up to date on your marital assets and debts. Be prepared to share proof of marital income like pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, etc. Finances are a major part of the divorce process so it will be important to give the attorney a clear picture of your financial situation.
To provide useful advice, your attorney will also need to know any special circumstances that may apply to your divorce. Do you think your spouse is hiding assets? Has there been any history of domestic violence? List whatever you think is relevant to share with the attorney.
You will find it helpful if you prepare a list of questions for your attorney prior to your first consultation. You will want to know about the attorney’s experience in family law, how the law firm operates (billing practices, client communication, etc.), how your case will proceed, and probably more.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often prove crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.