What You Need to Know About Your Divorce Consultation
The divorce rate in the U.S. is an estimated 45 percent. Making the decision to get a divorce is never easy, and choosing the divorce attorney to handle your case can make it feel more final. On top of that, your first consultation with a divorce attorney can be stressful.
However, when you’re prepared for the consultation and know what will happen, the meeting will go more smoothly. Your consultation with a divorce attorney is the first step toward your divorce and can be a daunting experience. The legal team at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC knows that the stress and emotions surrounding the breakup of marriage mean that the first time we meet our clients, they’re generally not at their best.
Our compassionate team understands and tries to make our clients as comfortable as possible. Here’s how you can help to prepare for your first consultation.
Prepare for Your Divorce Consultation
Your first meeting with a divorce attorney helps the lawyer understand more about your specific situation, and it gives you a chance to determine whether this is the attorney you want to work with moving forward.
When you walk into the meeting prepared, it can reduce your stress level and leave you better able to evaluate the attorney. There are several types of documentation that make the first meeting easier. These include:
- A copy of your marriage certificate or documentation of when and where you and your spouse were legally married. Also include any prenuptial agreements, wills and living wills, or power of attorney forms that also affect the marriage.
- Financial documents such as your tax returns, pay stubs from you and your spouse, and any financial investments. Documents regarding any other sources of income or investments.
- Mortgage documents, leases, or any other documents that show the debt that you and your spouse are responsible for paying.
- An estimated monthly budget that shows how much you and your spouse bring to the marriage and what your monthly expenses are. This includes your credit card debt, mortgage, and expenses that may be related to children.
- Any current legal documents that affect you or your spouse. These could include a restraining order against your spouse or business documents if you and your spouse are in business together.
- Any evidence or documentation that can be used as grounds for divorce against your spouse. This could be evidence of infidelity or violence against yourself or your children.
- If any documents have already been filed for the divorce proceedings, bring those with you as well.
The attorney will also ask about the reason you’re seeking a divorce and what your current living situation is. If you and your spouse are separated, your attorney will want to know for how long and if it was an informal separation or a formal or legal separation.
Finally, your attorney should ask what your goals are from the divorce. Because divorce typically involves negotiation and compromise, your lawyer will want to know what you absolutely must have and what matters most to you. It’s important to be upfront about your goals.
You Are Interviewing the Lawyer
The first consultation with your attorney is also about getting to know them and determining whether this is a person you believe will fight for your rights and protect your financial interests. This meeting is a chance to ask them important questions, which helps to open a line of communication and may set the stage for an ongoing business relationship.
Attorneys specialize in certain areas of law to ensure they have a strong grasp of the nuances that can affect their clients’ cases. When you’re going through a divorce, you want an attorney specializing in family law. The questions below are a good starting point for what you should ask the lawyer, and you should consider adding any others you feel are important to you.
- Do you handle types of cases other than divorce and family law?
- How much experience do you have with divorce cases?
- Do most of your cases go to court?
- How much experience do you have with mediation and negotiations?
- What is your fee structure?
- What type of communication should I expect from your office?
- Will there be an associate assigned to my case? Can I meet them?
- What should I expect to happen throughout the divorce procedure?
- How does your office handle custody battles?
Contact the Committed, Compassionate, and Experienced Counsel at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC
If you are considering divorcing your spouse, you want advice from a compassionate and experienced team of attorneys specializing in family law. The Atlanta divorce lawyers of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC understand this can be a stressful process for everyone involved. Our team works hard to protect you, your children, and your future. Call our office today at (404) 688-8810 to schedule your confidential case evaluation.