How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Divorce Lawyer

Preparing for an initial consultation with an attorney can be intimidating. After all, initiating the divorce process is never an easy decision and it will involve discussing many sensitive topics. Taking the first step to meet with a divorce lawyer can alleviate some of the uncertainty and provide clarity on your options. However, preparing for this initial consultation is crucial to make the most out of your time with the attorney.

In our comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through essential steps to prepare for your consultation with a divorce lawyer. From gathering relevant documents to jotting down questions and concerns, we'll ensure you enter the meeting feeling confident and informed.

Don't let the unknown intimidate you—empower yourself with knowledge and take charge of your future. Schedule your free consultation today and embark on the path toward resolution and peace of mind. Call our Dearborn divorce law firm today at (313) 513-1919.

Prepare a List of Questions You Want Answered

The very first thing that you should do to make the divorce consultation as easy as possible is to prepare a list of questions. In the moment, it can be difficult to remember everything that you wanted to ask and every point you wanted to bring up. Writing down your questions will ensure that you remember all of them and don't miss asking any during the initial free consultation. 

What Should My Next Move Be?

Although the attorney will not be able to give you step-by-step legal counsel during the initial appointment, they should be able to advise you on what your next move should be. Depending on the case this often means drafting up a separation agreement before actually filing for divorce.

Related: How to Prepare for a Divorce

The separation agreement typically contains an initial agreement regarding how things will be handled before the divorce becomes final. This will include things like parenting time, personal property, real estate, and debt distribution. It is not considered a final agreement but is simply meant to be a short-term agreement while the legal requirements for divorce are met.

Ask the Attorney About Their Experience With Similar Cases

When you are in your first divorce lawyer consultation you should ask them about their experience with similar cases. An experienced divorce lawyer should be able to give examples of their experience in similar cases and how they have argued things in their client's favor. 

How Will I Be Communicating With You Throughout The Process?

Different expectations when it comes to communication are one of the most common issues that come up in the attorney-client relationship. You should directly ask the lawyer what their preferred method is for client communication and how often you could expect to hear from them.

an attorney reviewing a divorce with a potential client

Some attorneys prefer to communicate through emails whereas others will have you connect with them through their receptionist. To avoid frustration you will want to make sure that you are okay with the method of communication that your lawyer prefers. 

Ask About the Attorney Fees

Every attorney has different policies when it comes to payment for legal representation. Some prefer to have you pay everything in a single, lump sum payment, whereas others charge by hours over the course of the case. Certain attorneys will also offer payment plans, allowing you to pay off the total amount over a series of months. This can make it easier to pay for a high-quality, private family law attorney without having to sacrifice your finances.

Before going into the consultation, you will want to seriously consider what you are able to afford. That way you can search for attorneys within your price range and not waste time having consultations with attorneys that are far out of your price range. 

Should I Continue to Communicate With My Spouse?

Deciding whether or not to communicate with your spouse during the divorce process can be a difficult decision, and there's no one right answer. The right answer will vary depending on various factors including whether or not minor children are involved. 

If there are no children involved, it can be much easier to go no-contact with your spouse. You will be able to use someone as a go-between to communicate, and your lawyers will handle the communication in terms of the actual divorce proceedings and relevant documentation.

Learn More: What to Do Before Filing for Divorce

If child custody is a part of the case, you can expect to have to maintain at least some communication with your spouse throughout the process. The exact nature of this communication will vary depending on who has primary custody and how much time the children are spending with you versus your spouse.

The communication does not need to be extensive, but it needs to remain cordial and you should never become disrespectful as this can be used as evidence against you in divorce court

What To Bring To An Initial Consultation

When you go to the first divorce attorney consultation you will want to bring any of the legal documents that you have to look over with the lawyer. Some of the documents that you should try to bring are:

  • Financial Documents (Mortgage Statements and Bank Statements)
  • Marital Property
  • Marital Assets
  • Prenuptial Agreement

Having these documents on hand will allow the attorney to ensure an equitable distribution of assets. 

Have Knowledge Of Your Marital Finances

When you are discussing the most favorable outcomes with your potential lawyer it is important to have a thorough knowledge of your financial matters. When divorcing, one of the main factors that the court will look at is each person's financial situation.

This helps them to decide things like how much spousal support will need to be paid and which parent will have to pay child support if children are involved. 

a woman meeting with a lawyer to discuss filing for divorce

If a prenuptial agreement was filed before the marriage, you will want to review that agreement and ensure that you understand its terms. The prenup typically pre-defines who will walk away with what in the case of a divorce and can shorten the negotiation process. 

Have a General Idea About What You Want From the Divorce

Outside of the documentation and knowledge of the technical matters, prospective clients will want to walk into the initial meeting with a good idea about what they want from the divorce. 

For example, if you have a specific custody agreement or marital property division in mind, you should disclose this during the initial divorce consultation. That way the potential lawyer goes into the case already knowing what angle they will be arguing the case from and what your goals are. If you are not clear on this, they may end up giving you legal advice that is not relevant to your specific legal process.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Divorce Attorney at Our Firm

Before putting down the money to retain an attorney you schedule a consultation meeting. This will allow you to get a feel for the attorney's experience with cases similar to yours and their approach to divorce cases. 

If you are looking for an experienced family attorney in Dearborn, look no further than Clarity Family Law. We offer prospective clients a free initial meeting to discuss the case and allow them to decide if our law firm is the perfect fit for them. 

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