You have made the difficult decision to explore divorcing your spouse and have researched family law attorneys in your area. Now you’re ready to set up a consultation to learn more about the divorce process and begin working with a lawyer. How do you get the most out your upcoming consultation? Here are a few tips:
Come prepared. Bring to the appointment any documents that you think may assist your prospective attorney in evaluating your situation. Especially important to bring with you are any past court orders entered between you and your spouse (i.e. custody orders, domestic violence restraining orders, etc.) and any relevant financial documents such as recent tax returns, real estate documents or bank statements.
Ask questions. This is your time with the attorney and you want to obtain as much information from him or her as possible in the time you have together. Don’t be shy to ask about issues that mean the most to you in a divorce action, such as child custody and parenting time, alimony, or the enforcement of a prenuptial agreement or protection of premarital property.
Be honest. Anything that you discuss with your potential attorney is confidential, so be as open and honest as possible. Disclose any information that may impact a future divorce action such as DCP&P/DYFS involvement with your family or any other type of legal action such as a prior or pending bankruptcy. Any attorney will be best suited to give you accurate information and advice if he or she has all of the facts surrounding your matter.
Take notes. Divorce matters can be complicated and a good consultation will provide you with a wealth of information that you may not be able to remember once you leave the appointment. Taking notes provides you with an opportunity to review the information that you were provided at a later time and will afford you a basis for future questions that you may have for the attorney.
Evaluate the attorney. You have taken an emotional step in researching the process of divorce. Not only do you need to be informed about the law and the process, you need to determine which attorney is best suited for you. An attorney/client relationship is a crucial one in any legal process. Was this attorney a good fit for you? Did you feel reassured or rushed? Did her or she take the time to answer your questions? Did you feel as though your needs were met and would continue to be met throughout the process? [For more on what to ask the attorney, see Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney During an Initial Consultation.]
Be assured that although the divorce process can have its stressful moments, it is a process that can be navigated with the help of a competent and compassionate attorney who can assist you through every step of this difficult time.
What questions do you have about divorce in New Jersey? Is it time to set up a consultation to discuss your legal needs? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to here to help you start moving forward. Please contact us to schedule your initial consultation.