Have an Upcoming Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer? Here’s What You Should Do
Did you know that the average length of time for a divorce case in the United States is around one year? Divorces take time, and when you choose a divorce attorney to represent you in court, you’ll want to have someone on your side who is familiar with the whole process and will help you understand it, too.
When you first search through divorce lawyers, you will likely find several that offer a free or low cost consultation. Meeting with an attorney for a consultation is one of the first steps in determining whether or not you have a solid case for your divorce. You can also communicate your expectations regarding division of assets and child custody to your lawyer during that time. Your lawyer should be comfortable with walking you through the divorce process.
If you are preparing to meet with a lawyer for the first time, here are some of the things you should do before, during, and after your consultation:
1. Get your documents in order. Your lawyer may ask to see everything from bank statements to deeds on your home. If you have children, you may also need to provide documentation for them. If you have any legal issues, such as a restraining order you’ve filed against your spouse, bring those documents, too. Anything that seems relevant to your case should be brought to your attorney’s attention.
2. Prepare your questions ahead of time. There are several questions to ask divorce lawyers during a consultation, such as how long your case may last, what you can expect, and what you can do to make it easy on you, your spouse, and your children. Most divorce lawyers, like all attorneys, charge by the hour, so get as many questions in during a consultation, so you’re not billed for phone calls later.
3. Dress and act professionally. Treat your consultation like you would a business meeting. Although a divorce is a difficult time, it’s best to keep your composure so your lawyer can determine how to best help you. Also, make sure that you are dressed appropriately.
4. Make your decision quickly. While it is possible for you to seek out another attorney if you aren’t satisfied with your first consultation, you should make the decision to work with that lawyer — or not — soon. This way you can get your case started and your divorce papers filed as soon as possible.