Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer When Meeting for a Consultation


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It’s an unfortunate fact that divorces are common in the United States, and there are several factors that contribute to the end of a marriage. In the U.S., the most common reasons for divorce include communication problems, infidelity or betrayal, financial difficulties, abuse, and loss of interest by one or both partners. However, there are other risk factors that can contribute to a divorce, as well, such as when partners marry at a younger age, have lower levels of education, or earn less money. Approximately half of all marriages today end in divorce, and if you are dissolving your marriage, the important thing to remember is that you are not alone.

One of the first steps that most couples take is an initial or trial separation, especially in cases where the option of divorce is a mutual one. However, in cases where couples are already separated or there are irreconcilable differences, those couples typically look for a divorce attorney. Divorce lawyers are responsible for helping spouses file their divorce papers, and they typically help with mediation of child custody if the couple in question had children. In cases of uncontested divorce, the process may go more smoothly; however, divorce proceedings can last an average of one year in the United States.

When meeting with an attorney for a consultation for the first time, you’ll want to be sure to prepare a list of questions to ask a divorce lawyer. Not only will this process help you determine whether or not a lawyer’s services are right for you, but they will also help you prepare for what lies ahead for you, your spouse, and your children.

To get you started in this process, here are a few ideas for questions to ask a divorce lawyer during your initial consultation.

  • Expectations: It’s important to discuss your expectations for the case. Ask questions about how long the case could take, what your financial obligations might be, and what types of cases and results your attorney has seen before.
  • Documentation: Ideally, you should be prepared to show any financial records, correspondence, legal documents (e.g. restraining orders), or other papers when you meet your attorney. However, you might also ask your lawyer if there is anything else that you will need to have in the future.
  • Attentiveness: Unfortunately, many attorneys find themselves with heavy caseloads, and as a result, their clients and results may suffer. Don’t be afraid to come up with questions to as your divorce lawyer pertaining to his or her other obligations, and ask if he or she will be available by phone or email or in person when you have concerns. And remember: a lawyer may be busy, but he or she shouldn’t be so overworked that you don’t get a good idea of the divorce process during your meetings.
  • Process: Speaking of the divorce proceedings, you’ll likely have plenty of questions about what to expect during the settlement and/or trial. Ask about the progression of the case, including all steps from filing to reaching an outcome.

Do you have more suggestions for questions to ask a divorce lawyer during a consultation or want more ideas? Leave a comment below. Read more:

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