What to Know about Meeting with a Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a big word that brings big consequences, and the first step for most people is meeting with a divorce attorney to discuss what to expect out of the legal process and what they hope to achieve by the end of the divorce. This may be the first time a person has ever consulted with an attorney, and the prospect may seem daunting. Going into the meeting with high levels of stress and anxiety because the experience is so unfamiliar only adds strain that a spouse seeking divorce does not need. Meeting with a divorce attorney should be approached with trepidation – he/she is there to help, and can best do so if the client comes in having done some preparation. Taking time to do simple things, like gathering thoughts and making a list of goals, will help to both clarify what the spouse wants and needs, as well as facilitate a more productive meeting. More productivity means faster action and reaching the end of the case sooner. Most potential clients have no idea what might be helpful. Below, a general roadmap is provided that will help orient how spouses should prepare for the first consultation with a divorce attorney, which includes the added benefit of reducing some of the stress that naturally follows by taking away the mystique these meetings tend to produce.
The advice from the divorce attorney is only so good as the information provided. Thus, spouses seeking divorce should make efforts to collect and organize relevant documents the attorney can use to assess whether unique issues might arise, as well as some possible approaches to pursuing the case. Much of the needed information is straightforward, i.e., identification, employment records, date of birth, etc. The attorney will also need detailed information about assets and liabilities, which means gathering bank statements, insurance policies, retirement account statements, mortgage documents, and the like. This part may take some time, especially if the spouse is not in charge of the family’s finances. This will give them an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the resources they have together, and hopefully give a picture of what there is to work with for purposes of property division.
Questions and Goals
Divorce attorneys want to help, but they can better tailor their advice if they know what a spouse expects to receive in the property settlement, if they want alimony, and how they envision child custody arrangements, among other related issues. Consequently, the client should give some thought to what he/she is firm on pursuing, things that would be nice but not necessary, and those that are completely unimportant. This will focus the issues, and allow the attorney to understand how contentious the case may be and evaluate whether an alternative, such as mediation or negotiation, is worth trying before litigating unresolved issues.
Finally, any questions a spouse may have about the process, child custody, support, or other aspect of the case should be asked. Questions about the attorney’s experience, the law firm, or the legal process in general are also important to address. Picking the right attorney is important to a good outcome, so feeling comfortable is also something that should be prioritized.
Meet with a Pennsylvania Divorce Attorney
Picking an attorney to head your divorce is an important decision that should be given the time and consideration it deserves. The first consultation is a big part of process and requires advance preparation to get the most out of it. The Media divorce attorneys at the office of Barbara Flum Stein & Associates understand how crucial this initial meeting is, and are ready to answer your questions and put you at ease. Contact the Media, PA divorce firm to schedule a consultation.