How Should I Prepare for My Initial Consultation With a Lawyer?
Sitting down with a divorce attorney for that initial consultation is a big step. You undoubtedly have lots of questions–and maybe a feeling that you aren’t even sure what questions to ask. An experienced attorney will guide you through the process. But there are several steps you can take in advance to ensure you and your attorney get on the same page quickly and have the most productive meeting possible.
- Write down your questions. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll remember everything you want to ask once you’re in the meeting. Without a list, chances are good you’ll forget something important.
- Bring a list of goals and outcomes you are seeking. Focusing on what matters most to you is the key to proceeding with your case in an efficient and cost-effective manner. With clear goals in mind, you and your attorney can better discuss your best path forward and avoid getting sidetracked by things that don’t contribute to those outcomes.
- Know the basics about your assets, family income and expenses. Review and bring along income information such as tax returns and pay stubs for you and your spouse and several months worth of banking statements. Proof of expenses can include credit cards, student loans, mortgage and auto loan statements and utility bills. Bring retirement account information, too.
- Gather information about the kids like school schedules, activity expenses, and medical issues. You’ll need to complete a parenting plan dividing time with your child’s other parent, and possibly expenses for extracurricular activities such as music lessons, soccer practice and summer camp. If a child has ongoing medical needs from a doctor, therapist, orthodontist, etc. be sure to share that with your attorney.
- Bring copies of documents, not originals. Electronic versions of documents are acceptable if print copies are not available.
- Discuss a budget and anticipated costs. With a realistic picture of your income and expenses in hand, your attorney can often alleviate fears, identify potential issues, and help you set a budget based on your goals.
Divorce is never easy, but you don’t have to go it alone. Most clients come away from their first visit with expert legal counsel feeling a sense of relief, renewed focus and optimism about their future.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, are highly experienced in high conflict divorces where depositions are common. We can provide the legal guidance you need.
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