Getting a divorce is a major life change, and it’s important to be prepared for the process. One of the best ways to do that is to have a productive first meeting with your divorce lawyer.
To help you prepare for your first meeting with your lawyer, keep reading to learn more.
What To Bring To The Meeting
Here are some things you should bring to your first meeting with your divorce lawyer:
- Your contact information and your spouse’s contact information, which include both full names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and so on.
- Your marriage certificate, which proves you’re married.
- Any other relevant legal documents, including prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, or child custody orders from a previous marriage.
- A list of your assets and debts like your bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate holdings, and any other debts you or your life partner have.
- A complete list of your financial obligations, which includes child support payments, alimony payments, and any other financial obligations you or your spouse have.
- A list of your questions for your lawyer to get clarification on any aspect of the divorce process you’re unsure about.
What To Discuss With Your Lawyer
Here are some of the topics you should discuss with your divorce lawyer at your first meeting:
- Your goals for the divorce: What do you hope to achieve in the divorce? Do you want to have shared custody of your children? Do you want to keep the marital home? Do you want spousal support? Ask the aforementioned questions to your lawyer.
- Your spouse’s goals for the divorce: Once you know what your goals are, you need to find out what your spouse’s goals are. This will help you to determine whether you can reach an agreement without having to go to court.
- The divorce process: Your lawyer will explain the divorce process to you in detail. And they’ll explain your rights and options at each stage of the process.
- Child custody and support: If you have children, you’ll need to discuss child custody and support with your lawyer. They’ll help you to develop a parenting plan and determine how much child support should be paid.
- Property division: You’ll need to discuss property division with your lawyer as well. They’ll help you to determine how your marital assets and debts should be divided.
Other Topics To Discuss
In addition to the topics listed above, there are a few other things you may want to discuss with your lawyer at your first meeting, such as:
- Temporary Orders
If you need temporary orders for child custody, support, or alimony, your lawyer can help you to file for them.
- Domestic Violence
If you or your children have been victims of domestic violence, your lawyer can help you get the protection you need.
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps you and your spouse reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce. Your lawyer can discuss whether mediation is a good option for you.
How To Pick A Divorce Lawyer
Choosing the right divorce lawyer is important. You need to find someone who’s experienced in divorce law and who you feel comfortable with. Plus, you should consider the cost of legal services when making your decision.
Here are some tips for choosing a divorce lawyer:
- Ask for referrals from friends, family, or co-workers.
- Search for divorce lawyers in your area online.
- Schedule a consultation with a few different lawyers before making a decision.
During your consultations, ask the lawyers the following questions:
- How many years of experience do you have in divorce law?
- What is your approach to divorce cases?
- What are your fees?
- How will we communicate with each other throughout the divorce process?
And it’s important to trust your gut instinct. If you don’t feel comfortable with a lawyer, don’t hire them.
What To Expect At Your First Meeting
At your first meeting, your lawyer will ask you questions about your marriage, your financial situation, and your goals for the divorce. Further, they’ll explain the divorce process to you and answer any questions you have.
It’s important to be honest and open with your lawyer. The more information they have, the better they can represent you.
After Your First Meeting: What Happens Next
After your first meeting, your lawyer will likely need some time to review your case and develop a strategy. They will then contact you to discuss their recommendations.
It’s important to remember that the divorce process can be long and complex. Be patient with your lawyer and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Keep in mind the following as well as you go through your divorce:
- Be civil to your spouse, even if you are angry or hurt.
- Put your children first.
- Don’t talk about your divorce on social media.
- Get support from friends and family.
Your first meeting with your divorce lawyer is an important opportunity to get the information and guidance you need to proceed with the divorce process. By being prepared for the meeting and knowing what to discuss, you can make the most of your time with your lawyer and get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your future.