Divorce is sadly far too common in the United States. According to statistics from the American Psychological Association, about 40-50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even higher is the divorce rate among those who decide to remarry.
If you are considering divorce, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to expect. It is natural to feel this way, but the good news is that you do not have to go through it alone. Working with a knowledgeable divorce attorney can be a great way to take control of the situation and make sure that your rights are protected.
The initial consultation is the most important meeting with your divorce attorney. During this meeting, you and your attorney will lay the groundwork for a successful divorce. Here are some tips to help you prepare for this important meeting to get the most out of it.
You will need to bring various important documents to the initial consultation with your divorce attorney so they can better understand your situation. These may include:
- Prenuptial agreements
- Financial records, including debt, savings, and investments
- Divorce decree, if you were previously married
- Tax returns from at least the past two years
- Property titles
- Retirement account statements
- Any court papers related to your divorce
- Child custody/support papers
The initial consultation is a great time to ask your attorney any questions you may have about the divorce process. Make sure to come prepared with a list of questions so you can get all of your concerns addressed in one go. Those undergoing a divorce often feel lost in the legal system as they have no prior knowledge or experience to guide them. Leverage the skill and knowledge of your divorce lawyer to benefit yourself.
Clients often ask questions regarding the divorce process, such as those related to child custody, who retains the marital home, and how alimony is handled. Other questions you may ask include:
- What is the cost of the entire process?
- Are there any alternatives to litigation?
- What can I expect in terms of the timeline for my divorce?
- What can I do to protect my rights in the process?
- What communication channels will you use to provide updates on my case?
- What can you anticipate during the divorce procedure?
Don’t hesitate to ask all relevant questions, but understand that your divorce lawyer might not have exact answers yet. It can prove quite challenging to determine precisely how a particular divorce will go – these determinations often rely on what issues each party disputes and their willingness to compromise.
Before you even meet with your divorce attorney, it is important to know your own goals. Make sure you prioritize what you want to accomplish and list them in order of importance. This will help your attorney get a better understanding of what you’re expecting from the divorce and how they can best represent you.
Be prepared to discuss with your attorney about what you are looking for. If money is a primary concern, then make sure they know that so they can focus their efforts on getting you the best financial outcome. If child custody is more important to you, then let them know so they can focus on that as the primary concern.
This one goes without saying, but it is still important to emphasize. Lying or withholding information from your divorce lawyer will only slow down the process and make it harder for them to help you. They cannot provide the best advice if they are not aware of all the facts
Does . No matter how Even the information may be, it is essential that you disclose everything to your attorney so they can prepare to the best of their ability.
Filing for divorce is never easy. It can be a stressful and overwhelming process, and it’s only natural to want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Preparing for your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer is the first step to ensuring that you have all the information and resources you need for a successful outcome.
The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl are here to help you every step of the way. Schedule a consultation today for professional legal advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs today and get on the path to an amicable divorce.