What Happens During A Divorce Consultation?

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When your marriage is ending, you can run through almost every emotion possible, from anger to grief to sadness. You may not even want to face the fact that your marriage is over. However, one of the first things you’ll need to do once that decision is made is to schedule an initial consultation with a divorce attorney.

The first meeting with your divorce lawyer can seem intimidating, but these easy steps can make it easier. Knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of your fears about this process.

Provide Your Name When You Make the Appointment

You may be hesitant to give the receptionist your name when you call to make the first appointment. If you live in a small town, you may be concerned about who will find out you need a divorce lawyer. However, your attorney will need to make sure there is no conflict of interest in your case prior to your appointment. If your spouse has already contacted that law office, they cannot represent you at the same time.

Keep in mind that just because you schedule a consultation, it does not mean you must hire that attorney or that the attorney will take the case. The initial consultation simply gives you a chance to meet and talk to the lawyer while also giving them a chance to review your case.

Come Prepared

You may be asked to bring documents with you. For example, if there have been any altercations that involved the police, you will want to bring copies of any police reports or restraining orders. If you have children, you may need to bring their birth certificates or other vital documents. Some attorneys simply have you fill out a form that provides important details that will be necessary as the divorce proceeds.

The Divorce Process

Once you are in the room with the attorney, they will discuss how the divorce process will proceed. They will need your address, phone number, date of birth, and Social Security number. They will also need the same information for your spouse. They will use this information to determine where the divorce motion must be filed.

They may also ask where you were married, the date of your marriage, and who officiated your ceremony. These questions determine if there were any defects in the actual ceremony that may mean you are not legally married at all. If you were married prior to this marriage, you will also need to provide that information. If your spouse has already filed, your attorney will need to know that.

What if I Have Children?

If you have minor children, the attorney will need their names, dates of birth, and where they have resided over the past few years. If any of them have developmental issues or you are concerned that your spouse cannot care for them, let the attorney know. The attorney will ask questions about what type of parent you are and what type of parent your spouse is in order to help you develop a custody and child visitation schedule.

Bring information about your finances as your attorney will want to know if he needs to ask for spousal support or whether it is possible that you may have to pay spousal support. This will also be used to determine child support.

Marital Assets

Whether you have children or not, you more than likely own property with your spouse. Your attorney will need to see financial information in order to determine your net worth. You will need to provide them with your income, expenses, and liabilities.

If you own real estate with your spouse, you may need to provide mortgage and appraisal information. If you own a business, you will need to provide balance sheets as well as profit and loss statements.

It’s normal to have concerns about what may happen during this process. Your attorney will walk you through the steps and explain what will happen next. Don’t hesitate to come to your lawyer with any questions you have. They are there to help you.