What to Expect from Your Divorce Attorney
"In Palm Springs, they think homelessness is caused by bad divorce lawyers." - Garry Trudeau
I'll admit, it's funny. Maybe I find it so funny because of the truth behind the joke. This is not intended to be a sales pitch, but hiring the right divorce attorney is really important. I have heard some crazy stories, and often people are contacting me after the divorce has been finalized. I hear "my attorney did not explain that to me." Or the all time favorite "I could never get in touch with my attorney; I had no idea what was going on with my case."
Based off of a one-time consultation how do you know if the person sitting across the table is the person you should hire? Below I have outlined 3 guiding principles to keep in mind not only during the initial consultation but throughout the divorce proceedings. What to Expect from Your Divorce Attorney
1) Come Prepared - Sounds simple, right? You wouldn't come unprepared for a work meeting, would you? A consultation with an attorney is no different. After all, you want their advice on a subject, make sure you bring the subject a/k/a information. A good divorce attorney is going to ask you questions regarding your spouse. No, this isn't to be nosy. It is so they can give as sound advice as possible. Everyone's situation is different. That is why YOUR specifics are important. Your attorney is going to want particulars regarding residency, employment, debt, and assets. While you do not have to know every detail at the initial meeting, come prepared with information. An attorney who requests this information off the bat is developing a plan to move the proceedings forward. This is a good sign.
2) Keep An Open Mind - This is probably the hardest principle to adhere to. While some individuals road to divorce is more tumultuous than others, once the decision to divorce has been made it is in your best interest to take a moment, relax, cool down if need be, and be prepared to keep an open mind. Without an open mind, you might miss the big picture. Sure, be pissed off because he ran up a credit card. Curse her name in the car after you hear she might be dating someone else. But do not, and I repeat do not let that interfere with the end game: finalizing the divorce. The right attorney is going to lay out a road map for you. The right attorney might tell you things that you do not like to hear, particularly if the law is not favoring you. Be prepared for some frank conversation. However, a good attorney will inform you of a potential problem and develop a resolution. An open mind will make the entire process less painful.
3) Ask Questions - This is your chance! You are going to hire an attorney to help you through what is an emotional and difficult process. You probably have a million things running through your head: the house, the kids, holidays, child support.... The list goes on and on. Ask questions during your initial meeting. This will allow you to get a sense of your potential attorneys approach to the situation, possible resolutions, and aid your gut in the decision making process.
If you need an attorney to help address any domestic relations issues please contact our office for a complimentary consultation at 859-982-9557.