Seven Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Initial Divorce Attorney Consultation
Your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer should provide you with information on how the divorce process works in Florida, information about your legal rights going into the case, and your obligations as a client. Here are a few tips to remember when you have a consultation with a Sarasota County or Manatee County divorce attorney:
Tip 1 – Come to Your Divorce Attorney Consultation As Prepared As Possible
Make a list of questions to ask the attorney during the consultation. Doing this will ensure you don't forget to ask something important or something you might have been thinking about for some time. There are no wrong questions to ask. For most, the divorce process is scary and completely foreign, and attorneys understand that. So, they know to expect questions.
Tip 2 – Learn About Your Options for Getting Divorced
When most people picture divorce, images of contested court hearings often come to mind. But in reality, divorce can actually be a much calmer, organized, and court-free process. Your divorce case does not have to start by jumping into court and start fighting. Since I am one of the few Sarasota divorce attorneys who handles Pre-Suit Divorce Mediation, Collaborative Divorce and traditional Contested divorce proceedings, I can explain your options as to each of these choices and recommend which one I would recommend once I have learned the basic facts of your case. Make sure you ask the attorney during the consultation if one of these these options might be right for you.
Tip 3 – Have Knowledge About Your Marital Finances
Plan on having the basic financial documents nearby if your consult with the divorce attorney via Zoom. The basic financial documents you will want to have nearby include:
Income tax returns and W-2 and 1099 forms for the past two years for you and your spouse.
Recent pay stubs for both yourself and your spouse.
Current mortgage statement.
Current bank statements.
Current credit card statements.
The more financial details and accurate numbers you can bring to your consultation, the more specific advice the attorney will be able to provide to you.
Tip 4 – Ask How Your Attorney Fees Are Calculated
Understanding how the attorney will charge you is important so that you are not confused when you receive your monthly invoices. This also ensures you know what to expect as t
Tip 5 – Ask the Attorney About Their Experience With Similar Cases As Yours
You should be aware of how long the attorney has been practicing and if divorce or family law is their main practice area. Often more important than the length of time an attorney has been practicing law is if they have sufficient experience regarding the specific family law issues in your case. Divorce can be complex especially when children and marital property issues are involved. Ask about their experience with financial aspects of the case. For example I have handled divorces with marital assets of the parties totalling as high as $20,000,000.00.
Tip 6 – Have a General Idea About What You Want To Achieve From the Divorce
Although you may not be completely knowledgeable about the family laws that might affect your case before your consultation, you should still go into the consultation with some idea of the financial and child-related results you are looking for. Let the divorce attorney know realistically what your goals are, and how you hope to accomplish those things.
Tip 7 – Listen to the Attorney and Be Open During the Consultation to the Options Discussed by the Attorney.
Listen to what the attorney tells you during the initial consultation. He is the expert in divorce issues and will know best how to advise you. As a divorce lawyer with over 40 years of experience and having personally handled over 2,000 divorces, I know this is a tough process for anyone to go through. But good or bad, you need to consider all of the advice a divorce lawyer provides so you have the ability to make the most informed decisions for yourself and your future.