Divorce is a complicated process. There are many ways in which you can miss out on advantages you deserve. There are also many ways that you can be taken advantage of by not knowing your rights.
It is important to hire legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. If you are preparing for your first meeting with your divorce attorney, it is equally important you follow a few crucial tips to ensure you will be forming a business relationship with someone on the same page as you.
Questions Both Ways
You should enter your first meeting with mindful questions prepared. This will give you a good idea of the level of quality your potential lawyer will bring to the table. Among questions to consider posing to your divorce attorney, consider:
- Do you specialize in divorces?
- How long will it take to come to a resolution?
- How can I reach you in the event of an emergency?
- Will there be anyone else working on my case? If so, can I meet them?
- What are your hourly rates, and how will I be billed for services rendered?
- Do you allow for me to negotiate with my spouse directly, if desired?
It is also important to make sure you are not the only one asking questions. A good way to judge whether a potential attorney is listening is if they ask questions to better understand how they can best handle your case.
Reviewing Common Issues
During the first meeting, it is typical to discuss the most common issues that arise during the divorce process. From custody arrangements and child support to division of property, alimony and more, you should leave the meeting with a better understanding of the possibilities of where you will stand once the divorce is complete. The attorney may give you a to-do list after the meeting to get you working on the things that must be done to move forward with the process.
A Trusted Ally
Your attorney should prove to be a trusted ally during this transitional time in your life. Change is scary, and he or she should be available to address your concerns as well as bring a level of competence to the table you can count on. Therefore, it is essential that you identify whether your attorney understands your needs. This understanding will help ensure they will offer you the quality representation you need during this trying time in your life.