The initial consultation with a divorce attorney is the first step in moving forward on the decision to get a divorce. Clients often wonder what to expect in the consultation process. Here are 7 things to expect in your consultation with an attorney.
- Prior to meeting with the attorney, the office will secure the names of both parties for purposes of running conflicts check and determine the county in which the potential client resides or where the case is pending if it is a post decree matter.
- The consultation will be scheduled by telephone, zoom or in person. The meeting time is usually thirty minutes to an hour.
- The attorney will get information from you including but not limited to the date and place of marriage, you and your spouse’s age, date of birth, place of birth, educational level, work and salary history, benefits through employment, assets and liabilities.
- If there are children are involved, you should be prepared to disclose ages, dates of birth, year in school, the name of the school each child attends and the location, academic concerns, health issues, religious upbringing and extracurricular activities.
- You will also be asked about the circumstances leading to the divorce and whether counseling has been attempted.
- During further discussion, the attorney will advise as to the options you have regarding proceeding with your pre or post decree issues and possible outcomes.
- Make sure to have a prepared list of questions with you. This list will assure that you don’t forget to ask important questions during the consultation.
After the meeting you will typically be emailed an engagement agreement and any necessary forms to complete. If you have any questions regarding the engagement agreement or forms, email the attorney. You and the attorney must both sign the engagement agreement and you must pay the retainer before the attorney will begin to work on your case. The retained funds will go into the attorney’s trust account and will be removed from time to time after work has been completed and after you have received a monthly invoice. Once the funds have been exhausted, you will be asked to replenish the retainer, pay your balance monthly or work out other arrangements with the office. Even though an attorney meets with you, they are not obligated to take your case and you are not obligated to hire them. It is advisable to consult with multiple attorneys until you are certain of the proper working relationship. This will prevent the need to retain another attorney during your case if you are not satisfied with your current counsel.