Divorce and custody matters are extremely stressful situations. The best way to stay calm is by preparing yourself with as much information as possible.
When setting up a consultation with a divorce attorney, a staff member from the attorney’s office will run a conflict check to ensure that there is no pre-existing reason that would prevent that attorney from representing you in your family law matter. For example, if the attorney you are meeting with represented your ex at any time, that would be a conflict. As long as there are no conflicts, you will be contacted to set up an appointment for a consultation.
At your consultation, you should be prepared to discuss the circumstances of your case. This part of the process is simply a conversation between you and a potential attorney. You should be the one doing the majority of the talking at the initial consultation, and the attorney should be listening to you and taking notes. The attorney will also be asking you questions to make sure they have all of the necessary information about your situation.
The attorney will gather your basic contact information including your cell phone number, home address, email address, and background information such as your date of marriage, the names and ages of your children, both spouses’ employment information, incomes, assets and liabilities. Your assets include bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, stocks or bonds, collections, etc. Liabilities include mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, etc. You should be prepared to discuss these issues and have knowledge of approximate account balances and income information. The attorney will also ask if you had a prenuptial agreement, whether either party had any premarital assets and whether either party received an inheritance during the marriage.
Next, the attorney should discuss with you the potential issues that they foresee in your case, including custody and parenting time, as well as the financial aspects of a divorce, such as alimony, child support, college expenses, equitable distribution of bank accounts, liabilities, real estate, etc. They should also discuss with you whether any expert witnesses may be necessary.
The attorney should also discuss the different forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution (methods of resolving your divorce through mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce). The attorney will also discuss the pros and cons of each of these methods compared to traditional divorce litigation (going to court). They should also be able to explain the court’s procedures and timeline if the decision is made to go to court.
Finally, the attorney should discuss with you the required financial arrangements should you choose to retain that attorney. You should know how you will be charged for the attorney’s services, their hourly rates, the amount of the initial retainer that will be required, and how often you will be billed.
Most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your attorney and share a common view toward your case. It is absolutely necessary that you and your attorney are on the same page with respect to your goals in your divorce case. Your attorney should be honest and frank with you regarding your chances of realistically obtaining your goals, as unrealistic expectations are one of the main causes of long, drawn out divorce cases.
What do you get when you pay for a one hour consultation with Koslow Law Firm? My thorough consultations will answer your questions, explain everything stated above, and most of all, will clearly point you in the next direction for your case. As you can see from my testimonials, client satisfaction is extremely important to me, and I aim to empower my clients and make them feel at ease through the legal process.
An initial consultation can get you on the path to resolving your family law case. Please contact me today to schedule your consultation.