How to Get the Most Out of your Initial Consultation with a Family Law Attorney
1. Let the Attorney Know the Purpose of your Visit.
The more detailed you are with describing your needs, the more satisfied you will be with the outcome of your appointment. If you have no idea about divorce and what the process entails, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
2. Ask Questions.
The initial consultation is essentially an interview when you’re looking to retain an attorney, so you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the attorney. Come prepared with a list of questions that you want answered about the attorney and your case. Be sure that you understand the answers and the questions were answered to your satisfaction. The attorney should be able to communicate with you in non-legal terms or be able to explain “legalese” in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner.
3. Don’t be Late.
This may sound obvious, but it’s a common problem. When scheduling the appointment, be sure to find out what time you’re supposed to arrive and if there is an intake form, how long it usually takes to complete.
4. Think Before Bringing Someone Along.
It’s usually a bad idea to bring your children along with you to a family law consultation, as they’re often a topic of discussion and courts typically forbid parties from discussing their legal case in front of their children. Likewise, bringing a friend, a parent, significant other, or another third party may not be the best idea, because these individuals may try to take over the consultation.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Bring Paperwork.
The more information you can supply the attorney, the more case-specific advice you will gain from your consultation. Bringing your paystubs, tax returns, credit card statements, and other financial documents allows the attorney to be more specific when talking about property division and child/spousal support. Knowing the other party’s income, finances, property, and debt is invaluable information to get the most out of your consultation.