Divorce can be an unpleasant process, but being prepared can make it all go a whole lot smoother. Before you meet with your divorce lawyer, you will want to do several things that will make sure that this first step is as productive and painless as possible.
You will most likely need to complete some preliminary paperwork upon entering your divorce lawyer’s office for the first time. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to fill out the documents before your set appointment. Your attorney will need all of this information in order to provide the best legal assistance possible.
Prepare a list of legal questions
Helpful questions might include:
- What percentage of your cases have gone to trial?
- What is your strategy for my particular case?
- Have you worked with my spouse’s lawyer in the past?
- Based on what you know of my case, how do you predict a judge will rule?
- Do you suggest I consider mediation?
- What is my next step?
- Will I be working with you directly?
- Will anyone else in your office be working on my case?
Be prepared to answer your lawyer’s questions
It is extremely important that you answer all of your lawyer’s questions directly and honestly so that he or she can be prepared to defend you. Your lawyer might ask:
- Why are you getting a divorce?
- Did you or your spouse have an affair?
- What do you hope to gain?
- Will child custody be an issue?
- Have you been married before?
Check the lawyer’s website
Data from the ABA’s 2010 Legal Technology Survey Report reveals that just over half of the lawyers in solo practices, and four out of five of those in offices from two to nine lawyers, have websites. As many as 44 percent of survey respondents reported that they were likely to check a lawyer’s website before hiring him or her.
The specifics of your household’s finances will be invaluable to your lawyer. Make sure you are familiar with your savings, checking accounts, stocks, debts, and any other details before you meet with your lawyer.
To avoid the stress of a messy divorce, make sure you are fully prepared before entering the proceedings. While women generally file for the majority of divorces, this is something that affects men and women equally. If you have any helpful tips of your own, feel free to share in the comments section below.