The fireworks are flying. It is loud and heating up. No, this isn’t a Fourth of July celebration. It’s your home and you are fighting with your spouse. Again. Maybe you have finally decided you have had enough. If you are considering choosing your independence and wanting to take steps to separate, you may be wondering, ”Is Divorce right for me?” Many people – whether they ultimately choose to divorce – still choose to meet with a family law attorney to learn about their rights, responsibilities, and any crucial next steps.
If you choose to meet with a Family Law attorney about your future, then make the most of that informative time by preparing as follows:
1.Write Your Questions. Take the time to write your questions down before you arrive at the meeting. Often times, once a meeting with an attorney gets underway, clients can feel a little overwhelmed and it may be hard to remember everything they planned to ask. By bringing a well thought out list, you and your attorney can cover as much as possible.
2.Balance Sheet. Bring an up to date list of assets and liabilities, if you can. While there may not always be enough time in that initial consultation to go over everything in detail, having a general outline of the financial situation will help move the process along and allow for deeper discussion.
3.Paint a Picture. Bring applicable information so you may paint a picture of your specific circumstances. While you may not have time to go over every email or text between the two of you, you can bring a few to share with your attorney. A picture is worth a thousand words and electronic communications and photographs can be the same way. Do you believe you have proof of adultery? Bring in some of the evidence. Are you alleging your spouse was verbally abusive? Show your attorney examples. Believe it or not, an experienced Family Law attorney can look at a few examples and get the overall idea in your initial consultation.
4.Take Notes. In your initial consultation, your attorney will try to give you as much information as you can reasonably process in that amount of time. Don’t leave yourself wondering- “what did they call temporary support?” “how many days do I have to respond to the complaint?” To make the best use of that, write down as much as you can so that you can review the notes later when you are at home, alone, and can process things a little better. Identify a place for safe keeping for all notes, evidence and documentation you may collect along the way.
5.Be Open. Perhaps most importantly, be open to hearing what your attorney has to say. Making the decision to separate or divorce can be a difficult one. You will likely be relieved by some of the feedback, but meeting with an experienced family law attorney should also raise awareness of issues you may not have previously considered. Understand that your attorney is trying to place the facts of your situation in the context of the law to best assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The guidance you receive will ultimately help you make the best decision for yourself, and your family, moving forward.