Divorce is a painful process. No matter the specifics of your situation, you’re sure to feel a wide variety of emotions including anger, confusion, sadness, and hurt. Many people also struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression.
Knowing what to expect from the divorce process makes it a little easier. Because one of the most important first steps is consulting a divorce lawyer, it’s important to know what to expect from this meeting.
Here’s what you need to know about your first appointment with your divorce lawyer:
The best divorce lawyers are empathetic without getting attached. During your first meeting, a good lawyer will be as clear as possible. If you don’t understand something, be sure to ask for another explanation. It’s essential to get the facts straight during your first appointment.
Because your thinking is probably somewhat clouded, there’s no shame in asking for handouts. For example, Chinn & Associates have documents on hand that reiterate what was talked about during the meeting. Go through these later when you’re in a calmer place.
Find the Best Divorce Lawyer
A competent divorce lawyer is a must. Make sure the one you’re seeing has specific experience with divorce and family law. Look at reviews online to ensure that they have a good track record and a solid standing with your state’s bar association.
Know that you don’t have to keep working with the first divorce lawyer you meet. If it’s not a good fit, you should look for another lawyer. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation so this won’t set you back. Remember that you’ll be working very closely with this person. You need to make sure they’re someone you trust.
The First Meeting
The specifics of your first appointment with a divorce lawyer will vary depending on the specifics of your case. The biggest factor is the nature of the divorce so far.
Have you filed the divorce papers yet? Have you decided upon a collaborative divorce or divorce mediation with your partner? Or are you already engaged in a full out custody and financial battle?
Your first appointment will go over the specifics of your divorce. Your lawyer will outline a plan of action depending on your needs. You’ll likely be plied with numerous questions during the first meeting so that the lawyer can develop the best plan for you.
Don’t rush your first appointment with your divorce lawyer. Not only is this the time to decide whether they’re the right lawyer for you, it’s also the time to set out all the facts of your divorce. A successful first appointment will set the stage for much smoother divorce proceedings.