It is important to retain a divorce attorney or custody attorney who is committed to protecting your rights and guiding you efficiently and professionally through the issues to a beneficial resolution.
When you meet with a lawyer whom you may retain to represent you, the better prepared you are, the more productive the consultation will be. The following list contains examples of information that may be helpful to the lawyer during your first meeting, if applicable to your situation:
- Details about your marriage, home, employment, spouse and children;
- Whether you have signed a prenuptial agreement, or any other agreement affecting your marital and/or custodial rights;
- Whether any court orders have been issued affecting your rights;
- What assets and debts your spouse and you had at the date of the marriage;
- The current incomes, assets, liabilities and expenses of each of you;
- What goals you seek, e.g., divorce, sole custody, support and/or Equitable Distribution;
- What issues are likely to be contested.
It is important to retain an attorney who is not only experienced in the fields of matrimonial and/or custody law, but one whose personality and approach are compatible with your own. Here are some questions to ask during your initial interview with an attorney:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you practice matrimonial (or custody) law exclusively?
- What is your experience with the issues presented?
- Approximately how long will the process of finalizing the dispute take?
- How do you bill your clients?
Utilize the initial meeting with an attorney to ask questions you have about the divorce or custody process and your particular situation. The lawyer you choose should be qualified, give you the attention you need, fit your budget, and be someone you respect and trust.